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OUR MISSION

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries equips the Church to support mental health and wellbeing.
We provide resources that meaningfully engage the topics of faith and mental health. Our content is developed in collaboration with theologians, psychologists, and people with lived experience of mental health challenges. These resources prepare communities of faith around the world to raise awareness, reduce stigma, support mental health, and promote mental wellbeing.
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OUR VISION

We envision a future where the Church plays a vital role in
supporting mental health and wellbeing in every community.


OUR VALUES

We believe that caring for mental health and wellbeing is an important part of what it means to participate in Christ’s redemptive work. Jesus came to invite all people into relationship with God, and as his disciples we are called to love one another and help one another recognize God’s presence in every circumstance and experience, including the experience of mental health challenges. This is a call that requires not only profound compassion and hope, but also education and equipping. As our organization seeks to serve the Church and respond to this call, we are shaped by the following values.
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Practicing Compassion
We seek to understand, care for, and honour others in all of our communications and relationships. This commitment reflects our recognition of the inherent value and dignity of every person made in the image of God.
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Cultivating Hope

We desire to share the hope of the gospel in all that we do and with all whom we meet. This commitment reflects our belief that hope and mental wellbeing are deeply connected.
 
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Building Relationships

We seek to understand, care for, and honour others in all of our communications and relationships. This commitment reflects our recognition of the inherent value and dignity of every person made in the image of God.
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Pursuing Excellence

We strive to meet the highest standards in our research, resource development, and training services.
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Demonstrating Integrity

We seek to be authentic in our words and actions, and trustworthy in our work and relationships.

OUR THEOLOGICAL ALIGNMENT

Sanctuary is an ecumenical organization. Our mission, vision, and values are based on the historic Christian faith as understood and revealed through Scripture and tradition. Our team and advisors represent various denominations, and the resources we produce are informed by the Bible and the tenets of faith outlined by the Apostles’ Creed.
 

LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Sanctuary gratefully acknowledges that our organization operates on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx ̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples. We also recognize that this acknowledgment is a small part of the bigger ongoing work to foster true reconciliation. As an organization which promotes mental health and wellbeing, we are aware that historic and ongoing overt and systemic racism have impacted the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and we condemn and denounce racism, oppression, and genocidal policies in every form. We also celebrate and acknowledge the dignity, worth, and value of all people made in the image of God. We are immensely grateful for the Indigenous people who have chosen to work with us. It’s an honour to share their stories, expertise, art, and poetry.

Land acknowledgments are a longstanding Indigenous practice recognizing and honouring the relationship of people to space and place. In Canada, where Sanctuary is headquartered, these statements are increasingly offered in public life to recognize the traditional territory of the Indigenous peoples who called the land home before the arrival of settlers/colonization. Through acknowledging whose land we are on, we remind ourselves of the relationships that need repair and our ongoing commitment to reconciliation. For more information and links to additional resources, visit our Indigenous History Month blog post.
 

OUR APPROACH

Sanctuary’s resources integrate theological, psychological, and lived experience perspectives. They are developed with the conviction
that informed and empathetic conversations about mental health challenges can transform communities of faith.
 
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Informed

Our resources are developed in consultation with mental health professionals, theologians, and people with lived experience—all from diverse denominational, racial, and cultural backgrounds. This allows us to place clinical and pastoral perspectives in dialogue with personal experience and community practices.
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Empathetic

Listening to someone’s story can broaden your perspective, reframe your understanding, and awaken your empathy. For this reason, the stories of people of faith with lived experience feature prominently in our resources. At Sanctuary, we believe it is important for individuals with mental health challenges to speak for themselves, and it is equally important for church communities to listen.

PERSPECTIVES

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Psychological

Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Psychological perspectives primarily focus on the emotional and relational experiences of people living with mental health challenges. Our content is not intended to produce experts or mental health professionals; instead, it is designed to help you grow in awareness and empathy.
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Social

The social perspective focuses on the ways that mental health challenges affect both individuals and communities of faith. Research suggests that meaningful
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.
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Theological

The theological perspective considers the ways that faith can help us understand and respond to the realities of mental health challenges. In particular, we examine how Christians read and interpret the Bible in light of lived experience, and how the Church responds to the call to be a redemptive community where everyone is welcome.

CONTRIBUTORS

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Mental Health Professionals

Licensed counsellors, psychiatrists, psychologists, registered nurses, and other clinicians share their expertise on mental health, mental illnesses, and recovery. These voices teach us about the scientific realities of mental health and the role medical services can play in diagnosis and recovery.
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Pastors and Theologians

Christian leaders in the Church and in the academy thoughtfully connect faith and mental health using a biblical foundation. These voices encourage us to engage our Christian faith with our understanding of mental health and think creatively about self-care and how communities can offer support.
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Lived Experience

People with lived experiences of mental health issues share their stories of diagnosis, recovery, ongoing challenges, and how their faith connects to it all. These voices give us the opportunity to hear real experiences, reduce stigma, and share our own challenges.

FORMAT

Sanctuary’s resources are multimedia, featuring reading material, film, and visual art. All of our resources are designed with the approach, perspectives, and contributors outlined above. Our resources are simple to facilitate, and include participant’s guides and facilitation guides. All materials are accessible through our web portal for groups that want to meet either in-person or online.
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Reading

Each resource includes PDFs with reading and discussion questions, designed to provide a shared learning  experience for participants. The readings define key terms, present relevant research, address common questions, and explore important concepts from three perspectives: the psychological, the social, and the theological. The materials also contain questions for your community to ponder together, along with opportunities for deeper reflection through art, poetry, prayers, and spiritual practices.
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Films

Our films elevate the voice of lived experience, emphasizing various aspects of the realities of living with mental health challenges. Experts contribute insight on specific diagnoses, helpful biblical frameworks, and ideas for church and community support.
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Visual Art

Many of our resources incorporate visual art components. Art can open up new perspectives, start conversations, help us think creatively about our own experiences of mental health challenges, and encourage us to grow in empathy for people with different experiences from our own.

SUPPORT US

Sanctuary thrives on support from the broader community. Below are some of the ways in which you can support us:
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Share

If you have benefitted from using our resources, or know someone who would, please share the word! We encourage you to tell your family and friends, and share on social media about the work Sanctuary is doing.
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Pray

We would love for you to join us in prayer. Please pray that people experiencing mental health challenges will find support within the Church, that those communities of faith will be well-equipped to support mental wellbeing, and that Sanctuary can continue its work while raising awareness about mental health and reducing stigma.
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Give

Our organization relies fully on financial support from people who are passionate about supporting mental health and wellbeing. We encourage you to consider
giving and joining Alongside, our monthly donor club. As an Alongsider, you’ll be journeying not only with Sanctuary, but also with the people we are impacting
through our resources. No minimum donation is required. You can give in Canada, the United States, or the UK.

SAFETY INFORMATION

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact your local emergency services.
Australia: 000 | Canada: 911 | European Union: 112 | New Zealand: 111 | United States: 988 or 911 | United Kingdom: 999
Sanctuary provides educational resources for churches and small groups. We do not provide medical, counselling, or crisis services. If you are seeking Christian counselling services, we recommend speaking with your local pastor or Christian leader for recommendations.