SANCTUARY MENTAL HEALTH MINISTRIES
EQUIPS THE CHURCH TO SUPPORT
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

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

SANCTUARY MENTAL HEALTH MINISTRIES EQUIPS THE CHURCH TO SUPPORT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

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

REV. DR. JOHN SWINTON

Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen, Internationally Recognized Theologian, UK

REV. DR. ISABELLE HAMLEY

Secretary for Theology and Ecumenical Relations and Theological Adviser to the House of Bishops, UK

DR. HILLARY MCBRIDE

Registered Clinical Counsellor, Author, Speaker, Researcher, Podcaster, CA

Daniel Whitehead
CEO

Michelle Furumori
Director, Operations

Corin Pilling
National Director, UK

Markku Kostamo
Director, Development

Kate Dewhurst
Program Manager

Leslie Roberts
Communications Manager

Jina Lee
Operations Manager

Jane Born
Program Development Coordinator

Lizzy Ojo
Communications Coordinator

Laurence Vicencio
Administrator

Isabel Ong
Social Media Coordinator

Amy Deutscher
Research Intern

Davi Rabelo
Graphic Designer

Sean Dykink
Film Producer

Chelsea Evans
Grant Writer

Daniel Whitehead
CEO

Michelle Furumori
Director, Operations

Corin Pilling
National Director, UK

Markku Kostamo
Director, Development

Kate Dewhurst
Program Manager

Leslie Roberts
Communications Manager

Jina Lee
Operations Manager

Jane Born
Program Development Coordinator

Lizzy Ojo
Communications Coordinator

Laurence Vicencio
Administrator

Isabel Ong
Social Media Coordinator

Amy Deutscher
Research Intern

Davi Rabelo
Graphic Designer

Sean Dykink
Film Producer

Chelsea Evans
Grant Writer

Surprised by Growth

We launched The Sanctuary Course in October 2018, and in the first twelve months we had over 500 downloads. We are now delighted to share that just one year later, we have over 4,500 downloads—eight times the number in the first year, with people accessing our website from around the world. When the pandemic began, we quickly developed Faith, Grief, and COVID-19, which was also well-received. The significant engagement with our resources reflects the impact of the pandemic on mental health and wellbeing. We also co-produced a devotional on the YouVersion Bible app called Recovering Hope, exploring the intersection of race, mental health, and faith.

In 2020 we launched Sanctuary in the UK, and we developed two resources specifically for the UK context. We established numerous training opportunities, including delivering courses to students at three leading seminaries. New partnerships formed, including with Aberdeen University in Scotland, and we formalized advisor roles with a range of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

This year has shown even more clearly the great need for Sanctuary’s resources. Thank you for your partnership in this kingdom work, which has undoubtedly made all of this possible!

2020 OVERVIEW

JANUARY

THE SANCTUARY BLOG LAUNCH – OVER 20,000 VIEWS

The Sanctuary Blog opens important conversations about mental health and faith with theologians, pastors, registered counsellors, experts in various fields, and people with lived experiences of mental health challenges. The Sanctuary Blog was initially planned to publish twelve posts in the first year; due to popularity and a desire to cover more topics, we published twenty-five articles.

THE SANCTUARY PODCAST LAUNCH – OVER 9,500 PLAYS

The Sanctuary Podcast interviews theologians, writers, leaders, and people living with mental health challenges for inspiration, insight, and resources to equip communities to be a sanctuary for all people. In May, we decided to pause our inaugural series in order to produce a new series addressing issues surrounding the pandemic. We released seventeen podcast episodes in 2020. 

MARCH

MADE THE SANCTUARY COURSE FREE

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to make The Sanctuary Course freely available in order to ease accessibility for churches and communities around the world. The response was tremendous: Sanctuary has since grown substantially, with thousands more people accessing The Sanctuary Course.

APRIL

COVID-19 ADDITIONAL SESSION

In addition to making The Sanctuary Course free, we developed a session for the course that specifically addresses mental health during COVID-19. This session has been accessed over 800 times.

MAY

FAITH, GRIEF, AND COVID-19 – OVER 600 DOWNLOADS

Faith, Grief, and COVID-19: A Conversation is a resource that addresses questions of grief, faith, and mental health during the pandemic using films and discussion guides. Developed in just two months, this resource has benefitted groups worldwide.

JUNE

SANCTUARY UK LAUNCH

We launched a new division of Sanctuary, a decision driven by our rapid growth in the UK in 2019 and a great need for resources on mental health and faith in the UK. Our National Director, Corin Pilling, joined us from one of our many UK partner organizations. Sanctuary UK now has its own board of directors, charitable organization registration, and over 2,000 people on its mailing list.

