Faith & Action Spring Conference

March 9, 2022

Faith & Action Spring Conference:

Poverty and Mental Health

Join faith leaders, lay leaders, activists and groups from Central Indiana’s nonprofit sector to “Push Back Poverty” at the Faith & Action Project’s seventh annual spring conference on March 9. This year’s event puts a spotlight on a key factor in generational poverty: mental health. Through candid and informative conversations, we will seek to destigmatize mental health and equip congregations, organizations and individuals to come alongside those who fight twin battles against poverty and mental health.

Register and join us March 9 as we address questions such as: How can faith communities respond more effectively to mental health challenges? How can nonprofit and faith organizations partner with established initiatives to address poverty and mental health? How do we recognize and respond to trauma? How can we increase accessibility and scale up successful solutions?

Keynote Speaker

Schroeder Stribling

“My wish for every American would be to feel love for an unlikely other. Imagine the power of millions of hearts unleashed in empathy. Just imagine the change, just imagine the good that would come from that.”

That is the vision cast by Schroeder Stribling, President and CEO of Mental Health America. Join us at the Faith & Action Project Spring Conference to learn how Stribling would suggest we put this kind of empathy into action. She’ll also share the virtue of breaking down barriers and exercising radical empathy.

Stribling is a lifelong social justice advocate with over 20 years of experience managing organizations focused on mental health, homelessness, poverty, and racial justice. Prior to joining Mental Health America, Stribling was the CEO at N Street Village, a nonprofit providing housing support services for women and families in Washington, DC.  Throughout her career, Stribling has seen firsthand the relationship between poverty and mental health.

Stribling received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College, a master’s in social work from Smith College School for Social Work, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. She speaks and writes frequently on topics related to mental health and racial and economic equity.

Moderated Conversation

Schroeder Stribling and Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund

9:40-10:10 a.m. – Shelton Auditorium

Schroeder Stribling

Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund

After the keynote, Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund sits down with Schroeder Stribling to informally discuss how faith communities can more effectively address mental health. Specifically, they’ll talk about:

  • How best to educate our congregation around mental health
  • Outreach solutions that can integrate into what you are already doing
  • How schools can be informed on mental health to support families more effectively
  • How faith communities can help youth with trauma or behavioral health challenges
  • What to do when prayer isn’t enough for the individual

Panel Discussions

Panel 1

Reducing the Stigma

10:40 a.m. -12 p.m. – Shelton Auditorium


  • Tangible ways each one of us can reduce the stigma of mental health
  • The Indianapolis Colts Kicking the Stigma campaign
  • Naming the stigma that exists
Panel 2

Scalable Solutions and Increasing Accessibility

2-3 p.m. – Shelton Auditorium


  • Solutions for dealing with trauma and creating lanes for support
  • Identifying barriers and solutions to reduce gaps and increase accessibility
  • A framework for churches to integrate a therapeutic approach with spiritual formation
  • Addressing barriers to access, gaps in mental health care, and the workforce shortage

Meet Our Moderator

Jay Hein, president of Sagamore Institute, will serve as the moderator for both panel discussions.

Hein cofounded the think tank in 2004. He also serves as managing director of an impact investing vehicle called Commonwealth. Sagamore serves as the operating platform for the Indiana Lt Governor’s Mental Health Roundtable, and Commonwealth has made investments in multiple companies advancing mental health solutions. Previously, Hein served as Deputy Assistant to President Bush and Director of White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. In this capacity, he advised the President and oversaw the implementation of a “determined attack on need” with staff at a dozen cabinet agencies. Hein is the author of The Quiet Revolution: An Active Faith That Transforms Lives and Communities, which was commissioned by Amazon to help launch its new faith-based division.

Meet our Panelists and Speakers

Dr. Matthias Beier

Dr. Matthias Beier is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Mental Health Counseling at CTS. A nationally certified and New York state licensed psychoanalyst, Beier received his training in psychoanalysis at the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis, New York, of which he is a member. A Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, he currently serves as Chair of the Association’s Leadership Development Committee. Clinically, Beier works as a psychoanalyst and pastoral psychotherapist with individuals, couples, and families. Matthias Beier is the author of A Violent God-Image: An Introduction to the Work of Eugen Drewermann (Continuum 2004, 2006), and has published articles in The Psychoanalytic Review, Pastoral Psychology, Tikkun Magazine, and the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion.

Dr. Jacqui Braeger

Dr. Jacqui Braeger is Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy and Director of Residents at CTS. Braeger is a dedicated educator, trainer & writer, bringing over 25 years of experience as a catalyst for targeted growth among students, clients, and organizations. Braeger is a faculty member teaching strength-based couple and family systems approaches in counseling at CTS. As an independent consultant, she has thrived in helping organizations apply current research with best practice models to attain superior clinical outcomes and bolster professional career satisfaction. The memorable experience and privilege of living and working overseas enabled Dr. Braeger to facilitate successful cultural adaptation among military personnel and their family members.

