The next Sam James Institute Forum will be September 30th at 6:30 at the Brier Creek Campus. The evening will be devoted to the subject: “A Christian Perspective on Mental Illness.”

The schedule will be (Brier Creek campus):

  • 6:30 to 7:30 Plenary “Towards a Christian Perspective on Mental Illness” with Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church
  • 7:30 to 8:30 Panel Discussion (see panelist bio’s below)

During the plenary presentation we’ll grapple with questions like:

  • ​What percent of those who struggle with “normal sorrow” are labeled as clinically depressed? What percentage of those who think their sorrow is normal are actually clinically depressed?
  • In the modern psychological proverb, “The genes load the gun, and the environment pulls the trigger,” where is the person?
  • Can we have a “weak” brain—one given to problematic emotions or difficulty discerning reality—and a “strong” soul—one with a deep and genuine love for God?
  • Are our emotions more than the alarm system of the soul (moral) and the chemicals of our brain (biological)? Do these two categories tell us everything we need to know about emotions?
  • Why are we, culturally, more open about almost everything in our lives than we were a generation ago except mental illness?
  • How much should we expect conversion and normal sanctification (spiritual maturity) to impact mental illness?
  • When and how should a Christian seek relief from painful emotions through the use of psychotropic medications?

Then we will have a panel of counselors who specialize in (1) addiction – Chris Ball, (2) children – Caroline Von Helms, (3) psychiatry – Dr. Mark Cheltenham, (4) social work – Karla Siu, and (5) trauma – Becky Jorgenson offers a perspective from their area of specialty on the plenary presentation and then address a few questions submitted by the audience.

The panelist will be:

Chris-BallChris Ball, M.A.
Executive Director at Bridgehaven’s Downtown Raleigh Office

Chris majored in Psychology and Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte, before moving to the Raleigh area to attend Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling.

Chris gained experience counseling in the addiction field for three years before transitioning to Bridgehaven. He specializes in counseling those struggling with addictions (alcohol and other drug usage, family/spousal recovery support, pornography), sexuality (same sex attraction, sexual abuse, adultery), and psychiatric issues (PTSD, Bipolar, depression).

EPSON MFP imageMark Cheltenham, M.D.
Contract Psychiatrist

Mark contracts with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety treating juvenile, and adult offenders. He received his medical training from both the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Howard University College of Medicine.

After graduating from Howard University College of Medicine, Mark completed both his general internship and residency in psychiatry at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Becky JorgensonBecky Jorgenson, M.A., LPC, NCC, NCTM
Owner and Founder of Mosaic Counseling Center, PLLC

Becky Jorgenson is both a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Music Teacher. She graduated from Liberty University in 2009 with a MA in Professional Counseling and earned a BA in Music from Campbell University in 2004.

She provides holistic counseling services in a variety of treatment areas including the following: anxiety disorders, mood/depressive disorders, abuse, trauma, self-harm, eating disorders, post-abortion, behavioral issues, adjustment, career, spirituality, human sex trafficking, and grief. She specializes in working with adolescents (11-17) and young adults (18-30); Becky also enjoys working with children (4+).

Karla-Siu-MSW-LCSW1-200x300Karla Siu, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Program Director at El Futuro, Inc. (

Karla Siu grew up in Honduras, Tokyo and Virginia. She has worked in welfare reform, community mental health, research on biculturalism, and services to Latino domestic violence offenders. Karla has special expertise in serving families and children, conducting play therapy, and assisting in recovery from trauma, depression, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses.

She co-authored a paper on cultural issues in treating Latino-Hispanic families with domestic violence issues, published in 2009. Karla has been an active member of the Summit Church since 2004. Karla has helped with establishing the Summit En Español campus and has also provided support to the Summit’s various counseling ministries throughout the years.

Karla serves the Latino community in North Carolina through her work at El Futuro since 2006. Karla currently serves on the board of directors of JusticeMatters, a non-profit Christian organization that provides empowering legal services by mobilizing legal professionals and law students to invest their resources in our community for the common good.

Caroline-von-HelmsCaroline Von Helms, M.A.
Staff Counselor at Bridgehaven Counseling Associates

Caroline is a native of North Carolina, and a graduate of North Carolina State University. Caroline earned a masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and a masters degree in Christian Education.

Caroline worked as a licensed professional counselor supervisor and licensed marriage and family therapist supervisor while in Dallas, and spent a large portion of her time helping children and families during difficult transitions. She also worked with foster care and adoption agencies, as well as the local Juvenile Probation Department providing family counseling.

She also partnered with local churches to provide counseling training on issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, parenting, grief, marital issues, and transitional issues with individuals and families.

For the various counseling options available from this material visit