Kim McDevitt, Executive Director
Kim McDevitt brings over 20 years of executive-level leadership and management experience to MHA. Through her leadership, Kim has built partnerships with donors that have significantly advanced the goals of non-profits in Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties. Her background in psychology and education has been used to transform organizations. Kim most recently served as Chief Operations Officer with Lancaster Housing Opportunities Partnership, where she brought about substantial systems changes. Prior to that, she was the Executive Director of Power Packs Project, where she succeeded the founder and grew the organization to three surrounding counties.
Kim has returned to her roots in behavioral health to assist in the growth at MHA Lancaster County. She is driven to empower, motivate and strengthen individuals and families, as well as bring public awareness to the issues that prevent people them from achieving success. Her studies and career experiences have allowed her to gain an understanding of the barriers that families face, both socio-economically and psychologically, and has ardently followed this knowledge in building services with strategies and programs that help others to overcome those barriers.
Kim emigrated to the U.S at age 7 and has always believed in empowering others, just as she was empowered. “I have always believed in leaving a legacy. My greatest accomplishment is instilling, to my four children, the message of using your talents to help others. I am most proud that my oldest daughters are both teachers in inner city Philadelphia, and my sons, despite their vigorous sports and academic schedule in high school, are highly dedicated to volunteering for various organizations”.
Kay Bela, Program Coordinator
Kay oversees the Peer Educator/Advocate position and manages Support Groups, Schools and Community Education, as well as the Suicide Prevention Coalition. She joins MHA after being a high school English teacher for over 2 years, traveling extensively overseas doing humanitarian work, and graduating with her masters in counseling in 2018. While she has always been passionate about mental health, her curiosity and drive has come from growth through her own challenges with depression and anxiety— and loves to help others learn others learn and grow as well.
I maintain my mental health by: Fitness and nutrition, healthy communication and boundaries with a supportive community, journaling, meditating, and lots of laughter.
Interesting fact about me: I have been a plant-based vegan for almost 4 years now.
In my spare time, I like to: Be out in nature, especially with my husband. That’s my happy place where everything moves slower and there is no technology or stress.
My passion: To change the face of the mental health to reduce stigma, reach people who are unreached, and create a better mental health system to improve the support to those providing care and receiving care.
Shelby Witmer, Family and Child Services Coordinator
Shelby has a background in education and a passion for supporting families struggling with mental health issues. She hopes to use her life experiences to empower other families to get the help and support they need: “I want them to know they aren’t alone!” She will also be providing IEP Advocacy support to help foster positive supports between home and school.
I maintain my mental health by: Practicing physical and mental fitness, self-care, meditation, and lots of laughter.
Interesting fact about me: Despite being named Shelby, I was named after a character in a book my mom was reading, not the car.
In my spare time, I like to: Spend time with family and friends, travel and read. My happy place is any beach!
My passion: To end the stigma of mental health and provide support and
compassion for those who are struggling with it. Nobody is alone and we all struggle with something so let’s support each other.
Carol Bowman, Peer Educator and Advocate
What I like about working for MHALC is: The mission of helping individuals and families to experience lives that are mentally healthy, and of supporting people who struggle with mental illness, is one that has been close to my heart for many years. I like being a part of the great team of people here who are working to provide resources to assist that mission in the Lancaster community.
I maintain my mental health by: Maintaining a daily meditation practice, journaling, and getting outside to breathe the fresh air and enjoy the natural world.
Interesting fact about me: Wherever I travel, I like to bring home rocks and stones to remember the places I’ve been.
In my spare time I like to: Read, write, paint, make jewelry, cook – doing anything creative makes me happy!
Tara Zellman, Prison Advocate / Educator
I have a background in the prison system and was employed as a correctional officer for 6 years. I have since then decided to switch roles from being an officer to being an advocate/educator for inmates due to my growing passion and interests in the mental health field. I want to be “their voice” they feel that sometimes gets overlooked while they are incarcerated. I want to show inmates that there are options beyond those “steel doors”.
I maintain my mental health by: physical fitness. I love to hike in the woods and take in nature without the distraction of technology.
Interesting fact about me: I am a twin, and I am 7 minutes older than my sister.
In my spare time I like to: train Brazilian jiu jitsu with my family. I also like to visit local coffee shops. I enjoy family time most of all.
My passion: so many people struggle to understand their own psychology, which in turn causes them to be afraid, it suppresses them, and it limits their capabilities. I want to teach others how to get the best out of themselves. I want others to know and understand what being depressed anxious and overwhelmed really is, it is a battle that takes the most strength that you will ever overcome. Your passion should give you goosebumps when you think about it, that’s how I know I am on the right path.
Lauren Straub, Compeer Coordinator
What I like about working for MHALC is: Although my background is not in social services, per se, I am enrolled at Millersville University and am studying social work. I am very interested in social entrepreneurship and hope to one day open a restaurant which provides job opportunities for those overcoming mental health hurdles.
I maintain my mental health by: maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, taking time to myself, and attending therapy regularly.
Interesting fact about me: I was a professional chef for twenty years – both in Baltimore and more recently in Lancaster.
In my spare time I like to: spend time with my wife and three dogs.
My passion: educating and advocating for those who need it most, and doing the most that I can to create change through social justice on both a micro and macro level.
Cynthia Jones, Accountant
Kim and I have had the pleasure of working together at a previous non-profit, Power Packs. She coined my favorite description of my thought process….. Intuitive. I am thrilled to be able to join the MHA team.