Our Staff

The Right People to Get the Job Done

A diverse team of 7 full-time and 4 part-time staff members bring decades of business experience in mental health and social service. 6 staff members are Certified Peer Support Specialists; this means they have lived experience of recovery from mental illness.

Kimberly Barta

Director of Programs

Kimberly began her career at MHASM in July of 2010 as a Case Manager under a HUD project called Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing. When that project ended, she worked under a project for people affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill to provide Resiliency and Coping Skills. For the past few years, she has worked with clients in their transition from chronic homelessness. She is now the Director of Programs overseeing all services at Mental Health Association of South MS.  Kim is also a certified Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Facilitator.  She holds Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with Psychology and Interdisciplinary minors.

Nicole Bedsole

HUD Supportive Housing Case Manager

Nicole began volunteering in our drop in center in July of 2014 as an intern as she was completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.  Nicole is the HUD Supportive Housing Case Manager.  She assists individuals who have a mental illness and are chronically homeless get into housing.  By providing the support they need, she helps them in a journey toward independent living as they become self sufficient.  She is a Certified Peer Support Specialists and a certified Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Facilitator through The Copeland Center.  She is a certified Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid Facilitator.  She also participates in homeless outreach in south MS.

Kay Daneault

Executive Director

Since December 2007, MHASM has been led by Kay Daneault, Executive Director, B.B.A. She directs the organization’s growth as it supports the community with compassion and integrity. Kay values input from others to help people exposed to mental health issues find their way to a healthy lifestyle. Prevention is also a key factor in working with the general public to stay well in their home and work lives. Through an array of services, MHASM has helped many people to move forward in a positive manner for a better life.  Kay is an Advanced Level Wellness Recovery Action Planning Facilitator (WRAP) through The Copeland Center.  She is also a certified Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid Facilitator.

John Higgins

John Higgins

Peer Recovery Coach

John Higgins began his quest for helping others who are suffering in 2020, when he completed an inpatient program at Defining Wellness Inc. (DWI). John then went on to do a student practicum at DWI, an internship at Urban Rehab Facilities, and became a counselor of a supervised living facility. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Jackson State University, with a major in Therapeutic Recreation. In September of 2022 John began working at MHASM as a Peer Recovery Coach. He still works part time as a Certified Peer Support Specialist at Urban Rehab Facilities. John participates in several community outreach projects in his community. He has been featured/participates in conferences and seminars as the guest speaker telling his personal story of sobriety, resilience, and hope. Additionally, he serves as a board committee member for AMPSS as of June 2022.

Christopher Jackson

Christopher Jackson

Homeless Outreach Lead

Christopher has a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He worked at Gulf Coast Mental Health Center now Pine Belt Mental Health. There he spread youth suicide awareness and prevention across MS. After the grant ended he went to Specialized Treatment Facility as a mental health active treatment tech and later an advanced supervisor, responsible for clients, staff, and the whole facility at times. Christopher also worked at Child Protective Services and Gautier- Pascagoula School District. Discovering he enjoyed working with people with autism he became a direct care professional, helping others become more self-efficient. This all led him to MHASM where he helps people living in the streets get into housing. In the interim, he helps them maintain through resources such as mental health treatment and supplies.

Rose Kelly

Rose Kelly

Drop In Cook

Rose Kelly is the cook for the Drop In Program at the Mental Health Association. She has worked in the mental health field for over 13 years. This included work at the two facilities within the community mental health center, (Region 13) including the Crisis Stabilization Unit. These are currently operated by Pine Belt Mental Healthcare Resources. Rose says she enjoys working here, being a team player, and has come to love working in a mental health environment. She states, “I love my job also because I care about people and my professional growth.”


Becky Madison

Certified Peer Support Specialist

Becky Madison is a Certified Peer Support Specialist in Mental Health Association’s Drop In Program.  Becky has a gentle demeanor and can easily help people to feel relaxed and welcome.  She conducts several different support groups, with the ability to adapt to the needs of people we serve.  Also, part of what she does is one-to-one goal setting with participants in the program.  Helping people to move forward in a positive way and bring out their strengths is what she enjoys the most.

Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore

Peer Recovery Coach

Natalie began her career with MHASM in March of 2022 as a Peer Recovery Coach. She assists the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) and the Association of Mississippi Peer Support Specialists (AMPSS) with employing, training, and supporting Peer Support Specialists across the state. Natalie is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and a Certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. She believes her purpose in life is to help others regain control of their lives by highlighting their strengths and focusing on their unique definition of recovery.


Patty Sinopoli

Program Assistant

Since July 2004, Patty has enjoyed different positions at MHASM. Originally Patty worked in the Drop In Center and still assists in that program scheduling weekly speakers. She has been Assistant to the Executive Director, and is now our Receptionist. Patty greets everyone with enthusiasm and a genuine caring attitude. She is very efficient in assisting people to find the resources they need in our community, and she was among the first Certified Peer Support Specialists in the state. Since its inception, Patty has been instrumental on the planning committee for Project Homeless Connect and our annual “Don’t Worry Be Happy” fundraiser.

Beth Williamson-

Beth Williamson

Accounting Manager

Beth Williamson comes to MHASM through 30+ years of experience in the Accounting field in multiple states, NY, FL, and MS.  Finances are very important to any organization, but as a non-profit we want to be the best stewards of the money we receive through grants and donations.  Beth is proficient and dedicated to making sure everything is correct and transparent. She raised three children as a single parent.  Her children are grown and now she is helping her parents.  Beth says, “family is very important to me, I am very lucky to still have my parents around, and we all help take care of each other.”


Melody Worsham

Certified Peer Support Specialist & WRAP Facilitator

Melody joined us in November of 2011 to help coordinate the Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) workshops MHASM was hosting in south MS for people affected by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  She is a certified WRAP Facilitator.  She was in the first class of Certified Peer Support Specialists trained through MS Department of Mental Health. She also provides Peer Support to clients across our programs. She is a founding member of the Association of MS Peer Support Specialists.  Melody currently goes out into the community to provide two hour or less educational opportunities about mental health and wellness.