Shalem is excited to share with you the following video with Paul Young, author of the Shack. The Shack opens in theatres on March 3rd!
SHALEM from Shalem Mental Health Network on Vimeo.
The Shack shares the story of a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a crisis of faith. After receiving a mysterious letter, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa [Octavia Spencer]. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.
Mark Vander Vennen was interviewed recently by Faith Today. Mark was able to talk about what is at the heart of Shalem’s mission, and why mental and emotional health are such important issues for the Canadian Church to be aware of. Read his responses and the full article here.
Andrew Debicki — November 25, 1954 – February 10, 2016
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our treasured colleague, staff member and friend, Andrew Debicki. Andrew passed away suddenly at Hamilton General Hospital, surrounded by the care of his wife Wendy and their children.
Andrew was Shalem’s WrapAround Development Director and the National Development Director for Wrap Canada. He has been a leading figure in the development of WrapAround across Canada, traveling to support WrapAround initiatives across the country. Andrew was passionate about WrapAround and the impact it has with families who have complex needs.
His loss is keenly felt by the WrapAround community across Canada and by the Shalem staff. All of us will be honoured to carry his work forward, built upon the remarkable legacy that he has left.
Andrew was an extraordinarily generous, kind and gifted man. Our thoughts and prayers are with Wendy (his life-partner for over 40 years), his children, and his grandchildren. A private family funeral will take place, and a “Celebration of Life” event is currently being planned. When the details of that event become clear (including the date), we will post them. To view the notice in the Hamilton Spectator, click here.
The family has requested that donations made in Andrew’s honour go to the charity of your choice. Our WrapAround colleague Cathy Blocki-Radeke from Oolagen in Toronto has begun a “GoFundMe” campaign in support of Wendy and their family–please consider this opportunity to support them in Andrew’s memory. The National WrapAround Initiative in the United States, has posted a beautiful tribute to Andrew - you can find that notice here. We will also be pleased to pass along to the family any expressions of sympathy you would like to make. Please contact us here.
Shalem’s Mark Vander Vennen was interviewed by Kirk Giles, Executive Director of Promise Keepers Canada, for a Promise Keepers podcast about “Men and Depression”. You can listen to the podcast here. The interview is a follow-up to Mark’s recent Shalem Digest article entitled “What’s Going On With Men Today?”, available here.
Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen has made two recent appearances on the television show “Jim Cantelon Today”. Mark’s interview about “Christmas and Depression”—the reality that for many people Christmas is not a happy time—aired on November 30. On the show which aired on January 5, Jim has a conversation with Mark about Mark’s co-authored book Hope in Troubled Times: A New Vision for Confronting Global Crises, Foreword by Desmond Tutu.
Shalem’s FaithCARE (Faith Communities Affirming Restorative Experiences) program has been extensively profiled in a major new book! The book, called The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse: Hope Through Trauma, is the newest addition to the internationally regarded “Little Book” series on restorative practice and conflict transformation. Written by Shalem colleague Judah Oudshoorn, with support from another Shalem colleague, Michelle Jackett, FaithCARE’s work is used as a primary source for the book’s chapter entitled “Communities: A Case Study”. The book itself is an outstanding addition to the restorative justice literature and helps to fill a gap in that literature. We highly recommend it!
Shalem’s Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen has just had a chapter published in a new landmark book about restorative justice. The book is called Restorative Theory In Practice: Insights Into What Works And Why, edited by internationally renowned restorative justice practitioner Belinda Hopkins. Mark’s chapter, called “Towards a Relational Theory of Restorative Justice”, explores how “attachment theory”, which undergirds our attachment psychotherapy work at Shalem, can enhance the theoretical understanding of why restorative justice is effective. The chapter represents a milestone in both our attachment and restorative practice activities at Shalem—and especially at understanding the deep the links between them. It is also a reflection of the increasing hearing that Shalem is receiving in the mental health world.
On November 30th, Mark Vander Vennen will speak about Christmas and Depression on Jim Cantelon Today. This episode will been seen on VISION TV at 11:30 am. For more information visit Jim’s website here.
A number of Shalem staff will be participating in the Annual Day of Encouragement in Ancaster on October 17, 2015.
- Susan Winter Fledderus will speak on “When Marriages Fall Apart: How Churches can support couples and their families”.
- Jennifer Bowen will lead a workshop entitled: “Mental Health in Our Churches: Let’s Talk About It”.
