RACE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND FAITH RESOURCES

RACE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND FAITH RESOURCES

WHAT ARE THESE RESOURCES FOR?

Sanctuary’s mission is to equip the Church to support mental health and wellbeing. Racial trauma can be incredibly damaging to the mental health of people and communities who have been oppressed and marginalized by overt and systemic racism. At Sanctuary, we hope to provide resources that help Christians open conversations about these issues. Our organization plans to spend more time researching, listening, learning, developing, and sharing on this topic in the coming years. Please continue to check this page for new resources about race, mental health, and faith.

WORDS SPOKEN ON A TEAR-SOAKED DAY

On May 27th, the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered in an unmarked grave on the grounds of the Kamloops (Tk’emlups) Residential School in British Columbia. This devastating discovery confirms the oral histories of elders and survivors and has resurfaced grief and trauma across Canada.

Under the residential school system, seven generations of Indigenous children were removed from their families and communities and confined in government-sponsored religious schools designed to educate the “Indian” out of them. The purpose of the schools was to eliminate all aspects of Indigenous culture and language by assimilating Indigenous children into a completely new and westernized way of life. In addition to experiencing physical, sexual, spiritual, and emotional abuse and inhumane living conditions, it’s estimated that thousands of children who attended these schools between 1831 and 1996 never returned home. At least five generations of Indigenous people continue to feel the impacts of intergenerational trauma.

At Sanctuary, our hearts are with the Secwépemc people, Indian Residential School Survivors, their families and communities, and all Indigenous people affected by this tragedy and Canada’s history of colonial violence and the residential school system. We see you, we hear you, and we are grieving alongside you.

We are immensely grateful for the Indigenous people who have chosen to work with us this past year. It’s an honour to share their stories, art, and this poem, written in response to the Kamloops tragedy, by Sanctuary Advisor Dr. Cheryl Bear, Nadleh Whu’ten First Nation.

To download this film and share it in your church or elsewhere, visit our Vimeo page and click “Download” beneath the video player. We recommend 1080p for the highest quality. 

This Indigenous History Month, we are taking time to educate ourselves, advocate for justice, and pray for our Indigenous sisters and brothers. This blog post contains resources for learning about Indigenous history as well as intersections of art, race, faith, and mental health. As an organization which promotes mental health and wellbeing, we recognize that historic and ongoing systemic racism have impacted the mental health of Indigenous peoples, and we condemn and denounce racism, oppression, and genocidal policies in every form. We also celebrate and acknowledge the dignity, worth, and value of all people made in the image of God.  

We are immensely grateful for the Indigenous people who have chosen to work with us this past year. It’s an honour to share their stories and artwork. 

We’re happy to announce Sanctuary’s newest project: Healing in Colour, an art collection featuring Black, Indigenous, and peoples of colour artists from around the world whose work tells stories of race, faith, and mental health. The artwork is featured at the Dal Schindell Gallery (free for viewing, online and in-person following COVID-19 guidelines) from May 5 – June 11, and is part of our ongoing work to equip the Church to support mental health and wellbeing by reducing stigma and starting conversations about mental health.

At Sanctuary, we recognize that historic and systemic oppression, as well as overt racism, lead to racial trauma and other mental health challenges, and we want our Asian sisters and brothers to know that we see you, we hear you, and we are with you. As an organization which promotes mental health and wellbeing, we recognize the impact of racism and condemn and denounce racism in all its forms, and we celebrate and acknowledge the dignity, worth, and value of all people made in the image of God. We also want to celebrate Asian cultures, protect Asian communities, support Asian businesses, and recognize Asian accomplishments. As an organization, we are thankful for the tremendous contributions of our Asian staff members, and we celebrate their perspectives, gifts, talents, and leadership.

In response to recent events, and acknowledging the historical racism experienced by Asian peoples, here are some resources our team has collected which may support you in caring for your own mental health, educating yourself, and becoming a better ally.

Recovering Hope

Sanctuary has partnered with author, speaker, and activist Tiffany Bluhm to produce a devotional addressing the intersection of race, mental health, and faith.  “Recovering Hope”—available now on the YouVersion Bible app—explores the realities of racial trauma and examines the themes of recovery found in Paul’s letters. Readers from every background will be encouraged to share stories, reflect on identity, and look for opportunities to cultivate hope and reconciliation in their communities. 

RACE, MENTAL HEALTH, AND FAITH: A CONVERSATION

An interview on The Sanctuary Blog with author, speaker, and activist Tiffany Bluhm. Tiffany is passionate about seeing communities and individuals transformed, whether in the UK or in her own backyard of Washington state. Here, she tells us a little more about the mission and messages that motivate her, and reflects on the significance of bringing mental health into dialogue with race and faith. 

Black Lives Matter

Sanctuary’s mission is to equip the Church to support mental health and wellbeing. Recent events have reminded us that there is so much more we can do in fighting against racial injustice, inequality, and white supremacy as we advocate for the creation of healthy communities that promote and sustain mental wellbeing. We acknowledge that we can do better in listening to and supporting people and communities who have been traumatized, oppressed, and marginalized by overt and systemic racism.

This blog post contains links to resources for those wanting to learn more about racial inequality, particularly at the intersection of faith and mental health.

Have questions about any of our tools or resources? Contact us at

support@sanctuarymentalhealth.org