Join us for a day of learning at CHAPEL's

first bi-annual mental health conference

Caring for the Mental health of Our Community


for more information, call 412-242-4920, option 0

Summit Schedule

Saturday, May, 11th, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 717 N. Homewood Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15208

The conference will open at 8:00 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. 

  • Welcome

    8:45 AM–8:55 AM: Welcoming Remarks

    Dr. Cynthia M. Wallace, Ed.D., Executive Director of The Oasis Project

    8:55 AM - 9:05 AM: Setting the Atmosphere - Mindfulness Matters

    Ashleigh Pollard, CEO, Start Here Health

  • Session 1: Moving from Trauma to Healing

    Strategies for Strengthening Community Bonds to Combat Mental Health Challenges

    Cecilia Ware, Executive Director, Infinite Lifestyle Solutions, will offer practical strategies for healing trauma within communities, focusing on building robust social relational bonds. Attendees can expect insights on trauma-informed approaches tailored to community settings, methods to foster resilience among individuals facing mental health challenges, and tips to strengthen community networks.

  • Session 2: Mental Health and the Church

    Dr. John M. Wallace, Jr., Ph.D., Vice Provost University of Pittsburgh and Senior Pastor of Bible Center Church, will summarize insights from The CHURCH (congregations as Healers United to Restore Community Health) Project. An initiative from the University of Pittsburgh, The CHURCH Project aims to teach evidence-based mental health practices to clergy and congregations’ with the goal of improving African Americans’ mental health.

  • Session 3: It’s Okay to Talk About It: A Panel Discussion on Mental Health Journeys,

    Facilitated by Kiva Fisher-Green, LCSW, CEO of Sanant Counseling & Wellness LLC, the panelists will share their personal mental health journeys to deconstruct stigma around mental health and addiction recovery. Through brave and candid conversation, this session aims to encourage attendees to openly discuss their own challenges and encourage others in their communities to do the same.

    Lunch follows Session 3

  • Session 4: Grassroots Healing: Strengthening Mental Health through Informal Community Networks, 

    Portia Gillespie, MPH, Allegheny County Department of Human Services, will highlight the transformative power of informal networks as an alternative source of mental health support within communities. Attendees will learn how to tap into the unappreciated, yet abundant, resources and resilience of these networks to promote healing and well-being.

  • Session 5: Art Therapy Demonstration

    Corrin Corbin, Art Therapist, 3Rivers Therapists, will facilitate a fun and enriching art experience.

  • Session 6: Crisis and Opportunity, Innovating Mental Health Support for the Next Generation

    Tanay Johnson, MA, CARES Worker II, A Second Chance, Inc, will explore approaches to mental health support tailored to youth and young adults. Attendees will gain insights into evidenced-based strategies, resources, and initiatives aimed at combatting the epidemics of anxiety, addiction, and suicide plaguing young people in our communities.

  • Concluding session: Moving Forward Together

    Dr. James Freeman, Ph.D., Chief Program Officer, A Second Chance, Inc., will reflect on the core learnings of the day. Participants will commit to taking small actions to bring the curriculum back to their communities.  Participants will complete the conference evaluation.

  • Closing reception

    Please join us for some music, good food, and conversation with new and old friends!

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Community Health Assistance, Programming & Engagement Leadership (CHAPEL)

is a community-led informal mental health support program that leverages the connection between the church community and holistic well-being. CHAPEL is presented in partnership with A Second Chance, Inc.