Session Speakers



Recovery Support Systems Coordinator, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)

Amy Brinkley is a person with 13 years of direct lived experience with Mental Health and Substance Use recovery. Her passion and expertise are driven from the loss of three brothers to suicide and her mother to an overdose. Her heart is to advocate for change across the country through effective recovery data collection and evaluation processes that drive recovery-oriented outcomes which will in turn improve the quality of life and sustained recovery for people with substance use disorders and mental illness.

Professionally, Amy Brinkley served for (5) five years as the Director of Recovery Support Services in the state of Indiana with the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. She most recently served for 2 years as the Chairperson for NASMHPD's National Division of Recovery Support Services advocating for the professionalization of recovery supports across the country. Amy has also been a contributing author on several American Psychiatric Association Journals related to peer support through her work on the APA Policy Advisory Board and continues to serve in this capacity today. Currently Amy serves as NASMHPD’s (National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors) Recovery Support Systems Coordinator, is also a wife and mother to 4 children and resides in Indiana.


Amy Bechtol, M.A, M.S., C.P.R.S.

Amy Bechtol is the West Tennessee Faith-Based Community Coordinator with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services.  She works with the faith community across 20 counties building partnerships, raising awareness, and improving access to wellness and recovery resources.

Amy holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from East Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in social psychology from the University of Florida.  She has published peer-reviewed research articles in the area of health-related attitude and behavior change and remains passionately interested in change motivation and mental health-related stigma, especially in the faith community.

Amy’s heart is to facilitate grace wherever she goes.  She is a person in long-term recovery from alcohol addiction and co-occurring mental health diagnoses and is a TN Certified Peer Recover Specialist. She invites the communities of faith with whom she works to understand problem behaviors as a response to pain and through her own story of hope, she seeks to spread the word that recovery is possible for everyone.


Lisa Campbell Crawford is an educator, mother, minister and author. Currently, she is a Crisis Specialist and a Resource Center Coordinator. She is also the founder of Faith Enrichment Center, Inc.  By the Grace of God, she was able to survive her past as a product of foster care and its traumas. Today, her passion is to help others to become strong, well rounded, and holistically strong individuals.


Deven Hazelwood, MDiv., CPRS is a Peer Wellness Coach in the Upper East TN area with Frontier Health.  She was trained as a Pastor through Milligan College (Milligan University) and Emmanuel School of Religion (Emmanuel Christian Seminary), focusing on counseling.  She is ordained through the PC(USA), and still does some pulpit supply ministry.  As a Chaplain Resident at her local VA hospital, Deven discovered a passion for working with people with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.  She has also struggled with depression and anxiety through different seasons in her life (post-partum depression, chronic pain) and found her recovery through wellness.  Deven loves to learn and read so much she is a 1st year MSW student.  When she has time now, she loves to hike, camp, and spend time with her kids and partner.


Marta Hernandez-Fontenot is a native of the island of Puerto Rico who relocated to the United States at the age of 12. She learned about peer support in 2003 when she started seeking services to counterattack her mental health condition.  As the result of that experience, she started volunteering at the peer support center and later became the peer center’s supervisor. In 2013, she saw an opportunity and relocated to Memphis where she found employment under Alliance Healthcare Services as Turning Point Peer Support Center’s Supervisor. Since then, Marta has become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, served as Consumer Advisory Board Chair, member of Region VII Public & Policy Committee, Licensure Review Panel committee, Tennessee Association of Peer Specialists, Secretary of NAMI Memphis Board and has taught NAMI Basics, NAMI Family to Family, and through sharing her recovery story as an IOOV (In Our Own Voice) Presenter. Marta is also a certified Healing Arts Coach. Because of her personal experience with Mental health, she has helped many people accomplished their recovery goals through teaching WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), BRIDGES, NEW-R among some other trainings. Marta loves children and feels drawn to serve them in her community by providing arts and craft classes during the summer days and is the voice behind her Ministry Mujeres de Impulso (Women Moving Forward), empowering, educating, and encouraging women to overcome self-doubt, victimization and achieve their full potential.


Beverly Hensley is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with 20 years experience as a nurse.  She served for 15 years in mental health, crisis, detox, corrections, and trauma/PTSD education before founding Stephen's Recovery Ministry with her husband in 2015.  Ms. Hensley is a National Licensed Minister and Board Certified Professional and Pastoral Counselor. 


