Last year, myself and my two staff had the privilege of taking part in the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course, which was facilitated by Mark Stromenberg and Jim Anderson. This two day training was highly valuable, interactive, practical, and is something that I would highly recommend to others. Mark & Jim were fantastic at teaching the material, answering questions, and giving practical tools and advice on how this training can support us in our roles of working with teens in our community!
A youth pastor shared [with me] how he had three girls who attempted suicide in the past. When I asked him about it, he said, “I’ve learned to ask the right questions before it happens.” His intervention method sounded familiar so I questioned him about it. He replied, “I took the ASIST training awhile ago and the one thing I remember is the right questions to ask.” Mark & Jim have saved lives with their excellent suicide intervention training.
Mark spoke to a group of our parents and we were so grateful for his clear-eyed presentation regarding anxiety, depression and suicide. Mark has the tremendous ability to handle these weighty topics with the seriousness they deserve but also with humour and vulnerability. Our parents left feeling hopeful because of Mark’s admonishment and inspired by Mark’s own story.
As a pastor serving in Family Ministry for over 18 years, this is one of the best presentations I’ve heard on the topics of anxiety, depression and suicide. Mark if a gifted communicator. He is highly knowledgeable and, perhaps even more importantly, highly vulnerable. I strongly recommend inviting Mark to speak with your leaders, your parents, and your youth.
Mark is a down to earth speaker who uses his personal experiences to bring attention to the issues of mental illness. His use of video and power point presentations, complement his message in a way that appeals to students. Creating awareness about the stigmas attached to mental illness, and providing some strategies for dealing with depression and suicide are his main objectives.
Mark’s mental health presentation is excellent, authentic, and full of valuable information. I would encourage every teen to hear Mark’s story.
It has been my privilege to have Mark in my class to instruct students on issues related to depression, self-injury and suicide. I have appreciated his knowledge, vulnerability and clear manner of speaking. Mark shares his own story with an appropriate use of vulnerability and genuine compassion for others. He is knowledgeable on the topics he addresses, current in his understanding of culture, and sensitive to how he presents the difficulties children and teenagers are encountering. Mark’s visual materials show fresh creativity and truly help to enhance his words. I appreciated the conviction and clarity that Mark communicated with, and came away having learned more about children, depression and how to make a difference in the life of a young person. I highly recommend Mark to you as one who has walked a difficult path, experienced healing, and shares thoughtfully from his experiences!
Mark is the best person to speak to youth about the gospel that I know of. He makes sure to lay out the whole gospel (repentance, work of the cross, etc) and yet makes it very relevant to what youth are dealing with (emotional issues, relationships, sex, current idols, etc). When he speaks somewhere, people want him back because, as the Spirit works, hearts are touched and changed.
Mark is a gifted communicator who articulates the gospel in ways that are meaningful and applicable to daily life. He has the unique ability to connect “unchurched” people with the dynamic gospel of Jesus Christ. His passion for Jesus and desire to lead others to Christ are evident when he speaks.
Mark truly has carved out a niche when it comes to public speaking and overall communication. He’s harnessed the rare ability to describe complex emotions in ways that are accessible to any audience, creating a unique credibility and humanness that many communicators lose. His relaxed but engaging demeanour earns him the platform to flesh out complex theological topics in ways that remain distinctive, concise, and surprisingly palatable. He uses real life experiences and emotions to open theological dialogues that are interesting and carry life application. Mark seeks to deepen people’s understanding of the greatness of God, our place in His story, and the difference a relationship with God makes.