Jay Chaudhary

Jay Chaudhary (JD 2009) is the director for the Division of Mental Health and Addiction with the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Prior to joining the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, he served as managing attorney and director of Medical Legal Partnerships for Indiana Legal Services. Chaudhary holds an undergraduate degree from Ball State University. During his time with Indiana Legal Services, Chaudhary developed a medical-legal partnership between Indiana Legal Services and Eskenazi Midtown Community Mental Health Center that began on a part-time basis and later turned it into a full-time, multi-lawyer program. For his dedication to this partnership, Chaudhary received the Innovation Award from ARC of Indiana. In 2015, the partnership between Indiana Legal Services and Eskenazi Midtown Community Mental Health Center received the Outstanding Medical Legal Partnership award from the National Center for Medical Legal Partnership. Chaudhary is the chair of the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission. In 2020, Chaudhary was a recipient of the Maurer School of Law’s Young Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

Rev. Dr. Suzanne Coyle

Rev. Dr. Suzanne Coyle is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy and Director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at CTS. Coyle blends her commitment to ongoing personal and professional formation through her involvement in the Indiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy of which she is a past president and the Board of Directors for Appalachian Educational Resource Center. Her research interests include ministry and culture in Appalachia, spiritual narratives, and learning outcome measures. Coyle has published articles and book chapters in peer reviewed publications. She is the author of Restorying Your Faith, which uses spiritual narratives as a spiritual practice, and Uncovering Spiritual Narratives: Using Story in Pastoral Care and Ministry.

Rev. Dr. Christina Jones Davis

Rev. Dr. Christina Jones Davis is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy at CTS. Davis’ research and teaching interests focus on spiritually integrated counseling, substance abuse and addiction treatment, and relational psychoanalytic theory and self-state multiplicity among women of color. Prior to joining CTS, Dr. Davis accumulated a decade of experience in pastoral care and counseling. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Georgia and is an active member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, the Society of Pastoral Theology, and the American Association for Pastoral Counseling.

Dr. Dwight Holland

Dr. Dwight Holland is a humanitarian, philanthropist, business owner and psychotherapist with many years of experience working collaboratively with community businesses, churches, and mental health agencies. He is an agency leader with Family and Community Partners, Family and Community Connection, Family Community Solution, and Healthy Family Advocates. He earned his BA degree in Psychology and Religious Studies from Martin University and his Master’s degree in Psychotherapy and Faith, with a concentration in clinical diagnoses and therapy, and his honorary Doctor of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary. Holland’s passion is to address the soul wounds, spiritual and emotional needs of its members and the community.

Dr. Leslie A. Hulvershorn

Dr. Leslie A. Hulvershorn is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Interim Co-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and also Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Hulvershorn completed her MD an an academic track residency in General Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine, as well as a two-year research track Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at New York University. The recipient of multiple grants to study the neurobiological basis of emotion regulation and addiction risk in children, Hulvershorn is an active researcher and clinician and has authored numerous publications on various topics in child psychiatry. She is a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and has been boarded in Addiction Medicine since 2012.

Dr. Felicity Kelcourse

Dr. Felicity Kelcourse is Associate Professor of Clinical Health Counseling and Psychology of Religion at CTS. She is a Clinical Member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Her research considers pastoral theological approaches to healing and personal transformation as aspects of redemption and fruits of discernment. Her ministry includes pastoral psychotherapy and spiritual direction working with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Kelcourse has published articles in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, Encounter, Chaplaincy Today, and The Living Pulpit, as well as chapters in numerous books. Kelcourse is also the editor and author of several chapters in Human Development and Faith: Life-Cycle Stages of Body, Mind and Soul (Chalice Press, 2004).

Kalen Jackson

Kalen Jackson is entering her tenth season as vice chair/owner, Indianapolis Colts.

Jackson joined the team in 2010 as vice president and, along with sisters Carlie Irsay-Gordon and Casey Foyt, represents the next generation of Colts ownership. Like her sisters, she grew up with the Colts organization as a significant part of her life since birth.

Jackson graduated with honors in 2010 from Indiana University’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation with a bachelor’s degree in sports management and marketing. On a daily basis, she is involved in corporate sales and community outreach and currently serves on the board of the United Way of Central Indiana. Jackson coordinates the Irsay family’s philanthropic and charitable efforts, is president of the Indianapolis Colts Women’s Organization and represents the team at NFL Owners Meetings.

In 2016, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed her to the league’s Employee Benefits Committee. As the youngest member of the committee, Jackson is responsible for administering club and league benefit plans, including plan design and amendment, benefit and administrative expense payments and employee eligibility issues.

She was born and resides in Indianapolis with her husband, Boyd Jackson, and their two daughters.

