holding hands

Note from Training Organizers: We wanted to reach out to you during this difficult and uncertain time as the health and safety of you, your families and the wider community is of the utmost importance. Due to the increasing urgency of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we have made the decision to postpone the training Soul Shop: Equipping Faith Communities to Minister to Suicidal Desperation in Fargo-Moorhead (October 26) and in Bismarck-Mandan (0ctober 28).

We have rescheduled Soul Shop: Equipping Faith Communities to Minister to Suicidal Desperation to the following dates: 

  • Fargo-Moorhead: Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 8:30 – 4:30 p.m.  
  • Bismarck-Mandan: Thursday, May 5, 2022, 8:30 – 4:30 p.m.  

Your registration will automatically be rolled over to the new dates in May unless you cancel. If you choose to cancel, AFSP will refund your registration fee of $25.00. Please email Samantha Christopherson for a registration refund. schristopherson@afsp.org  We ask that you cancel by April 1, 2022.  

If you plan to attend in May, you will receive information about the location and details a few months prior to the event. Please take this opportunity to invite others to Soul Shop in May of 2022.  

Suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death in the Dakotas and across the United States. As the death rates continue to rise, limited access to behavioral health services is a growing concern. Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September is an opportunity to increase awareness on methods to support individuals experiencing emotional, financial, and relational issues.

“These high numbers are one of many reasons that it is important to talk about suicide like any other cause of death,” shared Faith Community Nurse Barb Hanson, BSN, RN. “I have walked alongside those that have struggled with suicidal desperation, died from suicide, and have lost loved ones to suicide. This brought me to serve on the North Dakota Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (NDAFSP).

The NDAFSP is hosting Soul Shop–Equipping Faith Communities to Minister to Suicidal Desperation in partnership with Essentia Health, Dakota Medical Foundation, Prairie St. John’s and Sanford Health. While directed to pastors and faith community leaders, the Soul Shop training benefits nurses, counselors, first responders and anyone interested in effectively responding to suicidal desperation.

Hanson continued, “The ND Board for AFSP recognizes faith communities are a natural setting for suicide prevention. Faith communities can provide opportunities for developing positive relationships with others and can be an important source of support during difficult times.”

Since its development in 2014, Soul Shop has trained thousands nationally and internationally in suicide awareness and has facilitated the development of suicide prevention plans with numerous community teams. Soul Shop Director Michelle Snyder, MSW, LCSW, MDiv, has dual training in mental health and theology.

She leads the workshop, which addresses the following key topics:

  • Obstacles to dealing with suicidal desperation (stigma, fear, and shame)
  • Statistics/facts about suicide
  • Compassionate methods to talk about suicide and ask questions
  • Supportive environments to fundamentally altering the way people deal with suicide and one another

“We’ve got to talk about suicide, despite the fact that people would rather not,” Hanson emphasized. “The more we talk, the less stigmatized the idea that we all face struggles and need support becomes.”

Workshop Fee: $25
Preapproved for 6 contact hours/ CEUs by the ND Board of Nursing, MN Board of Social Work, ND Board of Social Work Examiners.

Soul Shop Fargo, ND
Tuesday, May 3, 2022 (NEW DATE]
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Dakota Medical Foundation
Soul Shop Mandan, ND
Thursday, May 5, 2022 [NEW DATE]
8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
HIT, Inc.

Hanson advocates for participation, “As an RN who provides suicide prevention education to the community, I found Soul Shop training helpful in equipping participants to identify at-risk individuals. The training provided very helpful, non-threatening, useful language to use in approaching someone who is struggling with suicidal desperation or loss after a suicide. I can’t express how highly I would recommend that others attend this Soul Shop!”

Behavioral Health Best Practice Briefs Recordings


A Journey Toward Health and Hope: Your Handbook for Recovery After a Suicide Attempt to guide patients through the first steps toward recovery and a hopeful future after a suicide attempt. This resource includes personal stories from survivors and strategies for recovery, such as re-establishing connections and finding a counselor. This resource was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).