ABOUT THE COURSE
The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is a study guide for small groups, designed to raise awareness and start conversations in local churches regarding mental health. Your group might include:
- People with questions about mental health
- Mental health professionals with a wealth of knowledge to share
- Leaders who want to engage their community in mental health conversations
- People supporting loved ones with mental health problems
- People living with mental health problems
The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is for anyone who wants to learn about faith and mental health. It requires no previous training or expertise—just a willingness to engage in dialogue with other believers. This course and films address difficult and sensitive topics, and may not be appropriate for a young audience. It is not recommended for people ages 17 and younger.
The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is also available in Spanish! You can find The Sanctuary Course para Católicos (Español) on our resource portal for free.
How do I access it?
The coursebook defines key terms, presents relevant research, addresses common questions, and explores important concepts from three perspectives: the psychological, the social, and the theological. This reading, done in advance of group meetings, helps participants connect around the session’s topic using a shared framework and language.
The films elevate the voice of lived experience, emphasizing various aspects of the realities of living with mental health challenges. Mental health professionals, theologians, and church leaders contribute insights, helpful biblical integration, and ideas for community support. Participants watch the films together during group meetings. Note that films include content warnings; some participants may choose not to view certain films.
- Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB – Archbishop of Vancouver, BC
- Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, STL – Archbishop of Denver, CO
- Helena Orellana, PsyD, LCP – Clinical Psychologist, Director of IPS Center for Psychological Services, Divine Mercy University
- Harvey Payne, PsyD – Academic Dean, Divine Mercy University
- Father David Songy, OFM Cap., STD, PsyD – President and CEO, Saint Luke Institute
- Scott G. Hefelfinger, STL, PhD – Assistant Professor of Theology, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology
- Dr. Chi-Chi Obuaya, MRCPsych, MBA, MBBS – Consultant Psychiatrist, Co-Director of the Mind and Soul Foundation
relationships and supportive communities play a key role in recovery. This perspective gives the opportunity to examine unique ways that the Church can support mental health and wellbeing.
HOW DO I BEGIN?
The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is available for free on our resource portal. Creating an account is simple, and then you can explore the materials of The Sanctuary Course for Catholics and see how the course can benefit your community.
Getting started with talking about mental health or facilitating The Sanctuary Course for Catholics in your community can feel intimidating, which is why we designed a Facilitator’s Guide specifically for facilitators of The Sanctuary Course for Catholics. This PDF can be found in the downloadable materials for the course on our resource portal. We have also created a quick start page for facilitators on our resource portal. You can check it out here.