I am delighted to share with you a “numbers” snapshot of Shalem’s 2014 activity with the people we are privileged to walk alongside. Statistics can be deceiving, but one message that these numbers clearly convey is that more and more people are seeking out our accompaniment.
About half of what Shalem does take place inside a counselling office. The other half takes place directly in communities where emotional and mental health needs emerge. In each area of the work, we seek to develop a new partnership between communities and professional mental health supports. Here are Shalem’s 2014 service numbers, with a comparison to 2013:
The numbers don’t tell the human stories that they contain. In Counselling and CAP, we support couples trying to salvage a marriage, young people working to overcome self-harm, seniors dealing with grief and depression due to loss, foster and adoptive children whose early and repeated abuse makes relationship so difficult, and women seeking to leave domestic violence.
In WrapAround and RE-create, we partner with resilient people seeking to overcome homelessness, poverty, mental health and other simultaneous special needs, celebrating with them when, for example, they find a job and a home or their children are returned to them from foster care.
In Restorative Practice, we support workplaces, churches and schools to have real, honest, respectful conversations that allow people who have been riven by conflict to repair relationships and genuinely move forward, rooted in proven relationship practices.
With Sunshine from Darkness, Shalem supports Durham-area churches to offer “The Gathering Place,” a regular dinner of celebration and community with over 50 people who have a diagnosed psychiatric disability.
In 2014 we worked directly with 1,801 people. It is a privilege to be invited into spaces of deep pain and healing, and there to encounter the God of living hope and the extraordinary courage of people.
Thank you! It is your support and encouragement, and your heart for this ministry that made our work possible in 2014. Significant improvements in our finances made it possible for us to manage our growth successfully. In 2014 our donation support increased 37% over the average annual donations over the last three years. And a new Foundation, the Shalem Mental Health Foundation, was created to support our work for the long haul. Look for more news about these developments in the next issue of the Shalem Networker!