Hope and Healing: Responding to Mental Health Issues in Youth and Young Adults

March 17, 2021 - April 7, 2021
March 17, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Session 1 on mental health basics in working with youth and young adults. Focus: equipping the minister. March 24 and April 7, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Sessions 2 and 3: Soul Shop will provide additional optional training. Focus: addressing mental illness as a community. You can register for either Session 1 OR Sessions 1, 2, and 3 (Registration for the Optional Sessions automatically includes registration for Session 1.)

This program will provide participants with the tools they need to offer spiritual care more effectively to youth and young adults affected by mental illness and mental health issues. Emphasis will be given to responding to issues, distributing resources, and inviting greater hospitality to and destigmatizing those with mental illness. Session 1 will focus on the skills of the individual minister; sessions 2 and 3 will look at addressing mental illness within the faith community and include additional Soul Shop suicide prevention training. Objectives for these sessions are:

  • Session 1: Learn how to distinguish spiritual care from mental health services; develop a “toolbox” for effectively addressing mental illness in youth and young adults.
  • Sessions 2 and 3: Soul Shop suicide prevention and wellness training, designing a community-based initiative to address mental illness among youth and young adults in your community. Limited to 20 participants. If you register for Sessions 2 and 3, please be sure that you can attend all three classes in full.


Michelle Snyder serves as the director of Soul Shop. She began to partner with Fe Anam Avis, the founder of Soul Shop, in 2014, eventually bringing it under the wing of the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute and then taking it independent in 2017 in order to expand it into a national ministry. Together Michelle and Fe wrote a book, Life, Death, and Reinvention: The Gift of the Impossibly Messed-Up Life, a book on the process of transformation for those who come to the other side of suicidal desperation. She has dual training in mental health (Masters in Social Work, Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and theology (Masters in Divinity). Among her other professional hats are congregational consulting with Crow’s Feet Consulting and Holy Cow Consulting and clergy coaching.

REGISTRATION – Deadline: March 11, 2021

Both sessions are free and open to all pastoral leaders thanks to a gracious grant from The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Registration is required to participate in either option.  We will e-mail Zoom links approximately a week before the start date of the series. Those who register for the Sessions 2 and 3 will automatically be registered into Session 1.

0.3 Continuing Education Units for each of the three sessions are available upon request. E-mail the Office of Continuing Education if you would like a certificate for CEUs.