Self-harm and Suicide: Counselors, Ministers, and Chaplains Working Together

Self-harm and Suicide: Counselors, Ministers, and Chaplains Working Together

Self-harm and Suicide: Counselors, Ministers, and Chaplains Working Together

Self-harm and Suicide: Counselors, Ministers, and Chaplains Working Together

Self-harm and Suicide: Counselors, Ministers, and Chaplains Working Together

About the Speakers 


Christ-Centered Counseling Skills for Today’s Minister

January 28, 2022

Reports indicate that the number of people struggling with mental and emotional pain are at an all-time high leading to skyrocketing suicide rates and self-harm behaviors (non-lethal behaviors such as cutting, mutilation, and other forms of self-abuse) among all age groups. Few events impact relationships, a family, a church body, or a community like suicide and self-harm. For those in ministry and counseling, it is not a question of if but how often ministers and counselors interact with these individuals.

This unique conference will examine self-harm and suicide from the perspective of those in ministry and from the perspective of counselors who work with this population as well as those in the aftermath of suicide. The following questions will be addressed: What are the signs? What can I do to assess the level of danger? How do I help individuals considering harming themselves? What resources are available to me as I work with individuals?

We invite you to attend this conference to gain knowledge and skills in advancing your ministry or your practice in this all-important area. Content from this conference will benefit ministry personnel, counselors, social workers, chaplains, and medical personnel. We are confident that all who attend will benefit greatly.

In Person Registration closes January 24th


Time Session Speakers

There has been a rise in conversation about mental health in the past few years. Unfortunately, there has also been an increase in suicides and self-harming behaviors. The church and Christian community is not immune to these issues. We hear about more and more pastors and ministry leaders taking their life or finding themselves so burned out that they turn to unhealthy behaviors to ease their pain, their depression and their anxiety. It is important that Christian believers and the universal church join in on this conversation. It is vital that we acknowledge mental illness as a holistic issue and not solely a spiritual one. We need to become educated and equipped to come alongside issues surrounding depression, self-harm and suicide.

Krissie Lain Garland grew up in ministry as a pastor’s kid and served in pastoral ministry alongside her husband for 8 years. Krissie has been a Licensed Professional Counselor for ten years, but became more active in advocating for those who battle mental illness after her husband was diagnosed with clinical depression, anxiety, addiction and bipolar. As the keynote speaker, Krissie will share about the years they silently struggled with these illnesses, all while serving in full-time ministry. Through her experiences, she recognized that there is a desperate need for local churches to be on the front lines of these issues and to partner with mental health professionals to serve the countless number of people carrying these things day to day.

Krissie Garland
10:00am—10:50am Breakout Session #1

In the pressures and stresses of college years, many young people struggle with emotions, self-concept, and identity. During these years, it is not unusual for a person to experience thoughts of self-harm or to be more actively suicidal. For those who work with college-age individuals, how do these processes take place? And when a person of this age struggles with self-harm thoughts or suicidal behaviors, how do counselors and ministers address these processes?

Jordan Davis

Helping those who contemplate ending their lives begins with an accurate assessment of the lethality of the intent. This workshop explores foundational skills in recognizing and understanding the risk of those who are in a suicidal frame of mind.

Matt Sessoms
11:00am—11:50am Breakout Session #2

Since the pandemic there has been a rise in the number of children who are exhibiting self-harm behaviors. This workshop will explore current trends in self-harm among children and provide information on how counselors and ministers can respond.

Wes Cunningham

This workshop is designed to help navigate through the extremely murky waters of a completed suicide. Responding to family members and close friends in the immediate aftermath of a completed suicide challenges the most seasoned counselor, minister, and chaplain. Dr. Burgin will address the questions of what to do and say, how to bring comfort and help those left behind.

Rick Burgin
Noon—12:50pm Panel Discussion
Ministers and Counselors Discuss the Suicide and Self-Harm Crisis

(Lunch Provided for In Person)

Krissie Garland
Carroll Marr
Doug McPherson
Mentanna Campbell

Cutting and related self-harm behavior is common among pre-teens, teens, and young adults. What drives this behavior and how does it get expressed? This session will consider issues of self-harm and cutting in teens and how the counselor or minister can respond to help the young individual who is struggling in this particular manner.