- Anne Martin will present on “Going Forth Creating Healthy Relationships: A Restorative Response to the Great Commission”.
For more information and to register for this event, visit Diaconal Ministries.
On Sunday, November 8, 2015, June Zwier will be participating in a mental health awareness at Westside CRC in Kingston. For more information, contact the church here.
5 Means I Love You is written by Shalem staff member Anne Martin, and beautifully illustrated by Geoff Bateman, the book tells the story of “Tom”, a foster child who is adopted by two loving parents. The story traces their sometimes challenging journey into loving attachment.
Written in comic book form, “5 Means I Love You” is suitable for all ages, from young children to adults. The book supports Shalem’s “Linking Lives/Building Attachment” program and is endorsed by Dr. Dan Hughes, our mentor in attachment.
The book was printed by Print Ninja, and we were thrilled with their professional service. We highly recommend them!
This is available for purchase through Shalem’s office for $10 a copy plus shipping. Please complete the form below to order a copy today!
RE-create Art Studio had a fantastic art exhibit opening on Friday, June 12. “The Sights and Sounds of Where We Belong” was a project that stemmed from a research project where the youth identified places in Hamilton that they felt were welcoming and youth friendly and spaces that were not welcoming. This initial research was in partnership with the Resilience Research Centre, and Dr. Linda Liebenberg. RE-create is grateful to the Laidlaw Foundation for funding for “The Sights and Sounds of Where We Belong” project. Check out this link to read the full story in the Hamilton Spectator.
REcreate Outreach Art Studio has been featured again in Urbanity. This article is titled “The Helping Hand of Art”. You can see the complete article here. In this article Vivian Khouw touches on why the youth love the studio space.
Mark Vander Vennen was interviewed by David Peck on Face 2 Face. Listen to the full podcast here. Mark talks about shame versus guilt, mental health issues and how we are all wired for relationships. Mark shares his thoughts on desperate and difficult issues of our time.
Shalem is honoured to partner with the Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation. We are grateful for their recent support of Shalem’s WrapAround program. The Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation “aims to improve the quality of life for LGBTQ individuals and those living with mental illness by increasing mental health awareness and spiritual health reform.” Shalem is proud to be associated with the Foundation, we commend them to you for your support, and we look forward to continued ways to partner together in this crucial work.
A milestone journal essay about Shalem’s WrapAround work has just been published. Called “Canadian WrapAround: A Case Study of A Volunteer-Driven, Community-Based Approach for Families, Children, and Youth with Complex Needs in Hamilton, Ontario”, the essay shows that a community-based volunteer WrapAround program can achieve research-validated outcomes with families that are as strong as professional staff-driven WrapAround initiatives. The article is published in the journal Relational Child and Youth Care Practice (Vol. 27, #4). Congratulations to our partner, WrapAround Hamilton, on these outstanding results. Congratulations also to lead author Lauren Wallace (volunteer chair of WrapAround Hamilton) and Shalem staff co-authors Andrew Debicki, Elske De Visch Eybergen and Mark Vander Vennen.
Shalem’s Congregational Assistance Plan (CAP) was recently featured in Christian Courier. An article by Krista Dam-VandeKuyt highlights how church communities can care for their members and share their burdens through CAP. To read the complete article, visit Christian Courier.
FaithCARE was featured recently in the e-bulletin for the Church Council on Justice and Corrections (CCJC). In the SAGE e-bulletin, Anne Martin reflections on how conflict isn’t optional when it comes to human relationships, but we can decide on how we respond to that conflict. Anne describes how churches can respond to conflict and gives examples of how FaithCARE has worked in church settings. Read the full article here.
Dr. Rick Csiernik along with Mark Vander Vennen, Marg Smit-VandeZande and Ken Van Wyk were authors in Workplace Wellness: Issues and Responses. Their chapter was titled: The Congregational Assistance Program: Bringing Occupational Assistance to Faith Communities. (Csiernik, R. (2014). Workplace Wellness: Issues and Responses. Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.) To read the chapter, visit this link.
Immanuel, God with us. Read some of Mark’s reflections on celebrating Advent with the new story of “God with us”, the old story of failures and despair no longer have the upper hand. Also included are some highlights from 2014, including stories of change and hope for those we work alongside. Blessings for this Advent season, and thank you for what you do in your communities to live out the hope we celebrate this Advent: Immanuel, God with us.
