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In this presentation, participants will learn about the role of clergy in suicide prevention in adolescents. Why an adolescent might become suicidal, as well as, how to respond to adolescents expressing suicidal thoughts will be discussed. Participants will learn how to effectively assess adolescents for suicidal risk, how to intervene, and work with parents to establish safety and seek additional support when necessary. Education on non-suicidal self-harm will be provided as well, including ways to assess, intervene, and work with parents. Suicide within a faith community and the role of the faith leader in comforting the family and congregation will also be discussed. Resources for referrals will be provided.


  • – Recognize the warning signs for suicide in adolescents.
  • – Learn how to assess adolescents for suicidal risk and respond appropriately.
  • – Learn ways to involve the family in intervention and treatment.
  • – Learn how to provide validation, empathy, and emotional support to adolescents expressing suicidal thoughts and/or engaging in non-suicidal self-harm.
  • – Gain a better understanding of suicidal thoughts and behavior from a spiritual perspective.


Learn more about The Menninger Clinic and their work with mental illness.

Learn more at Mental Health Gateway about the subject of suicide in regards to its characteristics, prevalence, age of onset, treatments, and support.


Check in will begin 15 minutes prior to the program beginning.  Due to video filming, late attendees will be asked to view the presentation in the Green Room.


The best way to locate our building is to search 5025 Riverway Drive, Houston TX 77056 in your GPS and it should take you to the corner adjacent to our building.

Due to ongoing construction in our area, please refer to our Designated Program Parking Areas map for directions on where to park. Designated parking areas will be highlighted in blue. Please do not park in the areas highlighted in red.

Click here for Designated Program Parking Areas map


Matthew S. Stanford, PhD
The Hope and Healing Center & Institute

Matthew S. Stanford, PhD is CEO of the Hope and Healing Center & Institute (HHCI) in Houston, TX and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and Houston Methodist Hospital Institute for Academic Medicine. Dr. Stanford’s research on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Christianity Today, and U.S. News & World Report.

Dr. Stanford earned his doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience at Baylor University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Professionally he has worked with a variety of mentally ill clients, including those with aggression, personality disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance dependence, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

As director of HHCI he writes, conducts training seminars, and serves individuals living with mental illness and their families. He is the author of three books, Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness, Revised and Expanded, The Biology of Sin: Grace, Hope, and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped, and Grace for the Children: Finding Hope in the Midst of Child and Adolescent Mental Illness.


Sonia Roschelli, LCSW, LCDC
The Menninger Clinic

Sonia is an addictions counselor who has expertise in co-occurring disorders, family therapy, group therapy, mentalization-based therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

She completed a two-year social work fellowship at Menninger on the Adolescent Treatment Program. Having earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Va., Sonia then earned a master’s degree in social work from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. A member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Houston Group Psychotherapy Society, she has given presentations about co-occurring disorders and teen depression, suicide and anxiety.


Lenni Marcus, LMSW
The Menninger Clinic

Lenni is a social worker with a particular interest in supporting “just” relationships in family therapy. She completed a social work fellowship at Menninger and year-long postgraduate internships at Walden Behavioral Care and Yale Child Study. Lenni earned her master’s degree from Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Mass. and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.

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