Becky Schwartz
2:00pm—2:50pm Breakout Session #3

This session deals with the reality of mental health struggles that can result in self-harm thoughts or suicidal actions, even for people of faith. Counselors and ministry leaders need to be aware of the breadth of this problem—how often it occurs—and the depth of the problems—what factors might contribute to a person experiencing struggles of this nature. Specifically, we will be identifying the types of beliefs and messages communicated in faith communities that can exacerbate these struggles. Our willingness to acknowledge what takes place among church members and within our communities will inform us of how to address these issues.

Mentanna Campbell

Suicide in teens is the second leading cause of death in people ages 12-18. While the topic of suicide is daunting, there are things we can look at as ministry personnel and counseling professionals that will help us approach these issues with teens in a positive and helpful way. We will look at warning signs and risk factors and address the “do’s and don’ts” of helping adolescents who are suicidal.

Rachel Armstrong

Based on the sessions in this conference, what are the things that counselors and ministers need to take with them in order to be most effective in helping others? In this session, Dr. Floyd will share from his personal experience and will wrap up the session with key concepts which are important for effective ministry and counseling.

Scott Floyd

* Available for In Person only


Guest Speakers

Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong, MA, LPC

Rachel Armstrong is a Licensed Professional Counselor in DFW specializing in depression and anxiety in adolescents, college-aged and young adults. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Baylor University in 2010, and later went on to receive her Master’s degree in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2014. For the past seven years she has worked at a private Christian counseling practice in Grapevine and loved her time serving that community. In the Fall of 2021 she started her role as the Social & Emotional Counselor for the Upper School at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison where she is able to expand her reach in helping teens understand mental health.

Dr. Rick Burgin

Dr. Rick Burgin, LPC

Dr. Rick Burgin is the Director of the Counseling Services at Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex, a 501(c)(3) faith-based organization located in Arlington, Texas. In addition to 30 years in this role, he is a Licensed Professional Counselor, an Adjunct Professor at Dallas Baptist University, and, since 2009, a volunteer law enforcement Chaplain with the Arlington Police Department. In his current role as Department Chaplain, Dr. Burgin focuses on the emotional, mental, and spiritual health of the sworn officers and non-sworn personnel. Dr. Burgin specializes in crisis intervention, crisis counseling, trauma, grief and loss, and in working with underserved populations.

Dr. Mentanna Campbell

Dr. Mentanna Campbell, LPC

Mentanna Campbell, PhD, is a licensed professional counselor and provides a wide range of counseling services for individuals, couples and families. In addition to seeing clients, Mentanna is an adjunct professor at Texas Christian University and B. H. Carroll. Her primary area of research focuses on the resolution of religious and spiritual struggles within the context of counseling. When not working, Mentanna loves to spend time exploring the great outdoors with her husband and two teenage sons.

Wesley B. Cunningham

Wesley B. Cunningham, MA, LCPAA, LPC-Associate

Wesley B. Cunningham, MA, LCPAA, LPC-Associate has worked at ACH Child and Family Services for over 22 years with children and youth in residential, treatment, and counseling settings. Wes also sees youth and families at Promises Community Ministry in Burleson. Wes enjoys the work of seeking to impact families and youth in the metroplex. In addition, Wes enjoys watching soccer and playing soccer with old people.

Dr. Jordan Davis

Dr. Jordan Davis, LPC-S

Jordan Davis, Ph.D., LPC-S, currently serves as the Director of Counseling and Spiritual Care, and Assistant Professor of Counseling, at Dallas Baptist University. Dr. Davis began his service at DBU in 2016. Prior to his current position, Dr. Davis worked as a therapist and Outpatient Clinical Director at Meier Clinic in Richardson, Texas for eight years. Dr. Davis completed a Master of Arts in Counseling degree at DBU and a Ph.D. in Counselor Supervision and Education at Texas A&M-University Commerce. Dr. Davis has co-authored several publications, including Self-Injury and the Use of Behavioral Interventions: A Synthesis of Single Case Studies, The Biblical Practice of Lament: Implications for Therapy, and the soon-to-be-released book, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Perspectives on Costly Leadership. Dr. Davis lives in Midlothian with his wife Caitie, his children Jace, Caroline, and Charley, and their beloved boxer Daphne.

