Board of Directors
Kara Baertsch, LMHC – President
Kara is a graduate of Indiana University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified EMDR Therapist and Approved Consultant. Kara owns a private practice in Bloomington, Indiana where she specializes in treating dissociative and trauma-related disorders. She is also active in providing training and consultation in EMDR for clinicians at the basic training and certification levels in Indiana and across the country. Kara is a Certified QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor and presents on a variety of topics relate to trauma and mental health. Kara has been on the Board of Mental Health America of Monroe County since 2017 and also serves as co-chair of the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition. She became involved in MHA-MC because she believes in the importance of community and collaboration in advocating for increased access to mental health services in the community and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.
Laury Flint --
Laury Flint is currently an IUPD Major and Public Safety and institutional Assurance Director for Community Engagement and Threat Assessment. She is an IU alumna and served as chief of IUPD-Bloomington for more than five years before beginning her current position in March 2019. As director, she works with all IU campuses to develop a comprehensive, consistent approach and response to any reports of concerning behavior. She will continue to work closely with campus and community partners to promote essential active engagement. Laury began her law enforcement career as a cadet in the Indiana University Police Academy in 1980. She graduated from the IUPA in 1981 and later that year from IU Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. She started as a patrol officer at IUPD-Bloomington in January 1982, and progressed through the ranks of uniform sergeant, uniform lieutenant and deputy chief, culminating in her appointment to chief on Nov. 1, 2013. She is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, session 230. Laury has been active with a wide variety of university offices and committees involved with monitoring and improving the safety of the IU Bloomington campus community. She remains a sworn law enforcement officer with IUPD and instructor for the Indiana University Police Academy. She is also an instructor of Mental Health First Aid for sworn personnel at all IU campuses and the IUB community.
James Carter – Treasurer
James is a retired employee from Indiana University’s Student Loan Administration Office. Upon retirement, James had the opportunity, availability, and time to volunteer in areas of personal growth and fulfillment, and he is pleased that Mental Health America of Monroe County has provided him with such an avenue for personal growth. James believes that the area of mental health is and has been one the most important issues facing our nation today. He has served on the MHA-MC Board since 2016 and currently serves as board treasurer. James also enjoys the opportunity to be involved with MHA-MC’s primary sub-committee, the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Mindi Wisker-Tindall, LMHC –
Mindi is a graduate of Indiana University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Mindi is a member of the National Board Certified Counselors. She is currently working as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist at Spencer Psychology, Bloomington’s Children and Family Service Department and is the previous coordinator for Monroe County System of Care. Mindi chose to be a part of MHA-MC because she wants to help improve access and quality of mental health services for our community members through continued education and advocacy.
O’Connell M. Case, LCSW
O’Connell is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a part-time private practice after retiring from many years of mental health administration, training, program development, and grant writing for community mental health in both Virginia and Indiana. Her expertise is in working with individuals and families experiencing trauma and anxiety, using techniques such as EMDR and CBT.
Her mission throughout her career has been to increase access to quality mental health services with evidence-based approaches. O’Connell was the Clinical Director at Catholic Charities Bloomington for 7 years and enjoyed collaborating with other non-profit agencies to eliminate barriers to services for all. Prior to moving to Bloomington, O’Connell received her MSW from Virginia Commonwealth University, and for 16 years was the Clinical Director for Middle Peninsula/Northern Neck Community Services Board on the Chesapeake Bay.
O’Connell joined the MHA Board upon retirement from her full-time position to continue the community work of advocating for mental health wellness, education, and training.
Stephen Coover has been a Bloomington resident since 1988. He is a Deputy Chief in Charge of
Community Risk Reduction for the Monroe Fire Protection District. He retired from the Bloomington Fire
Department after 25 years of service. Stephen is a Plans Manager for Indiana Task Force 1 FEMA USAR
Team. He is a graduate of Indiana University and of the Executive Fire Officer Program from the National
Stephen is also an Instructor for the United State Fire Administration-National Fire Academy, the
Indiana Department of Homeland Security as a Community Risk Reduction Subject Matter Expert, and an
Adjunct Instructor for Ivy Tech Community College. He has been a speaker at the International Fire
Department Instructors Conference, the IPDR4 Conference in Tel Aviv Israel, and a special lecturer in
Tokyo Japan regarding disaster planning. He received focused specialized training from the Homefront
Command National Rescue Unit since May of 2014.
Stephen joined the Board of Mental Health America of Monroe County in 2022 to complement his role
as the Deputy Chief of Community Risk Reduction, where all facets of community wellness are
addressed. This is not just fire prevention. Community Risk Reduction focuses on resiliency, which is
achieved through preparing, educating, and meeting all the physical and mental health needs prior
to the occurrence of an emergency event.
