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A Community Approach to Behavioral Health

Watch the full session here.

Download our suicide prevention resource guide here.

Tom Barnet and Heather Witt co-Direct the Spartanburg County Behavioral Health Task Force for the United Way of the Piedmont, and will be joined by two founding members, Carey Rothschild and Roger Williams to provide keys to creating a successful community-based health model.


Tom Barnet is a former teacher and school counselor and then later was engaged as an executive in the textile industry.


Since 1990, in his third career, he has worked extensively with the non-profit world of South Carolina, including serving as board chair of the United Way of South Carolina, Spartanburg Regional Heart Center, Spartanburg Community College Foundation, Spartanburg County Board of Education, among others.


He has worked with multiple community assets as a board member and/or advisor in the fields of health, education and youth services.


Currently, he serves as co-chair of the Behavioral Health Task Force, which he represents for this conversation.  


Carey Rothschild is the Director of Community Health Policy and Strategy for Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Her work is focused on developing the strategic direction and oversight of the Community Health department of SRHS, while also building partnerships and collaborative efforts that aim to improve local health outcomes and ensure health equity for all.  Prior to her role with SRHS, Carey was Director of AccessHealth Spartanburg, a community non-profit which connects low-income, uninsured residents to medical care, behavioral health care and a myriad of social service supports. Under her leadership, AHS enjoyed significant and sustainable growth, local, state and national recognition, and has become an important part of the local healthcare landscape.  A graduate of UNC Asheville, Rothschild is a Riley Institute at Furman University Diversity Fellow, a graduate of Leadership Spartanburg and Grassroots Leadership Development Institute and is a member of the Blue Ridge Institute.


Rothschild has served on numerous local boards and committees, including 10 years on Spartanburg County School District 7's Comprehensive Health Education Advisory Committee. In 2015 S.C. Governor Nikki Haley appointed her to the Board of Trustees for the Spartanburg Area Department of Mental Health. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Northside Development Group, Welvista, PASOs, and is a member of the Spartanburg Behavioral Health Taskforce, SRHS’s Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council and the core leadership team for Spartanburg’s Way to Wellville.


Roger Williams is the Executive Director of the Spartanburg Area Mental Health Center with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. He received his B.S.W. from the Rochester Institute of Technology, his M.S.W., specializing in community mental health, from the University of Illinois and completed coursework towards a doctorate at the University of South Carolina, College of Social Work. Mr. Williams is a S.C. Licensed Independent Social Worker – Clinical Practice and holds an RID Certificate of Transliteration and an SCAD/NAD IAP Level 5 and has been recognized at the state and national level for his leadership in mental health services within the Deaf community.


Heather Witt currently serves as Vice President of Community and Collective Impact for United Way of the Piedmont in Spartanburg, SC. Prior to that she served as a Senior Program Officer at the Columbus Medical Association Foundation. Heather has a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration as well as Organizational Management and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management from Southwest University. She is a graduate of the 2013 Leadership Spartanburg class and the 2016 Spartanburg Regional Hospital Fellows class. She serves as co-chair of the Behavioral Health taskforce and is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion with the “OneSpartanburg” Spartanburg County Chamber. With over 20 years in nonprofit, she routinely provides strategic planning and board training for the NPO’s in the Spartanburg community.

Fireside Chats fulfill training requirements for SC Foster Parent Association certification.  To qualify, foster parents should attend the live or recorded session, then email Robyn Hussa Farrell at to obtain a printable certificate. 


All Fireside Chats are hosted by Robyn Hussa Farrell, MFA, E-RYT, co-founder and CEO of Sharpen, who has spent the past 15 years collaborating with state agencies, educational systems, public health and psychology researchers to build and deliver evidence-based programs to K-12 schools and communities.  In her role, Robyn is responsible for building collaborative partnerships and developing programs that deliver powerful prevention content into communities across the U.S.


As part of her work in population health and prevention, Robyn built mindfulness, stress reduction and yoga-based programs for patients struggling with a variety of mental illnesses. Her work has been published in peer reviewed medical journals and in other publications.  Robyn’s experience working in treatment settings and with researchers in schools led her to scale her community-based programs by adapting them into video-based modules and a series of documentaries on mental health and educational initiatives.  Many of Robyn’s programs have been implemented through the award-winning non-profit, Mental Fitness, which Hussa founded in 2006 to deliver evidence-based content and resources to communities.


A leader in the mental health and wellness provider community, Robyn is certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through the University of Massachusetts Medical School model, as well as a certified trainer for NAMI NH CONNECT Suicide Postvention program.  Hussa has proudly served as Spartanburg county youth suicide prevention coordinator for the Behavioral Health Task Force for United Way of the Piedmont, 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, and has been a Keynote and Invited Presenter in over 50 medical and educational conferences.


About Sharpen

Sharpen works with national researchers and practitioners to deliver evidence-based mental health programs that improve behavioral health outcomes for communities. Sharpen Fireside Chats are a free resource for communities and aspire to bring the latest best practices to more individuals, communities and families.

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