Thanks for participating in the Sanctuary Program!
FOCUS OF THE SANCTUARY PROGRAM
The Sanctuary Course was created to equip churches as they seek to become sanctuaries where individuals with mental health challenges feel safe, supported, and a sense of belonging. Each session explores key mental health topics, drawing upon the insights of mental health professionals, church leaders, and people with lived experience.
The focus is to raise awareness and reduce stigma by starting conversations about mental health in local churches.
It provides resources that meaningfully engage the topics of faith and mental health. Each session explores key mental health topics, drawing upon the insights of mental health professionals, church leaders, and people with lived experience of mental health challenges. Each session prepares communities of faith around the world to raise awareness, reduce stigma, support mental health, and promote mental wellbeing.
WHO IS THE PROGRAM FOR? The Sanctuary Course 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 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 SESSIONS There are eight sessions, each addressing a different mental health related topic. In these sessions you will:
redefine your understanding of mental health,
learn about various experiences of mental illness,
consider the impact of stigma,
explore the process of recovery,
discover the importance of companionship,
reflect on the experience of caregiving, and
examine self-care practices.
Reflect back on your experience in the course individually and as a group.
WHAT TO EXPECT Each session is accompanied by a compelling film that features the story of a Christian with lived experience of a mental health challenge, along with the insights of church leaders, theologians, and mental health professionals. A Participant Discussion Guide is provided for each session, providing thought-provoking questions that provide opportunities for active discussion and sharing.
The program will have two facilitators:
Dana Couillard, a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, is a certified educator and professional mentor with lived experience in the area of mental health. He has a Masters degree in Human Behaviour focused on the impact of chronic stress, anxiety and depression on organizations and individuals. He has been working with clients with mental health challenges for over fifteen years.
Brenda Couillard, Dana’s wife, is also a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Having had her own experiences with stress or anxiety, she has a passionate interest in health and wellness, including mental wellbeing. She has also walked alongside Dana’s journey and the journeys of a number of family members and friends with mental health challenges over many years.
WHEN Wednesdays, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. from Feb 8th – March 29th, with one exception: Wednesday, Feb 22 will follow the 6:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday Service and will be from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
WHERE Immanuel Lutheran Church 20 Rocky Mountain Blvd W, Lethbridge
SANCTUARY DISCLAIMER The purpose of The Sanctuary Course is to raise awareness and reduce stigma by starting conversations about mental health in church communities. Consequently, The Sanctuary Course is intended for educational purposes only and the information provided is not a substitute for medical or therapeutic advice. If you feel you may need medical advice, please consult a qualified health care professional.