Learning & Resources

Shalem Mental Health Network

Bringing EAP to Faith Communities

Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 2013

Mark Vander Vennen MA, MEd, RSW, Marg Smit-Vandezande MSW, RSW, Ken Van Wyk MPhil, MBA & Rick Csiernik MSW, PhD, RSW


Inspired by employee assistance programming, this article reviews the evolution of a parallel process for a different constituency, members of faith communities, a Congregational Assistance Plan. The relationship between spirituality and counseling in Canada is discussed leading to a review of the process through which two Christian-based counseling agencies developed a network to serve the personal and mental health needs of church parishioners. The goals of the Congregational Assistance Plan are presented along with its structuring, implementation, and utilization data for the churches that piloted the initiative.