SPRINGFIELD — The new CEO of the Mental Health and Recovery Board of Clark, Greene and Madison Counties has a full plate already as she steps into the role. But even with challenges ahead both organizationally and culturally, Greta Mayer isn’t shying away from addressing those issues.
Even in a field that offers many difficulties – most notably, growing opiate addiction trends – Mayer keeps coming back to help people.
“Everyone has an opportunity, I think, to lead a healthy, happy life, so I think being a part of that and helping people get there is really rewarding for me personally,” she said. “It takes a team to do it, so I enjoy working as a team to accomplish that.”
Mayer, who has been on staff with the board for the last eight years, was named the board’s CEO at the end of 2015 after the its previous CEO, Dr. Kent Youngman, announced his retirement.
In her new position, she’ll still be working to support those individuals who she worked with directly in previous roles, but in a new way, with a chance to help more of them. As CEO, she’ll supervise more of the MHRB’s overall objectives.
“The reason I moved from direct clinical service to that of a position which could influence policy and funding, was to focus on the larger environment or system which could cultivate greater change for more individuals,” she wrote in an email. “That was what drew me to working for the MHRB and to my current role. It’s really important to work one family at a time, but I’ve become more passionate about creating nurturing communities that promote help-seeking and help more people connect to something healthy and positive.”
Mayer graduated from Wittenberg University with a degree in psychology before going on to graduate school at the University of Dayton, where she studied clinical psychology. Mayer then went on to complete doctorate work in counseling at the University of Cincinnati.
According to Mayer, it was in internships during those years that she first felt that she was where she needed to be in her career: “I think it is when hearing from young people and their parents years later from when I worked with them, about the how well they were doing,” she wrote. “For example, maybe they were getting better grades, joined a team and excelled as an athlete, or maybe they were getting along better with family members. So knowing that I was someone who helped them move forward in achieving their goals, was an awesome feeling.”
While the specifics of her work have changed since those first few years in public health, her motivation is still the same: seeing people grow.
“Goes back to the feeling that there’s strength in everyone, those that maybe don’t realize the strength that they have or the resilience that they have and just with a little bit of support and treatment … they can move forward,” she said. “…When I was able to see that working with kids and families, I think that’s kind of when you see people heal and have hope and be able to thrive, that to me is really rewarding.”