THE SANCTUARY COURSE FOR CATHOLICS

NOW AVAILABLE

about the course

What is The Sanctuary Course for Catholics?

One in four people will be affected by a mental health problem at some point in their lives, yet the stigma surrounding mental illness silences many and prevents faith communities from responding compassionately and effectively. This eight-session course—designed for use in small groups—explores the realities of mental health and illness, as well as the vital need for faith-based community conversations about these topics. The sessions are accompanied by compelling films that feature the stories of Catholics living with mental health challenges, along with the insights of archbishops, theologians, and psychologists.

Watch the trailer:

Who should participate in this course?

The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is designed to raise awareness and start conversations in local parishes 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 for Catholics 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 your faith community. 

What does it cover?

Over the course of the eight weeks, participants will explore topics such as:

  • Understanding mental health and illness
  • Challenging stigma
  • The recovery journey
  • Companionship
  • Self-care
  • The role of community in mental health recovery

Each topic is explored from a psychological, social, and theological perspective. 

COURSE STRUCTURE

Mental Health Courses - Eight Topics

EIGHT TOPICS

You will explore the opportunity for Christian engagement in the mental health conversation, expand your understanding of mental health, examine the realities of mental illness, consider the effects of stigma, define the principles and processes of recovery, reflect on the importance of companionship, learn about self-care, and discuss ways that your faith community can support mental health.

Mental Health Courses - Discussion

DISCUSSION

Each session includes several discussion questions designed to help you and your group engage interactively with the content and process the reading. There are also opportunities for you to
reflect more personally on the topics through prayer.

Mental Health Courses - Films

FILMS

Each session includes a short film where Catholics share personal stories about mental health and mental illness.

Mental Health Courses - Group Guidelines

GROUP GUIDELINES

The Sanctuary Course for Catholics comes with carefully thought-out group guidelines. These guidelines are designed to help create an atmosphere of safety and respect in your group. 

CONTRIBUTORS

Rev. Michael Miller
Archbishop of Vancouver, BC
Rev. Samuel Aquila
Archbishop of Denver, CO
Helena Orellana
Divine Mercy University
Harvey Payne
Divine Mercy University
Fr. David Songy
Saint Luke Institute
Scott Hefelfinger
Augustine Institute
Dr. Chi-Chi Obuaya
Mind and Soul Foundation
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  • Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB Archbishop of Vancouver, BC
  • Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, STL  Archbishop of Denver, CO
  • Helena Orellana, PsyD, LCP Clinical Psychologist, Director of IPS Center for Psychological Services, Divine Mercy University
  • Harvey Payne, PsyD Academic Dean, Divine Mercy University
  • Father David Songy, OFM Cap., STD, PsyD President and CEO, Saint Luke Institute
  • Scott G. Hefelfinger, STL, PhD Assistant Professor of Theology, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology
  • Dr. Chi-Chi Obuaya, MRCPsych, MBA, MBBS – Consultant Psychiatrist, Co-Director of the Mind and Soul Foundation

CONTRIBUTORS

 

  • Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, CSB – Archbishop of Vancouver, BC
  • Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, STL – Archbishop of Denver, CO
  • Helena Orellana, PsyD, LCP Clinical Psychologist, Director of IPS Center for Psychological Services, Divine Mercy University
  • Harvey Payne, PsyD Academic Dean, Divine Mercy University
  • Father David Songy, OFM Cap., STD, PsyD President and CEO, Saint Luke Institute
  • Scott G. Hefelfinger, STL, PhD Assistant Professor of Theology, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology
  • Dr. Chi-Chi Obuaya, MRCPsych, MBA, MBBS – Consultant Psychiatrist, Co-Director of the Mind and Soul Foundation

HOW DO I ACCESS THE COURSE?

The Sanctuary Course for Catholics is now available on FORMED.

FORMED is a technology platform for the delivery of award-winning Catholic content, children’s programming, audio talks, e-books, and more, attracting over 1,000,000 users across 5,500 parish communities. Learn more, sign up, and find The Sanctuary Course for Catholics on their website.

AVAILABLE ON:

ENDORSEMENTS

Jim McManus - Health Foundation Fellows

These new materials are a great gift to the Church for today. They help us recover the fundamental insight that for Jesus, healing and care for human flourishing were integral to his mission. There is no mission without concern for human flourishing, and mental health is core to that. These materials go beyond support for individuals. They set out a reminder to people that God loves you in the midst of life’s struggles and provide encouragement to the Church to live the Gospel. To do what Jesus did. To strive for flourishing for all.

Jim McManus, Chartered Psychologist and Vice-President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health, Health Advisor to the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, President of the Guild of Health and St Raphael

I am pleased to have the Augustine Institute and FORMED make available The Sanctuary Course for Catholics. The Sanctuary Course is an exciting new resource designed to help parishes and small groups raise awareness and open conversations about mental health. The Sanctuary Course addresses questions of mental health from a faith-filled perspective that helps participants integrate their theology with their understanding of mental health, while also learning from Catholics who have experienced mental health challenges. I pray that The Sanctuary Course will be a source of encouragement for many.

Tim Gray, PhD, President of the Augustine Institute
Tim Gray, PhD, President of the Augustine Institute

ABOUT SANCTUARY

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries is a Christian organization that was founded in 2012 for the purpose of equipping churches to make a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing mental health challenges. Today, Sanctuary remains committed to its founding mission: raising mental health awareness within faith communities and providing theologically-sound educational resources and training to promote mental wellbeing. The Sanctuary Course for Catholics has been developed in partnership with Catholic mental health professionals, theologians, and clergy. Through this collaborative effort, Sanctuary hopes to see local parishes inspired and equipped to support members with lived experience of mental health challenges.

Sanctuary equips the Church to support mental health and wellbeing.

ABOUT SANCTUARY

Sanctuary equips the Church to support mental health and wellbeing.

Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries is a Christian organization that was founded in 2012 for the purpose of equipping churches to make a difference in the lives of individuals experiencing mental health challenges. Today, Sanctuary remains committed to its founding mission: raising mental health awareness within faith communities and providing theologically-sound educational resources and training to promote mental wellbeing. The Sanctuary Course for Catholics has been developed in partnership with Catholic mental health professionals, theologians, and clergy. Through this collaborative effort, Sanctuary hopes to see local parishes inspired and equipped to support members with lived experience of mental health challenges.