Nancy Hughes, LCSW
Nancy Hughes has been employed with Family Solutions in Bloomington, In since 1994. She has been
the Executive Director since 1997. Family Solutions expanded in 2015 and opened an office in Terre
Haute, In. Nancy earned her master’s degree in Social Work from IUPUI and is a Licensed Clinical
Social Worker. Prior to working at Family Solutions, she was a Juvenile Probation Officer for 8 years.
Over the years, Nancy has been involved in a variety of community and state organizations. Currently,
she is the chairperson of the Indiana Coalition of Family-Based Services and is the facilitator of the
Monroe County Fatality Review team. Nancy is a member of the Monroe County Child Protection Team,
a member of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (IARCA) and is on the Child
Welfare League of America National Commission Board. Nancy joined the Mental Health of America-
Monroe County board in 2022. Nancy is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with community
professionals as well as be a part of a group to assist in identifying the mental health needs of Monroe
County. Nancy currently lives in Bloomington with her children.
Dr. Sarah Ragonese, HSPP
Sarah is a Licensed Psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She has supported educators across the nation by providing in-depth trainings in the areas of Response-to-Intervention, Data-Based Decision Making, Culturally Responsive Practices, and Positive Behavior Supports. In addition to her role as an education consultant, Sarah has practiced as a school psychologist within MCCSC for over 13 years. Her areas of specialty include conducting comprehensive psychological evaluations, consulting with parents and schools regarding best practices for emotional and behavioral and academic supports, and providing short-term skills based training to children and their families. Sarah has years of experience working with clients with a variety of needs including Learning Disabilities, Autism, Depression, Anxiety, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, etc. In addition to her work as a school psychologist, Sarah also has her own private practice where she specializes on providing short-term skills-based counseling and education to children and families and conducting psychological assessments to children and adults in need and consults and collaborates with local mental health agencies. Sarah completed her graduate and post-graduate studies in School and Counseling psychology at Indiana University where she earned her Ph.D. and graduated with her B.S. in psychology from Tulane University. She joined the Mental Health America of Monroe County board in order to collaborate with other leaders in the field and advocate for increased access and quality of mental health services for those in need. Sarah lives in Bloomington with her five children and husband.
An artist and creator to the core, Chelsea Sanders is the visionary and co-founder of Be Golden. With 12 years under her belt as founder and Executive Creative Director of Blueline Media and owner of art gallery Untitled Light, Chelsea brings her artistic passion and entrepreneurial energy and spirit to Be Golden, helping women understand their self-worth and empower them to fulfill their most authentic lives. When she is not lifting other women up through her creative endeavors, she is motivating them on the cycling floor as an instructor at Bloomington-based Ethos Cycling. Chelsea Sanders serves on the board for Mental Health America of Monroe County in assisting with creative direction, marketing, design and managing web presence.
Michele Sims, MSN, RN
Michele has lived and worked in the Monroe County area for 26 years and has been a registered nurse for 22 years. She has degrees in Psychology and Nursing Leadership-Education and is taking online courses at IU in Nonprofit Leadership. Michele has worked as a bedside nurse, teacher and manager for IU Health for 20 years in the areas of OB and Pediatrics. She also has worked in an acute mental health facility in assessments and admissions. She has many volunteer roles including: Monroe County CASA (8 years), Treasurer of Monroe County CARES (4 years), Co-chair of the Monroe County Suicide Prevention Coalition (2019), and serving on the Child Protection Team for Department of Child Services (5 years). Michele is certified in mental health first aid, ASIST, LOSS, Safe Talk and is a a QRP Gatekeeper Instructor. She is motivated to create mental health education and the development of resources that help our community members seek and find wellness. Being on the board of MHA-MC gives her the opportunity to collaborate with people who want to make a difference, destigmatize mental health and inspire people to remain hopeful in the possibility of a greater tomorrow.
Melissa is the Senior Police Social Worker at Bloomington Police Department. She has worked in a variety of case management and therapy roles, working primarily with clients who had serious mental illness diagnoses, clients who had been involved in the legal system, and clients who had experienced sexual violence. Melissa currently works closely with community partners throughout Monroe County to connect people in crisis with long-term care options through brief case management and therapeutic interventions. She also supports BPD officers and employees and is trained in EMDR. Melissa joined the MHA board in 2021 after seeing the incredible need for easily accessible services for Monroe County residents, as well as the need for community partners to come together to make the changes needed in the community. Melissa lives in Monroe County with her husband and their dog, Millie.