Dr. Scott Floyd

Dr. Scott Floyd, LPC-S, LMFT

Dr. Floyd is a Licensed Professional Counselor (Approved Supervisor) and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He leads the counseling ministry of Gambrell Street Baptist Church. In addition to professional memberships in the American Association of Christian Counselors and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, he authored Crisis Counseling: A Guide for Pastors and Professionals (Kregel Academic & Professional).

Scott Floyd earned M.A.M.F.C. and Ph.D. degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Fort Worth, TX), with additional study toward the M.Div.B.L. degree. Prior to his 2010 appointment to Carroll Institute, he taught for twenty years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was Professor of Psychology and Counseling (2008-2010). He also served as Assistant Professor of Psychology at Howard Payne University (1988-90). Dr. Floyd taught courses at the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary, Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, in 1995, 1998, and 2003.

Dr. Floyd and his wife Molly have four children: Arie, Micah, Jilli, and Macy.

Krissie Garland

Krissie Garland, MA, LPC

Krissie Lain Garland is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas. She holds a Master of Arts Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Krissie is a Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, Certified Addictions Specialist, and a Certified Life Coach.

Krissie was born and raised in Texas. She currently resides in Tyler with her two children, Joah and Selah. For over ten years, Krissie has counseled with people of all ages and from all different backgrounds, and has extensive experience working in ministry and with ministry leaders. After her husband died suddenly in 2019, Krissie has focused her work on partnering with local churches and ministries around the world to help educate others in understanding mental illness in a biblical and practical way. She works for a national ministry organization called Care for Pastors. Care for Pastors provides resources, counseling, and comprehensive care to pastoral families.

Along with counseling, Krissie has recently co-authored a book entitled, “Open Letters to Our Fellow Fighters: How the Gospel Brings Hope to Anxiety and Depression.” She also serves as a public speaker as well as an advocate for those struggling in silence from mental illness.

Dr. Carroll Marr

Dr. Carroll Marr

Dr. Carroll Marr has served as the Senior Pastor of Southcliff Baptist Church since 1998. He and his wife Tanya came to Southcliff from their hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and have been married for 41 years. They are both very active, love biking and hiking, and are regulars at their gym. Carroll is known for his ability to tell a good story.

Dr. Doug McPherson

Dr. Doug McPherson

Dr. Doug McPherson is the lead pastor of Mayfield Road Baptist Church. He holds a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry in New Testament Context from Northern Seminary. Doug and his wife, Rebekah have three sons and are self-proclaimed gym rats. Doug enjoys working out, spending time with his family, and drinking good coffee.

Becky Schwartze

Becky Schwartze, MA, LPC

Becky Schwartze is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Master’s degree in Counseling from Dallas Baptist University. She currently has a private practice in Southlake, Texas. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Baylor University.

Becky has experience working with young adults, couples, and families and has been a licensed therapist for over five years. She began her career providing individual counseling to young adults and families at a local domestic abuse shelter. She now owns and operates a private practice by the name of Hopeful Hearts Counseling.

Her areas of expertise include trauma, depression, grief, anxiety, boundaries, self-esteem, communication issues, stress, family/relationship issues, and personal growth. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of trauma. She is certified in Cognitive Reprocessing Training (CPT), and she is certified to provide pre-marital and marital counseling through the Prepare/Enrich program. She also provides Christian counseling based on Biblical values.

Matt Sessoms

Matt Sessoms, MA, LCP, LMFT, CST

Matt Sessoms is licensed in Texas as a Professional Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist. He holds certification from the American Board of Christian Sex Therapists as a Certified Sex Therapist. His goal as a counselor is to assist clients in navigating and overcoming the distress they experience in their personal and interpersonal lives. Matt is the owner of, and practitioner at YADA Family Counseling in Fort Worth, where he counsels both individuals and couples in healing the brokenness experienced in their lives. Prior to private practice, Matt worked at MHMR in Tarrant County conducting adolescent services, and then forensic services in Tarrant County Jail.


Southcliff Baptist Church

Southcliff Baptist Church

4100 SW Loop 820
Fort Worth, TX 76019