Lynette Sheard will be the host for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s 22nd Evening of Excellence.
Lynette Sheard is the Director of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s New Jersey Mental Health Players, a highly successful, interactive community education program, winner of the 2021 national Richard Van Horn Innovation in Programming Award from Mental Health America.
Ms. Sheard has worked at the Mental Health Association for over 18 years as a staff development trainer, senior employment specialist, and a Community Education Coordinator. Combining art and advocacy, she channels her enthusiasm to the programs mission of increasing education and awareness, decreasing stigma and breaking the silence around mental illness and emotional wellness.
Ms. Sheard is certified by Mental Health America as a trainer of Mental Health First Aid. She is also a certified trainer of QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention training, crisis intervention, and trauma informed care. She is a sought-after panelist, host, interviewer, and keynote speaker. During the height of the COVID Pandemic she provided a weekly webinar entitled ”Why the Show Must Go On — How to Maintain Your Creative Sanity,” highlighting the connection between creativity and mental health along with the virtual presentations by the NJ Mental Health Players. It was viewed by over 15,000 people.
In addition to the Richard Van Horn Innovation in Programming Award, Ms. Sheard has been recognized by several other organizations for her accomplishments. She received the APSE Employment Professional of the Year for her work with individuals with disabilities from the Association for Professionals in Supported Employment.
Ms. Sheard is a versatile vocalist, actor, activist, producer, director, and vocal coach. The Star-Ledger proclaimed, “Her voice reaches deep into one’s soul and finds a soft spot.” She performs Jazz, R&B, Gospel, Soul, and Pop music. Being a native of Newark, New Jersey, her live jazz performances have landed her a spot in “The Encyclopedia of Newark Jazz.” Theater credits include principal roles in Dream Girls, Smokey Joe’s Café, Ragtime, Ragtime the Musical, Swing, Aida, For Colored Girls, A Raisin in the Sun, and Gary Coleman in Avenue Q in which Broadway World declared that “she is fabulous with a voice that shakes the rafters.” She is the CEO of Lynette Entertainment LLC.