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According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, all Canadians wil lbe affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives, either through personal experience or through the struggles or diagnosis of a friend or relative. A "mental health problem" can be used to describe any experience of poor mental health, regardless of whether it includes symptoms of illness. 

I am not alone in wondering - and to be honest worrying at times - what impact COVID-19 will have on our mental health. Prolonged times at home, self-isolation, social distancing, loss of income and jobs, plans and hopes dashed or cancelled, stories of overwhelmed health care systmes around the globe, growing numbers of infections daily, massive disruptions to our way of life . . . I could go on. I suspect I am not alone in feeling a bit more on edge, a bit more anxious, and finding it a bit harder to remain calm. 

We want to break the silence on mental health and there is no better time to do that than right now. While we are unable to gather together physically, we will be creating space to come together online and discuss mental health as a church community. We will be doing that by offering "The Sanctuary Course" that is provided by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministires. 

"The Sanctuary Course" is for a number of different people . . .

  • People who have questions about mental health
  • People who have knowledge and experiences to share
  • People who want to engage our communjity in mental health conversations
  • People supporting others with mental health problems
  • People living with mental health problems

If any of this resonates with you - I want to invite you to consider joining us for this online course in the weeks ahead. Coming together right now to engage in these conversations will be a big help to many in our church community and in our families.

Here are some more details about the course:

  • I will be facilitating groups of 7-12. We will run as many groups as we need to in order to make space for everyone who wants to participate.
  • We will be meeting online through Zoom - a helpful video tool that is available. If you need help setting up Zoom on your computer, tablet or smartphone - we will help you.
  • We will be covering 8 topics over 8 weeks - ranging from the effects of stigma, the process of recovery, examining the realities of mental illness, and expanding our understanding of mental health.
  • There will be discussion questions for each session that are included in a participant's giude that everyone wil receive when you sign up. You can either download or we can make a hard copy available for you.
  • There are short films where people of faith share experiences and stories. We will be watching those together online through Zoom.

If you are interested in joining me in this course - please email me directly at [email protected] Please respond by next week Wednesday, April 1. We will plan to begin the following week of April 6.

I look forward to taking the journey through this course together with you and am confident that it will be a great help to many. 

Below is a short "trailer" you can watch that is provided by Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries. You can also learn more about Sanctuary and this course at their website -

Please be in touch if you have any questions as well.

Grace and peace,

Pastor Tim