Shalem Mental Health Network celebrated its new office space with an Open House and Dedication ceremony this spring!
When Shalem moved into a new office space in February 2017, there was some important work that needed to be done on the building, and the decision was made to hold a ceremony of celebration and dedication once the work was complete.
With support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Hamilton and numerous individuals and companies, renovations were completed to make the building accessible while maintaining the original woodwork and character inside the century home Shalem now occupies.
Approximately 70 people attended the celebration on Friday June 8th, gathering in the front parking lot for a short ceremony. The event attracted a wide range of people, including board members, volunteers, local supporters, partners and donors, as well as some neighbours.
During the ceremony, Ann Tennier of the Ontario Trillium Foundation gave a greeting and presented a commemorative plaque to Mark Vander Vennen, Shalem’s Executive Director. Shalem was the recipient of a capital grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation, which went toward materials for building the accessible ramp to the front door.
Local Hamilton poet John Tersptra read a moving poem, “A Common Thread” from his book Mischief. His selection reflected the experiences of those who find the journey through life challenging. His reading was well-received, with many commenting on how well his poem reflects the spirit of Shalem.
A dedication of the building was offered by Max Woolaver, Anglican Priest. He gave a blessing of the building and the services offered in it. He described the mutuality of how through blessing others, we also become blessed.
Following the ceremony, everyone was invited inside for refreshments and to tour the space.
Shalem has served the community for 55 years as a community-based mental health organization. Our programs are continuing to expand in order to meet the needs of the community. With a staff of almost 20 psychotherapists, social workers and social service workers, art therapists and admin personnel, Shalem offers:
- Individual, couple and family psychotherapy
- Congregational Assistance Plan and Counselling Assistance Plan for Students
- WrapAround care
- Restorative Justice services
- RE-create Art Studio (off-site)
Check out all these programs at www.shalemnetwork.org.
Susan Winter Fledderus is a Clinical Therapist with Shalem Mental Health Network