Julie joined Mental Health America in Sheboygan as Executive Director in 2018. She defines her 25-year career as a gift to serve others. She is an advocate for highlighting social determinants of health relating to barriers for access to care. She is dedicated to implementing stigma reduction and social inclusion strategies and strives every day in her work to normalize the conversation surrounding our mental wellness.
Her experience in the non-profit sector reflects her diverse background working with individuals across the lifespan. As Director of Education at Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies, she developed and implemented programs for maternal and child health promotion. With FEMA, Julie developed intervention strategies, highlighting her expertise in crisis intervention and bereavement to communities affected by natural disasters. As Program Manager for the Girl’s Advocacy Project, she provided advocacy and group facilitation for incarcerated girls. At the Department of Defense, she managed all aspects of the Army National Guard Suicide Prevention Program for New York State. As a Public Health Strategist for the health department, she implemented mental health initiatives for neighboring counties. In all her positions, she collaborates closely with local government agencies, community partners, and key stakeholders.
In 2018, she received the Award of Excellence in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, for her work with the “Cultivate Mental Wellness Model” from the Wisconsin Public Health Association. She was recognized at the national level and presented at the National American Public Health Association Conference in San Diego.
Her passion for serving vulnerable populations and the health and wellness of communities at large led her to earn her degree in Community Health Education at Hunter College in NYC. She holds certifications in suicide prevention as a Master ASIST Trainer – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Trainer. She also holds certifications in Bereavement Counseling, Field Traumatologist, and Health Education Specialist.
Julie will tell you she is most passionate about people sharing their stories and assisting them in revealing their strengths to live their best life.
Julie resides in Sheboygan Falls with her husband Todd and their children Sam, Malayna, and Simone. In her free time, she enjoys grounding herself in nature, live music, and playing wildly competitive board games with her family.
For my mental health, I connect with my mind through music and nature. Both are universal in connecting people together to enjoy the free gifts of life. They are the language of our spirit. –Julie L. Preder