About Us

Robyn Hussa Farrell
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Sharpen

 

Since 2006, Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT co-founder and CEO of Sharpen has been working to develop and distribute evidence-based mental health prevention programs for K-12 schools, colleges, and communities.  For nearly two decades, Robyn has been building collaborative relationships between state agencies, educational systems, public health and psychology researchers across the U.S. to bring her programs to life.  

Robyn began her journey in public health working as a yoga instructor in eating disorder treatment settings.  Seeing the wide cross section of individuals of a variety of ages and demographics struggling with multiple co-morbid conditions, Robyn saw the urgent need to develop and scale prevention programs to address the mental health crisis in the United States.  Working with researchers and school professionals, Robyn built a series of live professional development programs on identifying serious mental illnesses in the school settings are still implemented through the award-winning non-profit, Mental Fitness, which she founded in 2006 to deliver evidence-based content and resources to communities.  That tiered model for teaching about mental health in schools has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals.   As part of her work in population health and prevention, Robyn has also built mindfulness, stress reduction and yoga-based programs for patients struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. That work has been implemented in schools across the country, presented at the American Psychiatric Association, and has led to collaborations in publications on yoga and recovery.  Her 5 Minute Mindfulness Curriculum is key element of student engagement in several Title 1 schools in Spartanburg South Carolina and that curriculum is a critical piece of the core Sharpen content offering.   
 
A leader in the mental health and wellness provider community, Robyn is a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) and The International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP), is certified in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), as well as a certified trainer for NAMI NH CONNECT Suicide Postvention program. Hussa has proudly served on the Behavioral Health Task Force for United Way of the Piedmont since 2014, is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Johnson College of Business and has served as a mentor for the StartME Spartanburg entrepreneurship program.  Robyn served as the Resilient Schools mindfulness trainer in Spartanburg, Cherokee, Richland, and Lexington County Resilient Schools initiatives, is a Founding Member of the Eating Disorder Recovery on Campus in Boston, an advisory committee member for Way to Wellville/Rethink Health Community Engagement and Listening Campaign, served as SC Youth Suicide Prevention Spartanburg County coordinator through the SC Department of Mental Health, and was invited to serve on the Spartanburg County Adolescent Behavioral Health evaluation committee for Mary Black Foundation.

Robyn is the founder of four companies, including the award-winning New York City theatre company, Transport Group, and has presented at more than 50 national medical and educational conferences.  Hussa has received many honors, including:

  • 2007 Drama Desk Award for Transport Group

  • 2010 Champion in Women’s Health award, Wisconsin Women’s Health Association

  • 2014 Peace Award, Converse College / Emerge Family Therapy

  • 2017 Breakfast Business and Professional Women of Spartanburg, Finalist Award

  • 2017 Women of Distinction Award, Girl Scouts of SC -- Mountains to Midlands

  • 2017 Innovision award

  • 2018 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award, City of Spartanburg

Tim Farrell

Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer

Sharpen

 

Tim Farrell, co-founder, and COO of Sharpen Health is responsible for content development and overall operations. As an award-winning New York City news producer, he specializes in multimedia content creation and documentary filmmaking, with an emphasis on journalistic-style stories of hope and healing.

 

Prior to his work with Sharpen, Tim co-founded White Elephant Enterprises, a production company focusing on documentary film and large-scale community engagement initiatives. Tim directed the documentary coverage of the public art initiative “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” and co-Directed the award-winning installation, “Video Village”, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies. For their leadership on that project, Tim and his wife received the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the City of Spartanburg, South Carolina. In both 2009
and 2011, Tim traveled to Nepal to film a documentary project called “The Walking Hospital”. The film featured a small group of medical professionals bringing care and treatment to remote villages with no access to western medicine. As a result of his production experiences and projects, Tim has a unique ability to engage viewers in personal stories that can be used to create change.

 

Prior to his work in community storytelling, Tim served as Senior Political Producer at New York City’s NY1 News. He had the opportunity to cover many decade-defining events, such as the Inauguration of President Obama, the funeral of Nelson Mandela, and the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. For his team’s coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, NY1 earned the Associated Press award.
 

Tim received a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from NYU and Temple University. He is a volunteer mentor for the Emory University StartME Spartanburg program, and a Community Task Force board member for Upstate Warrior Solution serving veterans and their families. He currently lives in Spartanburg with his wife Robyn.

 

Tim’s Achievements Include:
 

  • 2018-present Behavioral Health Task Force, United Way of Piedmont

  • 2015-present co-Director Northside Initiative documentary film coverage, PurposeBuilt Communities

  • 2015-2019, Co-Director Way to Wellville documentary film coverage, Hiccup / Esther Dyson

  • 2015-2018 Way to Wellville Communication Task Force

  • 2015-2017, co-Director Seeing Spartanburg documentary coverage and Video VillageBloomberg Philanthropies

  • 2017-2019 StartME Spartanburg mentor, USC Update and Emory Northside Development Group

  • 2019- present co-Director, Community Journalism partnership, Wofford College

 
 

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