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Meet the Staff


CEO Ben Harrington, MA Ed, has worked in non-profit health for more than 30 years, including 26 years as the CEO of the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee. After 4 years in the chronic physical health arena, Ben moved to the Mental Health Association of Greater Knoxville which would later become the Mental Health Association of East Tennessee. The agency name was changed to serve persons from the Georgia to Virginia boarders and all communities in between. Switching jobs helped him realize how personally connected he is to mental health issues which affect so many. His passion to intervene earlier and in more impactful ways led to the creation of two of our signature programs – the Mental Health 101 program in Fall of 2000 and the Peer Recovery Call Center in 2013. Ben is married to Norma Harrington. They have two sons Donovan and Jackson and two “fur babies” Baxter Bugtussell (a Jack Russell) and Lady Violet (a Goldendoodle). He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Heidelberg University and a Master of Arts Degree in Education Counseling & Guidance from Bowling Green State University.

Director of Operations Linda Beaty has had the pleasure of working at MHAET for 20 years and has been married to the delight of her life for 46 years. In her time at MHAET, she has had the opportunity to see the birth of MHAET’s programs, Mental Health 101 and the Call Center, and the difference they can make in reducing stigma, and helping people enter and stay in treatment. She has enjoyed working with the amazing staff, board members, and volunteers. They care about people who are struggling short-term and those with mental illnesses. Linda earned a degree in Organizational Management from Tusculum University and although born in Georgia, after 41 years in East Tennessee is all Tennessean.

Screening Program Director Zhannae Cummings recently completed her Master’s degree in Public Health with a Community Health Education concentration and a Health Policy certificate at the University of Tennessee. Prior to moving to Knoxville for grad school, she completed her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and Secondary Education at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee. Zhannae is passionate about health equity and inclusivity, mental health, and overall wellness, with an emphasis on marginalized populations. She hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health in these communities and help them to get the help they need and is optimistic that her role in MHAET will allow her to do so. She finds the most joy traveling, going to concerts, working out and spending quality time with her people.

The Mental Health Association offers all services to eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin or disability.

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