Join us for the Dedication of our New Office Space!

Join with us on Friday, June 8th for the dedication of our new office space! A generous donor has made our new, larger office space possible. Join us at 4 pm at 875 Main Street East in Hamilton for a special celebration. Max Woolaver, Anglican priest, will lead a special blessing, and John Terpstra, local Christian poet, will offer a reading. Light refreshments will be served. For more information call us at 866.347.0041 or email us at [email protected] Please come!photo for web

We gratefully acknowledge the many people who contributed to this amazing gift to Shalem through their time, talents and gifts:

Amanda Gallimore, Bill Ronhaar, Carl Vaartjes, Cobie Vaneerden, Dan VandenAkker, Dave La Forest, Ed Togeretz, Henry Vanderlaan, Julius Williams, Katie Karsten, Mike Steenbeek, Rob McGowan, Staff of Shalem, Board of Shalem Network, Board of Shalem Foundation and Anonymous Donors

Barton Glass, Bert Vis Flooring – Wolter Vis, Bill Welmers & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning, City of Hamilton, Criterium Jansen Engineers – Henry Jansen, Corner to Corner Painting – Heidi Winter, DeHaan Movers, Egmond Associates – John Van Egmond, Husky Contracting – Tim Humphries, Indwell INVIZIG Architects – Emma Cubitt, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Psychology Health Solutions, Royal LePage – Frederic Vandervelde, Sherwin Williams, Turkstra Lumber, The Voortman Foundation, and Zip Signs – Fred Bennink


Construction at our Main office!

Please be patient with the construction happening at our main office: 875 Main Street East. We are so excited about the installation of a new door and the construction of an accessible ramp, but this will cause a few disruptions on site. We will do our best to inform you if there is limited entry and parking on site. Construction is scheduled to take place between April 30 and May 31, 2018.

We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Hamilton, and Turkstra Lumber for their contribution to this project!


Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Institute presents: 2018 International Conference

The October 2018 Conference is an excellent opportunity for all professionals to learn more about how Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy is an effective way of working with children and families who have experienced interpersonal trauma.

Dyadic Developmental Practice and Psychotherapy (DDP) is an intervention model developed by Dr. Daniel Hughes, Clinical Psychologist, USA. DDP is based on attachment theory, intersubjectivity theory and interpersonal neurobiology.

Join us on October 22 – 24, 2018 for three days of learning more about DDP and its application to therapists, schools, residential programs, and organizations. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to learn from leading experts and to network with other professionals.

For full conference details, view this flyer.

To register, please complete the form below:


Hold Me Tight – Couples Weekend Workshop

Shalem facilitates Hold Me Tight® weekend workshops. We have two weekends to choose from in each year. The Hold Me Tight® Workshop, developed by Dr. Sue Johnson is a weekend workshop designed for couples around seven conversations based on the new science of love and the wisdom of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). The Hold Me Tight® is appropriate for couples who:

  • want to connect more deeply
  • want to get “unstuck” from their patterns
  • are in established or new relationships

April 21 – 22, 2018 will be facilitated by Susan Winter Fledderus and Shawn Groen.

The workshop will be held in Hamilton, Ontario.

Registration fees for the weekend are $550 and include refreshments and materials for the workshop, including lunch on both days. Please contact us for fee options or to discuss how you could use extended health coverage or other benefits to help with the fee.

To register, please complete the form below:

For complete details, you can view this flyer. Contact us for fee options or to discuss how you could use some CAP sessions or extended health coverage to help with the registration fee.

“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.

Mark Vander Vennen featured in Northumberland Today: “Help Needed for New Homelessness Initiative”

Shalem Executive Director Mark Vander Vennen was recently featured on the front page of “The Northumberland Today”, talking about WrapAround. As a representative of Shalem, Mark will be offering Wrap Canada Facilitator training in November, 2017, for the Greenwood Coalition in Port Hope, Ontario, along with his colleague Jane Ashmore from WrapAround Northumberland. You can view the complete article here.

RE-create featured in the Hamilton Spector

RE-create was recently featured on the front page of the GO section for the Hamilton Spectator. The article focused on a recent project, Growing Up Queen in the Hammer. This project was funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation and explored the experiences of LGBTQ+ youth as they explored their gender and sexuality. To read the complete article, including an image gallery, visit this link.

This art show is currently displayed at Hamilton Artists Inc, 155 James Street North.

Congratulations to Mark Vander Vennen!

Congratulations to Shalem’s Executive Director, Mark Vander Vennen, who has contributed an “Epilogue” to a brand new book entitled Beyond the Modern Age: An Archaeology of Contemporary Culture, published by Intervarsity Press. Mark’s Epilogue documents the story of one person’s inspiring, hope-filled life in politics, including activity as a Member of Parliament. Click here for a recent extensive review of the book. As an added honour, the authors of the book, Bob Goudzwaard and Craig Bartholomew, have dedicated the book to Mark! Congratulations to all—to Bob, Craig and Mark.


The Shack – Opens in Theatres March 3!

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.

Andrew Debicki

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.


Men and Depression Podcast

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 hereThe interview is a follow-up to Mark’s recent Shalem Digest article entitled “What’s Going On With Men Today?”, available here.

Mark Vander Vennen appears on “Jim Cantelon Today”

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.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Sexual Abuse: Hope Through Trauma

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!

Restorative Theory In Practice: Insights Into What Works And Why

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.

Day of Encouragement: Ancaster 2015

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.

5 Means I Love You

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.
5 for web
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!


Recreate Art Exhibit is Featured in the Hamilton Spectator

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.

Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation

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.

Canadian WrapAround: A Case Study of A Volunteer-Driven, Community-Based Approach for Families, Children and Youth with Complex Needs

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.

FaithCARE article in SAGE: CCJC’s e-bulletin

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.

The Congregational Assistance Program: Bringing Occupational Assistance to Faith Communities

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.

Advent 2014

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.

The Advent of Justice

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.”
Check it out here.

Fostering Restorative Workplaces: A Framework Approach

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.

Restoring Relationships–what churches can do, an interview with Bruce Schenk

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!

New DDP Network

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.

the LYRICS show

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.

Restorative Justice: Reconciliation in the City

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.

“Who I’m Not”: A New Book of Canadian Fiction

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.

The Gospel and Mental Health – Shalem’s 50th Anniversary Celebration: Refreshing Hearts in Christ

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.

Bringing EAP to Faith Communities: Genesis of a Canadian Congregational Assistance Plan

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.  

A Tale of Two Churches: The Development of a Congregational Assistance Program

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.

Launching 50th Anniversary Celebrations

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 — November Art Crawl in Hamilton

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!