In 1993 Mark Vander Vennen, now Shalem’s Executive Director, co-authored a book of Advent meditations entitled “The Advent of Justice”. The devotional has recently been printed for a third time! Co-authors with Mark are noted Biblical scholars Sylvia Keesmaat (who also served as editor), Brian Walsh and Richard Middleton, with illustrations by Willem Hart. They and Mark are thrilled that this little book continues to have a life and be in demand.
The back cover states, “In this book of reflections, four friends come together to lead us more deeply into Advent as a time of profound hope for the coming of God’s good kingdom of shalom while also a time of lament and anguish in the face of injustice.”
On November 15 Mark Vander Vennen will speak on the topic “What Does It Mean to be a Man Today?” at a Men at the Table breakfast gathering held at Bethel Christian Reformed Church in Waterdown, Ontario. For more information about this event, please visit this link.
On October 27 staff members Mark Vander Vennen and Anne Martin will co-present with Bruce Schenk, Director of the International Institute for Restorative Practices—Canada, a workshop called “Fostering Restorative Workplaces: A Framework Approach”, at the 17th World Conference of the International Institute of Restorative Practices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Mark and Jennifer joined Drew Marshall’s show for their “Pub Crawl” portion of the show on October 4, 2014. Listen to this interview as they discuss CAP, suicide, self-harm and domestic violence. You can find this interview here on the Drew Marshall page.
One of our key partners in our FaithCARE work (restorative practices in faith communities) is the International Institute for Restorative Practices-Canada and its Director, Bruce Schenk. Don’t miss this new, in-depth interview with Bruce in Christianity Today. It provides an excellent description of what drives his and our work. A big congratulations to Bruce!
A congratulations to Dan and all of the DDP practitioners around the world, with the launch of their new DDP network. The DDP network is a worldwide body that promotes Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and support professionals, parents, and caregiver in finding out about the therapy and parenting approach. The DDP network involves the process of “creating connections for developing relationships”. Shalem’s Attachment Director, Betty J.B. Brouwer is a registered DDP practitioner (and listed on the website); she is close to becoming a consultant.
Join REcreate Outreach Art Studio in celebrating an exhibition of artwork, created by REcreate youth that is inspired by song lyrics and the power of musical self-expression. The opening reception is on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 6 pm at the Freeway Cafe in Hamilton. Musical entertainment and light refreshments will be provided. For more information, please view this postcard.
On February 20 Shalem’s Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen will offer a plenary address at a conference at the University of Toronto called “Peace In the City“. Mark will speak on “Restorative Justice: Reconciliation in the City”. The conference is put on by Wycliffe College, World Vision Canada, Conrad Grebel (Peace and Conflict Studies), and Urban Remixed. You can register here.
Take a moment to view this video about Shalem. This video was created for our 50th anniversary celebration and describes how with your support, we are making a difference in the lives of people who struggle with mental illness. We are grateful for your support and partnership!
Introducing Shalem from Shalem Mental Health Network on Vimeo.
Congratulations to Ted Staunton, a friend of Shalem’s Executive Director, Mark Vander Vennen. Ted, a noted Canadian author of books for children and young adults, has just published a work of fiction called “Who I’m Not”. The main character, “Danny”, negotiates life as a young man with an attachment disorder–the type of issue and young person that Shalem works with in our “Linking Lives/Building Attachment for Children and Youth” counselling program. Ted consulted with Mark throughout the writing of the book on how a young person with that attachment profile would see and experience the world, and he references the Shalem Mental Health Network in his Acknowledgements. It’s a rollicking great read–and one that tells the story in a way that no amount of clinical reports ever could.
Mark Vander Vennen and Anne Martin participated in the plenary address at the 16th World Conference on Restorative Practice. They spoke on Restorative Practices in Faith Communities. Check out the live blog here.
On October 5th, Shalem celebrated 50 years of restoring hope. Our special guests for the evening were Author Paul Young of “The Shack” and Singer, Songwriter Jacob Moon. Paul Young spoke to us on the topic “The Gospel and Mental Health“. We celebrated hope found even in the midst of pain.
Congratulations to Dorothy Vaandering and Angie Dornai, two of our colleagues in restorative justice work, on their article “Hurt People Hurt People, Helped People Help People“, telling a story of restorative practice in a school, published in March/April 2013 issue of “Canadian Teacher Magazine”
Mark Vander Vennen was featured in the May/June issue of Faith Today in an interview by Karen Stiller. In this article Mark spoke about what mental health means for a Christian, when to go for therapy, and how Christians can stop saying inappropriate things to each other during rough times. Read the complete article here.