DEEPLY ROOTED: A WELLBEING RESOURCE FOR LEADERS DURING CORONAVIRUS – OVER 500 DOWNLOADS

Our first resource designed for the UK context allows leaders to reflect on self-care in the midst of a season that may feel overwhelming, exhausting, and isolating. This resource can help leaders recognize the risk of burnout and encourages them to implement practical steps toward wellbeing.

AUGUST

WEBSITE UPDATE – OVER 4,500 USER ACCOUNTS

This update improved user experience, customer care, and reporting. Each user can create and manage their own account to subscribe to resources. This system allows us to track the number of people accessing our resources and see community patterns, which means we can make data-driven decisions about future programming.

DANIEL WHITEHEAD ACCEPTED AS AN IIMHL MEMBER

The International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) is a government- to-government infrastructure focused on improving mental health and addictions services. IIMHL is a collaboration of nine countries: Australia, England, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, USA, and Sweden.

AUSTRALIAN AND UK TRADEMARKS

The Sanctuary Course is now a registered trademark in Australia and the United Kingdom.

UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN PARTNERSHIP

This partnership allows Sanctuary and the University of Abderdeen in Scotland to collaborate on academic research, develop educational resources, and continue Sanctuary’s growth as a registered charity in the UK.

OCTOBER

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

October 2020 was our first-ever social media mental health awareness campaign, designed to provide practical, engaging, social media-sized pieces that raise awareness, encourage self-care practices, and provide helpful additional resources. There was a 61% increase in downloads of Sanctuary’s resources in October compared to the previous three months.

NOVEMBER

RECOVERING HOPE – OVER 1,000 DOWNLOADS

We partnered with Tiffany Bluhm, a well-known author, speaker, and activist, to publish a five-day devotional on race, mental health, and faith on the YouVersion Bible app. This devotional is part of our hope to specifically address the intersection of race, mental health, and faith.

FINDING LIGHT IN THE DEEPEST DARK – OVER 900 DOWNLOADS

Sanctuary UK developed Finding Light as an Advent resource for churches in the UK during lockdown, and the response was so great that we decided to share the resource more broadly with our global audience. It has been used by thousands of people to facilitate conversations, lament losses, connect with the events of the year, and find gifts in the midst of hardship.

DECEMBER

SANCTUARY’S CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN AND VIRTUAL GALA – OVER 900 VIEWS

On December 3, Sanctuary hosted its first-ever virtual Christmas Gala, live-streamed from Fluevog Shoes in Vancouver. The gala featured interviews with Sanctuary friends and advocates. In total, the campaign raised $285,000.

SANCTUARY'S REACH

Website Views:

Where users are from:

156

countries

Canada:
United Kingdom:
United States:
18,866
15,299
19,695

Website Views:

156

countries

Where users are from:

Canada: 18,866

United Kingdom: 15,299

United States: 19,695

WEBSITE VIEWS
(PAGEVIEWS)

WEBSITE USERS

HOURS OF SANCTUARY FILMS WATCHED
(PER WEEK)

6.7x

7.1x

12.8x

WEBSITE VIEWS
(PAGEVIEWS)

6.7x

WEBSITE USERS

7.1x

HOURS OF SANCTUARY FILMS WATCHED
(PER WEEK)

12.8x

An eight-week study guide with films designed for small groups to explore mental health from
psychological, social, and theological perspectives, launched in October 2018

of course facilitators are very likely
to recommend The Sanctuary Course

COURSE DOWNLOADS

8.2x

ESTIMATED COURSE PARTICIPANTS

4.0x

COUNTRIES USING THE COURSE

4.6x

COURSE DOWNLOADS

8.2x

ESTIMATED COURSE PARTICIPANTS

4.0x

COUNTRIES USING THE COURSE

4.6x

Harrison Kwok
Pastor of Northern Collective Church

I pastor the Northern Collective, a church plant that started three years ago in Whitehorse, Yukon. The Yukon is home to about 40,000 people. There are more moose here than people! The Yukon is also one of the most secular places in all of Canada, and over half of the Yukon’s nineteen rural communities do not have a church. Our church facilitated The Sanctuary Course twice last summer. We held our sessions over Zoom. Our desire was to offer this course to anyone who was interested in exploring mental health topics and Christianity. Our hope was to equip people with tools and language to better understand mental health in light of the word of God. I enjoyed the video format and the organized curriculum. Hearing first-hand accounts from those living with mental illness provided a good avenue for creating safe space to dialogue about mental health issues in our own lives. Looking at the psychological, social, and theological perspectives was a helpful way to understand a complex topic. I am grateful for this resource and hope that the Church can continue to share the life and love of Jesus Christ to those who are struggling with mental health issues.

THE SANCTUARY COURSE STUDY

Sanctuary has received encouraging feedback that suggests The Sanctuary Course is raising awareness and starting conversations in the Church about mental health. We wanted to track how this anecdotal evidence translated to trackable data and how we could improve the course for future users.

