Course: Ministering to Those Impacted by Suicide
Ministering to Those Impacted by Suicide
Victor Armstrong & Michelle Snyder, Soul Shop
April 15, 22, 29 and May 6th 11:00 am-1:00 pm EST
The word suicide is scary for some, heart-wrenching for others and all too familiar for too many. It is estimated that 50% of individuals in any congregation have been impacted by suicide in some way. Many in ministry feel in over their heads when called upon to respond to any suicide-related crisis, whether acute or chronic. This training will take a deep dive into the topic; it will increase awareness of the impacts of suicide, teach practical tools for responding appropriately and sufficiently in times of suicidal need, and expand the thinking of leaders about how churches and organizations can proactively address the hopelessness and isolation that contribute to suicidality.
Victor Armstrong joined the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as Vice President for Health Equity and Engagement in June of 2023, with responsibility for providing clinical and equity expertise across the organization’s clinical, policy, and communications departments. Prior to this role, Victor served as Chief Health Equity Officer of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, with responsibility for leading the overarching strategy and operational goals to promote health equity, diversity, and inclusion across all the agency’s health and human services. Victor originally joined North Carolina DHHS as Director of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, Substance Abuse Services in March of 2020, with responsibility and oversight of the public community-based mental health, intellectual and other developmental disabilities, substance use, and traumatic brain injury system in North Carolina. Victor is the son of a pastor and a firm believer that the Black church is the gateway to the Black community, and the key to creating “soul safe” communities. He is a nationally recognized speaker on issues regarding health equity and access to healthcare, particularly as it relates to individuals living with mental health challenges, and the role of the faith community in addressing our nation’s mental health crisis.
Michelle Snyder has been a member of the Soul Shop team since its foundation in 2014. With a degree in social work and theology, Michelle is well-suited for her role as primary Soul Shop presenter and faith community specialist. She has presented Soul Shop in 37 states and four countries, and has been a speaker at a number of national and state-level conferences. She is the co-author of the book Life, Death, and Reinvention: The Gift of the Impossibly Messed-Up Life. In addition to her suicide prevention work, she is a mental health therapist, an executive leadership coach, a church consultant, a mother of two teenage daughters and a pastor’s spouse.