Paul Young, author of The Shack, continues to be a key supporter of Shalem Mental Health Network.
Paul’s powerful novel was released as a movie and opened in theatres in early March. Shalem was a partner with Paul at a pre-screening event in Oakville on March 1st, 2017. Paul created a short video introducing Shalem and describing Shalem’s work as bringing God’s grace into a hurting world.
Shalem’s friendship with Paul began several years ago when we invited him to be part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. In his keynote address, Paul spoke openly about his journey of healing from childhood sexual abuse, with crucial help from a therapist, and with healing from God. He encouraged all those who have painful pasts or pain in the present to similarly seek help and healing.
Paul celebrated with us our 50 years of journeying with clients who have their own stories of pain and who have received grace and healing through therapy at Shalem.
When people like Paul share openly about their own experiences of abuse, emotional and mental health struggles, and relationship difficulties, they break the silence and undo the stigma that so many of us carry.
People like Paul make it safer for the rest of us to name our own pain, and to seek the support and help that is available. They allow friends and family members to share more deeply and honestly about their own journeys of both pain and grace. They make it a little easier for us to pick up the phone and call a therapist. And their stories of healing give hope that healing is possible for all of us.
By watching The Shack in theatre or sharing the novel, you too can participate in this message of hope and healing. And as you do, you too might be encouraged to share more of your own journey of hope and healing, breaking down stigmas and spreading hope, just as Paul Young does in sharing his stories.
Susan Winter Fledderus is a Clinical Therapist with Shalem Mental Health Network