For these reasons, we partnered with an experienced academic researcher to conduct a study with a small group of churches to learn how participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to mental health changed as a result of taking the course. What we found is deeply encouraging.

The Sanctuary Course was developed to meet five key objectives:

1. Raise awareness and start conversations about mental health in the Church

2. Provide an opportunity to learn through lived experience

3. Reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness in the Church

4. Share basic principles for offering care and support

5. Increase awareness of mental health resources and how to access them

Overall, the study findings suggest that The Sanctuary Course is meeting these objectives, regardless of participants’ understanding of mental health and illness prior to participating in the course.

Reducing Stigma

The study revealed that The Sanctuary Course reduces stigma surrounding mental illness in the Church.

of respondents felt better able to identify stigma in their own thinking.

of respondents felt more equipped to identify stigma in society.

of respondents had at least a 10% increase in comfort level having a conversation with a friend who is struggling with a deep sense of meaninglessness, separation from God, and lack of joy.

FINANCIAL SUMMARY

DONATIONS

Individuals: $454,339 | 87.3% 

Foundations: $40,000| 7.7%

Government: $15,003 | 2.9%

Other: $11,279 | 2.2%

FUND STEWARDSHIP

Program Research, Development, and Implementation: $388,898 | 81.9%

Administration: $59,129 | 12.4%

Fundraising: $27,005 | 5.7%

TOTAL DONORS

4.1x

TOTAL CONTACTS

2.6x

TOTAL DONORS

4.1x

TOTAL CONTACTS

2.6x

Audited financial statements are available upon request.

Kate, Corin, Dan, and Michelle; Vancouver, BC; March 2020

For Such a Time as This

Daniel Whitehead, CEO

I want to say a huge thank you for supporting Sanctuary this last year. It has been, by far, our biggest year ever, and we simply couldn’t have done it without the help of each of you, our amazing supporters and advocates.

With your help, we plan to continue to grow by establishing this work in new territories and new places, to create new tools that we know the Church needs, and to take existing tools and translate them into new languages. Some of our plans in the next eighteen months include:

      • Launching The Sanctuary Course for Catholics

      • Curating a race, mental health, and faith art project

      • Creating an improved and expanded version of The Sanctuary Course

      • Establishing a US charity

      • Developing a new resource on communities that live well together

      • Designing a program to help churches align with an integrated vision of faith and mental health beyond The Sanctuary Course

      • Researching for modules addressing specific mental health and faith topics

      • Researching a youth resource on mental health and faith

      • Improving the user experience by redeveloping our website

Despite living at a time of impending global financial insecurity, we don’t think this is a time for us to shrink back. Rather, we think for such a time as this, our work exists. A recent Canadian study showed that people are experiencing more pandemic-related mental health challenges, with high-level depression at double the pre-COVID rates and high-level anxiety at four times pre-COVID rates. Our work has never been more needed and sadly, I think over the next few years this statement is going to continue to be true. The good news is that if we can equip and mobilize the Church to be a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment, we can meet this real need in society and bring new hope and new life to those that need it most.

Thank you for joining in this important work. We are so grateful.

I want to say a huge thank you for supporting Sanctuary this last year. It has been, by far, our biggest year ever, and we simply couldn’t have done it without the help of each of you, our amazing supporters and advocates.

With your help, we plan to continue to grow by establishing this work in new territories and new places, to create new tools that we know the Church needs, and to take existing tools and translate them into new languages. Some of our plans in the next eighteen months include:

  • Launching The Sanctuary Course for Catholics
  • Curating a race, mental health, and faith art project
  • Creating an improved and expanded version of The Sanctuary Course
  • Establishing a US charity
  • Developing a new resource on communities that live well together
  • Designing a program to help churches align with an integrated vision of faith and mental health beyond The Sanctuary Course
  • Researching for modules addressing specific mental health and faith topics
  • Researching a youth resource on mental health and faith
  • Improving the user experience by redeveloping our website

Despite living at a time of impending global financial insecurity, we don’t think this is a time for us to shrink back. Rather, we think for such a time as this, our work exists. A recent Canadian study showed that people are experiencing more pandemic-related mental health challenges, with high-level depression at double the pre-COVID rates and high-level anxiety at four times pre-COVID rates. Our work has never been more needed and sadly, I think over the next few years this statement is going to continue to be true. The good news is that if we can equip and mobilize the Church to be a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment, we can meet this real need in society and bring new hope and new life to those that need it most.

Thank you for joining in this important work. We are so grateful.

WAYS TO GIVE

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

CHEQUE MAILED TO:

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries
PO Box 20147 Fairview
Vancouver, BC V5Z 0C1

GIFTS AND SECURITIES:

CHEQUE MAILED TO:

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries
PO Box 20147 Fairview
Vancouver, BC V5Z 0C1

GIFTS AND SECURITIES:

Registered Charity
Canada #84176 9284 RR0001 | UK #1191490