Aaron Lane

Aaron Lane is co-founder of Courageous Healing, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization specializing in culturally-centered mental health services and supports, and Courageous Living, LLC, specializing in culturally-competent consulting services. Aaron holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Tech University and a Master’s in Social Work, from Indiana University. Integrating his passion for personal and professional development and systemic change, Aaron enjoys advocating for policy change to address systemic barriers while helping heal individuals and families. He has a vast knowledge-base comprised of certifications in Emotional Intelligence, Lominger, DISC, MBTI and a variety of other trainings.

Janell Lane

Janell Lane is co-founder of Courageous Healing, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization specializing in culturally-centered mental health services and supports, and Courageous Living, LLC, specializing in culturally-competent consulting services. Janell is an EMDR trained, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, with over 13 years of experience. Janell is a dynamic counselor, presenter, speaker, community activist, and trainer with a unique way of relating information. Janell is deeply rooted in equity work and understanding systemic barriers, which has led to a passion for program development, community impact, and social entrepreneurship.

Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund

Rev. Dr. Sarah Lund is an ordained minister in both the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. She holds degrees from Trinity University (BA), Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv), Rutgers University (MSW), and McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin). Lund currently serves as Minister for Disabilities and Mental Health Justice on the national staff of the UCC. In January, Sarah joined the US Department of Health and Human Services national Think Tank about faith communities and youth mental health. She is the author of: Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family, and Church (2014), Blessed Union: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness and Marriage (2021), Blessed Youth: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness with Children and Teens (2022), and Blessed Youth Survival Guide (2022).

Rev. Dr. Nicole Robertson

Rev. Dr. Nicole Robertson is Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Director of Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at CTS. Robertson is a nationally certified counselor and Maryland State Board Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Her research and teaching interests include spiritually integrated counseling, religiousness and spirituality in the African American community, African American’s amenability to mental health therapy, and an exploration and examination coping strategies employed when psychological distress is encountered among African Americans. In her recent dissertation study, she examined the impact of Religiousness, Spirituality, and Africultural Coping among African Americans when encountering psychological distress.

Bryan Votaw

Bryan Votaw is is the Clinic Director at the CTS Counseling Center and has served in that role since March of 2020.  He is an alum of Christian Theological Seminary, graduating with a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling in May of 2013.  He is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the State of Indiana, a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the State of Michigan, and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) through the Center for Credentialing and Education.  Bryan has post-graduate training in Object Relations Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Supervision and serves on the Faculty of the Indianapolis Chapter of the International Psychotherapy Institute.  Bryan has worked in outpatient community mental health settings working with children, adolescents, teenagers, and adults of all ages.  He currently provides clinical supervision to Interns in CTS’s clinical degree programs and to Residents in CTS’s Post-Graduate Residency Program and also maintains a private practice.

Linda Williams

Linda Williams is Program Director for NAMI Indiana assists the 15 local affiliates in Indiana with NAMI signature programs. After taking part in one of NAMI’s signature programs, Linda became interested in being trained to volunteer as a leader for NAMI’s Evidence based Family-to-Family education class. The importance of that class guided her into a new career. She joined the NAMI Indiana staff in 2010 and now works closely with volunteer leaders around the state. She recruits, trains, and motivates members to become active volunteers, leaders and advocates. Her lived experience has made her very passionate about the mission of NAMI which is to improve the quality of life for persons who are affected by mental illness by providing education, support, advocacy, and promoting research.

Breakout Sessions

Where does Mental Health Show Up and How Can We Respond?

12:40-1:40 p.m.

Pick one of the following breakout sessions to attend. Participants will discuss how mental health is showing up in their settings and talk about tangible actions they can take next.

Breakout Session #1: Next Steps
Room 180

Discussion led by Jacquie Braeger, Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, Director of Residents Program and Christina Davis, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and Family Therapy

Breakout Session #2: Stigma to Compassion
Shelton Auditorium

Discussion led by Matthias Beier, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Mental Health Counseling

Breakout Session #3: Re-Presenting Healing
Common Room

Discussion led by Aaron and Janell Lane of Courageous Healing, Inc.

Breakout Session #4: Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos

Discussion led by Felicity Kelcourse, Associate Professor of Clinical Health Counseling and Psychology of Religion.

Breakout Session #5: Mental Health and Family Life

Discussion led by Suzanne Coyle, Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Marriage and family Therapy, Director of Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

Grants Process Kicks Off

The Faith & Action Project is looking for the next cohort of poverty-fighting innovators that will receive Faith & Action Grants. Applications for 2022 Faith & Action Grants will be available in late March and due in May.

The 2022 Faith & Action Grants Program will award grants to initiatives effectively mitigating poverty, with special consideration given to those efforts that expand access to mental health services for people living in or on the cusp of poverty.

Please note: Organizations planning to apply for a Faith & Action grant are strongly encouraged to attend the Faith & Action Spring Conference.

Faith & Action Project Grant Program

CTS, with support from the Mike and Sue Smith Family Fund, has created the Faith & Action Project to inspire collaboration among faith communities, nonprofits and government agencies in order to reduce poverty in the city. One of the primary ways we do that is through our annual grant program.

Learn more

Thanks to Our Conference Sponsor

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