MHART formed as a result of passionate professionals discussing how Tennessee therapists could serve the community during the pandemic. We know that the mental health community is one of the most generous and skilled volunteer banks in the state. We wanted to capitalize on that volunteer spirit and create something sustainable to help our state.
Our primary purpose is to connect mental health professionals to volunteer opportunities quickly. We operate a statewide emotional support line, staffed by volunteer therapists, for frontline healthcare providers battling the pandemic and are building a statewide database of therapists offering free or discounted sessions during a disaster or crisis. MHART values multidisciplinary partnerships and public-private collaborations.
MHART Board of Directors
Lizzie is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in the treatment of traumatic stress disorders, anxiety, and addictive disorders. In addition to her direct clinical work with individuals and families, she has a passion for improving systems of care through training, consulting, and program design. She received her Bachelor's in Social Work from Belmont University and her Master's of Science in Social Work from the University of Tennessee. Lizzie currently serves as the chair of the MHART board. Her passion for bringing people together and engineering creative solutions to social problems inspired her role in the creation of MHART.
Cynthia P. Lucas
Dr. Lucas is a practicing clinical psychologist in Nashville since 2001 working with individuals and couples. Early on, she served as Membership Committee Co-Chair for the then Eating Disorders Coalition of TN. She was Gilda’s Club Nashville’s 2010 Volunteer of the Year. She is a past Treasurer of the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute, served as their 2018 Chair, and currently leads NPI’s Pandemic Resources Committee. Cynthia earned her B.S. at Vanderbilt and her Ph.D. at the University of Louisville, followed by clinical residency at Atlanta’s VAMC. She helped found MHART out of a desire to help more people in innovative ways and to build an ongoing resource for Tennesseans in need, sustained by mental health professionals and experts in various fields working together.
Ph.D., Logistics and Information
Dr. Amanda Stone is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Vanderbilt University, completed her pre-doctoral clinical residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Stone is our resident data nerd and coordinates the logistics and technological needs of MHART. She helped found MHART out of a desire to support colleagues facing the stress of frontline work during COVID-19 and is excited by the vision to create a sustainable volunteer network of mental health professionals.
Gina Del Gardo
Dr. Gina DelGardo is a clinical psychologist specializing in Behavioral Medicine and Forensic Psychology. She is currently employed at Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation in Chattanooga Tennessee, and works with individuals who have suffered from major medical trauma, injuries to the spinal cord and the brain, and with individuals who have disabling and complicated medical issues. She currently serves as the President of the Tennessee Psychological Association, and is past president of the Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association. She grew up in the Tri Cities, attended ETSU, and then earned her Doctorate at Nova Southeastern University. She is a founding member of MHART, which was formed to help the community face disaster and emergencies.
Dr. Cathryn Yarbrough is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Nashville, TN. She serves as Chair of the Nashville Psychotherapy Institute. She received her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Before entering private practice, she worked as a research project director at VUMC, Clinical Director of the Family Life Counseling Center, and Consulting Psychologist at area psychiatric hospitals. In her practice, she provides family therapy and individual psychotherapy. Cathy believes strongly in community and has served as a volunteer and board member with multiple organizations. She joined in the effort to form MHART out of a wish to help her community better cope with the emotional toll of crisis and disaster.