We are a nonprofit founded upon and informed by a Christian worldview.
Hope & Laughter's key focuses are to educate, equip, and empower those who are struggling with mental health as well as the people that walk alongside them with resources founded upon a Christian worldview.
Communication will always be a valuable tool in life, and when you cannot find the words, let alone the right words, to explain how you feel - having hard conversations can feel impossibly exhausting. You are not alone on this journey; God loves you and you have a purpose.
"There is a misconception that having faith means exemption from struggle. It is, of course, possible to believe in Jesus and battle anxiety and depression. My battle with anxiety and depression began in my late teens and is a battle I continue to fight to this day.
I lost my father to suicide when I was 12 years old and buried several other members of my family by the age of 17. As a result, I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. Years went by before I was diagnosed at the age of 22.
At the age of 35, after the birth of my son, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Unfortunately, I was undiagnosed for the first 9 months of his life, so I spent much of his first year in a fog.
When I became pregnant with my daughter, I was prepared and started medication immediately upon delivery. However, even though I was on medication, seeking professional counseling, and spending time in God's Word, nothing seemed to be working."
-Sara Soenen, Founder
Meet the Team
"Our desire is to connect, provide, develop, and educate."
Sara Soenen originally launched Hope and Laughter in March 2017 to share her story to bring hope, laughter, and encouragement to those battling mental illness. As Sara shared her story and began to recognize that this would be a lifelong battle, she quickly found that there were not enough Christian-based support systems. Out of this realization and with encouragement of friends and family - and by the grace of God - Hope and Laughter has become a ministry and a more impactful way to help other Christ followers seeking support with their mental and emotional health in Austin, TX and hopefully beyond.
Licensed Psychologist, Board Advisor
Dr. Nicole Fitzpatrick, PHD
Nicole specializes in working with adults and children to address ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, marital and life transition issues. As a licensed psychologist, she conducts psychological assessments for learning, emotional, and behavioral concerns. Nicole partnered with Sara because they share the same philosophy on helping build faith-based tools and education for those struggling with mental health. Nicole also resides in Austin, TX.