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Sanctuary Defies The Expectations For Mental Health

Hope can always be found, even if it takes some time to find it. The hope of the resurrection exists for all of us. It is the job of the Church to proclaim this truth especially in the public arena of mental health. Churches are called to become communities of freedom and healing. The Sanctuary Course will help you build such a community.

Our greatest hope in the battle against the stigma of mental illness lies in the power of the gospel. Christ’s example of sacrificial love and his commitment to the marginalized is radically counter-cultural. Jesus began his ministry by declaring his mission to bring good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18- 21).

IF you could offer only ONE program for your community this Fall, here’s why you should choose The Sanctuary Course.

Stories Of Hope From Churches Who Care

The Sanctuary Course is the only faith-based course that is approved by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Westside King’s Church in Calgary was one of 17 ABNWT churches that hosted their first SC group in 2021. Pastor Christin Woods facilitated the course. She shares, “The Course was such a wonderful experience and we have had really positive feedback. There was great conversation. We saw God work in so many wonderful ways.”

“We had a breast cancer survivor and professional counsellor attend. She said the course was both personally and professionally encouraging. She was so uplifted to see how the church can be a part of helping those suffering from mental health issues as well as a catalyst for healthy conversations around mental health.”

Reports Of Real Hope

“Last night was the best session. I had had a low day but felt revived after the session. Thank you for all you do. It is SO appreciated.”

“Well my goodness, I have so much to say. This course has been so helpful and informative. This helped me go back and revisit emotions that have been very difficult.”

“Thank you, Sanctuary for shining a light that says I am valuable.”

Defying Expectations

What makes Sanctuary transformative is the hope for recovery.

The way that communities think about mental health problems and recovery really matters, because these thoughts help shape the treatments that are developed and the support systems that are put in place. When communities embrace the possibility of recovery, they will create environments that provide hope, identity, empowerment, education, and relationships, thus increasing the rate of recovery.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God.” Psalm 42:5,6

The ability to discover meaning in the midst of suffering, the ability to contribute to the life of a community, and the ability to develop and sustain a positive sense of identity are all important elements of flourishing mental health provided by the Sanctuary Course.

How To Start A Sanctuary Course

Your church can bring hope to your community through a Sanctuary Course this Fall.

  1. The Course works very well online OR onsite. A hybrid, onsite with online participants, does NOT work well.

  2. There are 8 sessions. The Course is free. Sanctuary Course materials here.

  3. Each session consists of one subject related to mental health, a shareable worksheet with information and discussion questions, a testimony video, and a video from a theologian on the subject of the session.

  4. Bob Jones and Al Downey are ready to offer support to help get you started. Email us at or

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