Staff

Staff


Misty Leitsch, BBA, BSW

Executive Director

Misty Leitsch is in charge of overseeing statewide implementation of the Zero Suicide Initiative by TSPN and community partners. Before joining TSPN’s staff, she served for five years on the TSPN Advisory Council, having been appointed to this post by the Office of the Governor of Tennessee. As chair of TSPN’s Mid-Cumberland Region, Misty organized the region’s first Annual Memorial Walk and conducted numerous suicide prevention training sessions for crisis centers, behavioral health facilities, schools, businesses, and civic groups.

These duties were carried out strictly on a volunteer basis, outside of her professional involvement in the mental health field. This included her work as the Statewide Education Coordinator at the Mental Health Association of Middle Tennessee (now Mental Health America of Middle Tennessee), where she coordinated depression screenings and mental health education sessions for people across Middle Tennessee, including K-12 school staff. She also created and produced several public outreach workshops and curricula while in this position. Misty has also worked with other TSPN partners and allies, including New Transitions, Inc., Rolling Hills Hospital, and the Mental Health Cooperative.

Misty double-majored in Social Work and Business Administration while working on her bachelor’s degree at Belmont University in Nashville, graduating in 2007.

Sandra Mooney, BA

Deputy Director

Sandra Mooney is a native of Montgomery, Alabama who relocated to TN and joined TSPN in  January 2021. Sandra learned early in her career servicing as a child welfare case aid with the Alabama Department of Human Resources that she had a passion for advocacy, leveraging resources, and empowering individuals to build stronger families and communities. Prior to joining TSPN, Sandra serviced in various grassroots efforts and within nonprofit management. Additionally, she serviced as the East Coast Regional Director with Project Access Residential Services. There she had the privilege of leading and coaching teams remotely to implement strategic plans, while using innovative collaboration strategies to build the programs service model through strong partnerships, organized volunteers, and all levels of government entities and community stakeholders in various states. Sandra brings over 10 years of experience in project/grant management, team capacity and development, volunteer management, and organizational structuring  through her transformational change leadership style. Sandra currently resides in Murfreesboro with her amazing daughter.

Justin Johnson, MSW

Memphis/Shelby County Tennessee Regional Director

Justin is from Millington, TN, he served in the United States Marines Corps for five years with two combat deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. He also served as a police officer for five years as a patrolman. He brings a skill set from his law enforcement background of applied crisis intervention skills, to deal with situations that he encountered in this profession that ranged from domestic violence to mental health issues.

He is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work. For graduate school, his field placement was at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Hospital as a Suicide Prevention Case Manager Intern. Justin has a  professional work history which gives him the unique cultural insight and experience needed to effectively work within the mentioned communities and the general population. Justin has extensive experience helping the most at-risk populations with the highest rates of suicide.

While he was employed at Veterans Affairs, he was personally responsible for providing counseling to veterans who had been flagged for suicidal ideation. He was also responsible for conducting suicide prevention training to nursing homes and colleges throughout the Mid-South for Veterans Affairs.

Justin conducted a program evaluation of suicide prevention programs, at Veterans Affairs for suicide prevention efforts. His program evaluation was recognized amongst his peers and selected to be the standard-setting example for the University of Memphis social work graduate classes of proper program evaluation.

Justin is an avid runner and uses running to raise money each year for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to fight childhood cancer, he also is a Crossfitter. Justin is a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Post Commander of Collierville VFW Post 5066.

Justin hopes to bring his dedication, education and practical skill set to the position of TSPN Regional Director for Memphis/Shelby County, TN.

Emily Oswald, BSN

Northwest Regional Director

Emily Oswald is proud to be from the hometown of Frog Jump, TN in Crockett County. Emily graduated from Union University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015. Her passion for all things prevention, especially suicide and overdose, comes from a background in both nursing and public health, as well as personal experience caring for loved ones dealing with mental health and being a survivor of both suicide and overdose loss. Emily was Public Health Educator for Crockett County for three years before coming on board with TSPN. During that time, she started the Crockett County Prevention Coalition focusing on substance misuse, mental health resources, and bullying/suicide prevention. She also piloted the Be Nice Program and Be Nice Concert for Crockett County Middle and High School empowering students to share their struggles and triumphs over mental health, bullying, substance misuse, and suicide. Emily believes faith and family is everything and enjoys spending quality time at home, singing, and doing sign language. Emily is excited to join the TSPN family and looks forward to spreading the message of hope to those in need in the communities she serves.

