Free course for churches launches on Mental Health Awareness Week

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Free course for churches launches on Mental Health Awareness Week

Published: 11 May 2022
With the support of our funding, Sanctuary UK has released a new resource to help churches respond to growing mental health challenges in our communities.
Created during the pandemic, The Sanctuary Course helps churches explore mental health together from a faith perspective. Easy to run and accessible, the film-based resource consists of eight sessions and includes expert insights from mental health professionals and theologians. Each session centres on real-life experiences of people living with mental health challenges from a wide variety of backgrounds.
The Sanctuary Course offers a tangible way for churches to engage in a topic often viewed as complex in an informed and helpful way. The aim of The Sanctuary Course is to help churches grow as safe, welcoming communities, prepared to support those who face mental health challenges.
Sanctuary’s UK Patron, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, said: “I am delighted that The Sanctuary Course is helping churches start conversations about mental health and reduce the ridiculous stigma attached to illness. We must all get better at talking about this.”
The Archbishop has also introduced a new film to promote the course:
Corin Pilling, UK Director of Sanctuary, said: “We recognise that church leaders, like the rest of us, are exhausted by the pressures of the last few years, and many are at capacity in terms of what they can do. The Sanctuary Course doesn’t require existing knowledge of mental health issues, it doesn’t need you to create anything except space to start the conversation. This is greatly needed as we rebuild our lives together, post- pandemic.
“Mental health is integral to who we are as human beings and our ability to flourish. We’ve seen that churches can provide a safe and sustainable welcome to those living with mental health challenges, but there is still stigma for those impacted. The Sanctuary Course is here to help move the mental health conversation out of the back rooms and into the heart of the church. We’re inviting others to become part of the growing number of Christians taking mental health seriously.’’
More about The Sanctuary Course…
• The course has been developed in consultation with mental health professionals, theologians, and people who have experienced mental health challenges. 
• It is designed for small group settings. 
• It is a valuable tool that can impact the whole church, not just the leadership or pastoral team.
• The sessions are ready to use and the material is easily accessible.
• Video content, guided conversations and reflection times all help small groups engage with what mental health is.
To find out more and access the course, visit

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