Mark Vander Vennen and Marg Smit-VandeZande together with Ken Van Wyk and Ric Csiernik recently had the following professional journal article published in the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health. The article titled: “Bringing EAP to Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Plan“ can be found here.
Shalem’s WrapAround program was featured in a report from World Vision Canada. The report entitled Poverty at Your Doorstep: Hamilton 2013 shared a story from a single mother who was involved with WrapAround. Take a moment to read this enlightening report.
Josh Wachtel featured Shalem’s Restorative Practice Hosting Project in a recent International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) blog post. Josh wrote about the hosting program and how faith communities act as hosts of restorative processes that happen in their local communities. Read the full post here.
Shalem’s CAP program has been featured in the Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health in the an article titled “A Tale of Two Churches: The Development of a Congregational Assistance Program”. Both Marg Smit-VandeZande and Mark Vander Vennen are two of the authors of this piece, along with Ken Van Wyk and Rick Csiernik. To read the full article, visit this link.
The National Post recently wrote an article on Restorative Practices in a Newfoundland School and how it has tranformed the culture at their school. Here is a link to the full article: Detention is over: Schools trying out discussion first before resorting to by-the-book discipline.
Shalem is celebrating God’s faithfulness over the past 50 years! Please join us in a service of celebration, praising God for 50 years, and commending Shalem to God for this Anniversary year and beyond. Rev. Henk Bruinsma will lead us in a service of celebration and worship to launch the anniversary celebrations on Thursday, January 31st, 2013 at 7 pm. The service will be held in Heritage Hall at Holland Christian Homes, 7900 McLaughlin Road South, Brampton. For more information, view this link or please contact the Shalem office at 866-347-0041.
Perspectrum is a collaborative art project between students from RE-create Outreach Art Studio, Hamilton District Christian High School, and Notre Dame House School. The art from this project will open with a reception on November 9, 2012 from 7 pm – 9 pm for the Art Crawl in Hamilton. The art will be displayed from November 9 – 30. For more information, contact RE-create’s Studio Coordinator: Meghan Hers. Please join us!
On October 14, 2012, Mark Vander Vennen preached at Rehoboth Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, 800 Burnhamthorpe Road, Toronto, ON M9C 2Z3. Mark’s message is entitled “The Gift of Joy”, focused on older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Read his message in full here click HERE.
Listen to this interview on the use of Restorative Practices in Schools. Dorothy Vaandering, a professor at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, was interviewed on CBC this past summer. Dorothy Vaandering edits the RJ Dialogue, co-published by Dorothy and Shalem, and was also a founding member of the FaithCARE group.
Elske de Visch Eybergen recently had an opinion piece published in the Hamilton Spectator, entitled: Don’t Judge: Walk with the Poor. This piece is clear, well-written and passionate, read the full article here.
Congratulations to our partner in restorative practice, the International Institute of Restorative Practice—Canada, on its work with the Toronto District School Board, featured in this front-page article in the Toronto Star.
REcreate Outreach Art Studio, in partnership with the Urban Arts Initiative will be participating in the May Art Crawl in Hamilton. The show is titled: See My Voice! Declarations in photograph The opening reception is on May 11, 2012 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. For more information, view this link. Please join us!
A big thanks to the Pickering Islamic Centre, which hosted its first Family Group Conference session on March 26. For more on Shalem’s HOSTING program, click here
Recently, FaithCARE was featured in an article from the IIRP on how Faith Communities are Adopting Restorative Practices. View this article here. Mark Vander Vennen was also recently featured on the Restorative Practices Blog.
Read Mark Vander Vennen’s article about a restorative justice New Year’s resolution in Northumberland Today.
John is one of Ontario’s Forgotten Children, Mark introduces John and our attachment psychotherapy work in this letter. Please consider supporting Shalem this Christmas Season.
Mark Vander Vennen was recently a studio guest with Drew. LISTEN to this interview where Mark and Drew discuss the “Christmas Crazies”.
Gerald was a tireless advocate, all of his life, for people on the margins, for justice and dignity for all. He was a member of the Order of Canada. Read this wonderful tribute to Gerald’s life from Mark Vander Vennen.