Lindsey Carr, BS

Southwest Tennessee Regional Director

Lindsey Carr is a Jackson, Tennessee native. Originally believing engineering was her path, Lindsey quickly realized she had passion to serve people in a different capacity. After graduating from Bethel University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, Lindsey first became a Health Coach under a state-funded grant program called My Health, My Choice, My Life. She was able to travel the grand region of West Tennessee to various peer-support centers, teaching self-management skills to those with lived experience in mental health or substance misuse.
When the program ended, Lindsey went on to become the Project Director for the Jackson-Madison Prevention Coalition, which focuses on the prevention of drug misuse among youth. She was able to cultivate and grow the Youth Advisory Council, comprised of high school students from all major high schools in Jackson. Their focus was developing peer-led strategies for drug prevention, giving youth a voice in the types of messaging being delivered. After two successful years with the Coalition, Lindsey went on to become the Coordinator. In that role she was able to oversee four state-funded grants, all focused on the prevention, treatment, and recovery from substance misuse. Lindsey has been happily married since October of 2015 to her husband and best friend Tyler, and you can often find them spending time with friends and family, riding roller coasters, and catching the latest new releases at the local Redbox.

Michael Anderson

Upper Cumberland Regional Director

Michael is a native of the Upper Cumberland region. He studied Mechanical Engineering at TTU before finding his passion for the field of human services working as a volunteer with the Children’s Miracle Network, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and later, serving persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the roles of Program Compliance Director and Executive Director for Pacesetters Incorporated. He has stayed active in the community through civic outreach programs like Leadership Putnam and the Citizen’s Fire Academy of Cookeville. He is also accredited through the Crisis Prevention Institute, the American Safety & Health Institute, the TN Safety and Health Council, the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, LivingWorks and the Jason Foundation. He has experienced loss from suicide twice in his lifetime and is resolved to be a resource to the Upper Cumberland by raising public awareness of the issue and working to reduce the number of suicides and suicide attempts.

Mary Anne Christian, Ed.S.

South Central Tennessee Regional Director

Before joining the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network, Mary Anne worked as an educator before transitioning to a school administrator in both private and public schools in Tennessee and Alabama. Since beginning her career in education, she experienced a need for working with the mental and emotional issues faced by students. As a school leader, she worked closely with the school counselors to coordinate behavior plans and improve the mental health of the students and the staff. She has also experienced several students who had suicidal ideations. She has witnessed the increased need for mental healthcare in communities, as well as, the need to educate communities about mental health and eliminate the mental health stigma.  Her experiences have helped her to realize her passion for the health and mental health of the students, parents, staff, and communities she has served.

Through her desire to learn more and work towards bringing awareness to mental health, she was selected as one of the inaugural members of the School Counseling Advisory Team for the state of Tennessee. She also served on the AWARE Advisory committee in Lawrence County. She has completed several trainings in Youth Mental Health and First Aid, Restorative Practices, Jason Foundation, and Youth Protection.

Mary Anne holds a master’s degree in K-12 Administration and Supervision and an Education Specialist degree in curriculum and instruction, both from Middle Tennessee State University. Mary Anne enjoys spending time with her husband and five children and staying active for her overall health and mental health.

Emily Hager, PhD

East Regional Director

Emily was born and raised in Knoxville and graduated from Johnson City’s East Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Biology/Biochemistry. Upon completion of her degree, Emily joined the United States Navy for four years of service to our country where not only did she learn leadership and professional development skills but was also exposed to a variety of mental health concerns. After service, Emily returned to Knoxville and began a pursuit of my PhD in Nutritional Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

A survivor of suicide loss, Emily has served in several suicide prevention awareness and advocacy roles in East TN. Emily also worked with TSPN prior to hire through Vet to Vet Tennessee and collaborated with TSPN’s Veterans task force. Emily and her husband have four incredible children.

Morgan Tubbs, MASJE

Data and Communications Director

Morgan Tubbs serves as TSPN’s Data and Communications Director. Morgan grew up in the Mississippi Delta and received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Mississippi State University. After spending some time working and teaching in South America, she moved to Denver to pursue a Master of Arts in Social Justice & Ethics from the Iliff School of Theology. Morgan moved to Middle Tennessee shortly after completing her degree and loves calling Tennessee home.

Morgan has extensive experience in the nonprofit world and has worked in educational, creative, and recreational settings, with a specific emphasis on youth and children’s advocacy. Morgan has been on board with TSPN since August 2020.