Dylan Johnson is a Tennessee Recovery Navigator with Volunteer Behavioral Health who works out of Cookeville Regional Medical Center in Putnam County providing peer support with patients who present to the Emergency Department following an overdose or as a result of substance use disorder. Dylan has been in recovery for the past four years and started working at New Leaf Recovery Center as a psychiatric technician in 2020 out of a desire to help peers start their own recovery journey. Since then, he has taken the position of Recovery Navigator where he has had the opportunity to interact with many facets of mental health and substance use treatment and prevention. He is also in the process of becoming a Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist and serving on the advisement board of the Addiction Prevention and Support Coalition at his local university.  When Dylan is not working, he enjoys his days as a student at Tennessee Tech University where he is continuing his education in a pre-medical track, and spending time with his family, pets, and friends in recovery.

Lynn Keck has been a CPRS working as a Peer Coordinator at the Hancock Co Peer support center for 5 years.  She was formerly a teacher in Claiborne County, TN and Pineville, KY.  She's been in recovery from Depression for 19 years and Alcohol Addiction for the past 10 Years.  She has two children who make her practice meditation (a lot) most days. Two farms where she gets to relax and name all the cow's adorable names, which makes her partner of 15 years utterly lost and scratching his head. LOL 

When Lynn isn't on the farm she likes to read, go to church, work with the University of Tennessee on the latest research on diabetes. and work with Rural health care to get access to the latest health care for expecting mothers and find the latest resources for the community in which she lives.


Kenneth Knight began his work as a peer with NAMI of Northern Virginia, completing training in their IOOV and Peer to Peer Wellness Courses. This work led him to a peer support position with the Merrifield Crisis Response Center in Fairfax, VA. During this time, Kenneth also began sharing his story with CIT classes for the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office. Kenneth then served as a residential tech on a CSU, later he moved onto a Recovery Coach Position for a community college. Kenneth currently works as a Harm Reduction Navigator with Knox County Health Department for The CDC Foundation.


Amy Lawrence, CPRS

Amy works with Tennessee Association of Alcohol, Drug & other Addiction Services (TAADAS) as a Redline/Clearing House Specialist and volunteers with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Tennessee in Robertson County as the affiliate leader. She is certified as a Co-Facilitator in WRAP, BRIDGES, and NAMI FAMILY-To-Family. She has 15 years of experience facilitating support groups. She continues to serve on active committees.

She is a member of the following organizations N.A.P.S. (National Association of Peer Supporters), TAPS (Tennessee Association of Peer Specialist), and The Copeland Center.

Amy has spoken to several groups and continues to present her story with 12 years of recovery with her drug addiction and mental health that began at the early at of 12. Her heart is to work with mental health as that contributed to her own drug addiction and desires to help others find what was the original root of their addiction.


Joseph Swinford

Joseph (Joe) Swinford has been with a leader in the mental health field for more than 25 years. He is currently the Director of Medicaid and Employment Programs for the Tennessee Mental health Consumers Association (TMHCA).  He has previously served as the Deputy Director of the NYS Office of Consumer Affairs, Director of the NYS Stakeholder Engagement for Office of Managed Care and Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.  Mr. Swinford has led efforts to promote develop new and innovative peer run programs as well as efforts to improve the quality existing programs.  He has also been a key figure in the development of programs for the Certification of Peer Specialist at both the state and national level.  In these certification efforts he has sought to emphasize the unique nature of “the shared personal experience paradigm” which is at the heart of successful peer to peer support.

 Prior to working in the mental health field, Mr. Swinford had distinguished career as a teacher and minister.   He began his work in community mental health as the founding director of Dakota Place Drop-In Center, in Cleveland TN prior to his work at TDMHSAS.   Mr. Swinford is a contributing author to the BRIDGES: Building Recovery in Individuals, Dreams and Goals through Education and Support program.

Mr. Swinford is recognized nationally as expert in many areas of mental health administration serving on numerous national boards and commissions as well as a frequent presenter and writer for consumer and professional organizations on the topics of such as recovery peer support, systems change, and managed behavioral health care.   He is a past president of the National Association of Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Administrators (NAC/SMHA), which represents OCA directors throughout the country.   He is also a former member of both the Board of Directors of Mental Health America and the American College of Mental Health Administration.


Miles Taylor, CPRS / WRAP Facilitator

Miles works at CADAS Treatment Center and is a TDOC Volunteer and staff member with the Hamiliton County Mental Health Court.  He works with clients on Parole and State Probation and coaches them in Relapse Prevention recovery and helps them set goals.  Miles says, "I would love to see more CPRS in the Mental Health Courts and the court system in general. It has shown to be very valuable in my area. As a peer and someone with Mental Health, it’s much easier for them to accept us and take suggestions, and I use all my tools I have learned over the years."