The MHA team is comprised of a group of skilled, dedicated, and passionate individuals; each with their own expertise, background, and story. Through shared leadership, vulnerability, open communication and on-going training, they work together living MHA's values and implementing the
julie l. preder
Julie joins Mental Health America as the Executive Director after holding a variety of different positions in mental health throughout her career. Born and raised in Sheboygan she left Wisconsin after high school. She received her Bachelor of Science in Community Health Education from Hunter College in Manhattan. She holds certifications as a Field Traumatologist, Bereavement Counselor and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Trainer (ASIST). Her diverse career has focused primarily on trauma, loss, military suicide and incarceration. As an advocate for mental wellness she believes our community must cultivate the conversation around mental health in every corner we live, work and play. She returned to the area a few years ago and is excited to call Sheboygan her home again. Julie enjoys the outdoors, good food, live music but most of all spending time with her husband, children, and pets.
For my mental health, I connect with my mind through music and nature. Both are universal in connecting people together to enjoy the free gifts of life. They are the language of our spirit. –Julie L. Preder
trisha erpelding, m.s.w.
Education Coordinator & Mindfulness Instructor
Trisha has had a passion for working with children and youth for as long as she can remember. She graduated with a degree in social work from UW-Whitewater (Go Warhawks!) in 2008, and decided to continue her education by pursuing a Master's degree, which she earned in 2016. As the Education Program Coordinator at MHA, Trisha is able to pursue her dream of working with youth by educating students in Sheboygan County about a variety of mental health topics, including awareness, prevention, and stigma elimination. As a mindful classroom instructor, Trisha is able to share mindfulness with students in our area, teaching them valuable skills in order to focus, stay calm, self-regulate, and boost self-esteem. Trisha lives with her husband in the Sheboygan area with their son, Hayden, daughter Scarlett, and fur-baby Maddie.
I spend time with family and friends. This time is especially more wonderful if we are listening to music or eating amazing food! - Trisha Erpelding
PATH Coordinator &
Brianna is a graduate of Silver Lake College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Since joining MHA’s team in June 2017, she has gotten involved with a number of community and statewide coalitions including, but not limited to, Healthy Sheboygan County (HSC2020) SBIRT Committee and Wisconsin’s Coalition for Expanding School-Based Mental Health Innovative Practice & Comprehensive Model Committee. She has also been trained in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR - a suicide awareness and prevention program) program as a certified instructor as well as the Growing Minds mindfulness curriculum as a certified mindful instructor.
"I like taking much needed pauses in life to spend quality time with my loved ones. It is in those moments that I am most grounded and able to fully experience the things for which I am most grateful. Of this, the author, Leo Christopher, says it best in his quote, “There is only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it with."" - Brianna Heusterberg
"For my mental health, I spend time in nature. It reminds me to acknowledge the flow of life in all of its mystery. Fresh air, the sound of waves, grass on my feet, the smell and sight of flowers are my best mindful experiences" Rachael Lewinski
Rachael has been a yoga and fitness instructor since 2003. After graduating from Elmhurst College in 1999, majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology, Rachael explored beginning a career in physical therapy before entering fully into the fitness world eventually specializing in corrective exercise, yoga, personal training and fitness nutrition. Mindfulness training and teaching at MHA in Sheboygan County blended seamlessly into her repertoire of natural health practices, and she has been so overjoyed to teach kids again after being a youth volleyball coach and Sheboygan Area School District substitute teacher as well. Rachael is also a Certified Yasei Shinrin Yoku Habitat Forest Bathing Guide. Forest Bathing guide which is a form of mindfulness practice in the woods and nature that is incredibly beneficial providing reduced stress, depression and anxiety and improved immune function. She also specializes in teaching mindful movement and mindful eating for enhanced health and wellness. She currently resides in Sheboygan and enjoys camping, gardening, photography, making essential oil diffusing bracelets as well as spending time at her cabin surrounded by 20 acres of woods in Iron County with her husband and dog Buster.
Mindfulness Instructor & Media Coordinator