Did you know that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a mental health issue in any given year, and 1 in 3 will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime?
This means that every Sunday people are sitting in pews struggling deeply, others are not able to attend a service or become involved in the community because their mental health keeps them away.
Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries is here to help. We journey alongside churches and parishes, preparing communities to embrace all lived experiences.
Journey with us in preparing your faith community
to support mental health recovery.
Announcing the appointment of Daniel Whitehead,
Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries’ National Director
A message from Sharon
There are moments in life when you look back at how you got there, and you stand amazed. This is such a moment as Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries welcomes our new National Director!
I am excited and filled with confidence to hand over leadership to Daniel Whitehead. Dan, thank you for hearing the Spirit's call, for paying attention to the suffering in our world, and for saying 'yes' in response. There is much need and promise ahead. As you lead Sanctuary forward, I will be praying for you and the team’s continued achievements. I wish to leave you with the words of God from Joshua Chapter 1: "For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land".
As Founding Director, I will be in the pews supporting you and Sanctuary along the journey.
A message from the Board
On behalf of the Board of Directors we welcome Daniel Whitehead as Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries’ National Director.
Chosen for his skill, wisdom, energy and compassion, Daniel will lead forward from where our Founding Director, Dr. Sharon Smith has brought us.
We are thrilled to welcome Daniel into the senior leadership role at Sanctuary. As we step into this new time, we wholeheartedly thank Sharon for her vision, passion and significant contributions to Sanctuary. Her knowledge, grace and perseverance to grow from personal loss as well as her academic excellence have served Sanctuary and faith-communities well. We so appreciate that she will continue to journey with us as the Founding Director. In this role, Sharon will continue to be seen in community engagements and program development. Thank you Sharon and Daniel for responding to God’s invitations.
Daniel hails from the UK, is married to Annie and has two young children, Evie and Jack. He comes to us having been a Senior Pastor of a church for eight years. His time as a pastor exposed him to many compassion and social justice ministries with regular international exposure in nations such as Russia, Albania, South Africa, Kenya and India. Daniel is by nature a networker and a visionary and he brings a great deal of infectious enthusiasm for God and His people. We have been impressed by his ability to connect relationally and his natural pastoral inclination.
Currently, Daniel is completing his MA in Christian Studies at Regent College. While finishing his studies, Daniel will be in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please take a moment to stop by Sanctuary’s office, introduce yourself, and welcome Daniel; he would be delighted to meet you in person.
A message from Daniel
I want to express how humbled and honoured I feel to have been invited to take on the role of steering this phenomenal non-profit charity to a national footing.
As I step into this role I do so aware that I stand on the shoulders of many who have blazed a trail before me, most notably Dr. Sharon Smith, whose passion, character and consistent rallying cry have endowed Sanctuary with a rich and lasting legacy from which we all continue to benefit.
I want to take this opportunity to publically acknowledge Sharon and to state how grateful I am to have someone of her calibre, as Founding Director, to stand behind me as I lead in this new season.
I also want to acknowledge the hard work of the board and the existing staff team in creating an environment where creativity, determination and passion synergize so well with what God is doing. This is particularly true of our Director of Programming, Terresa Augustine, with whom I relish the opportunity to work closely.
I must also acknowledge the generosity and support of the many donors and volunteers who have made the work of Sanctuary possible. It is my desire to listen well to you, to learn from you and to collaboratively and relationally take this movement forward with you.
Finally, I want to give thanks and praise to our Lord. Sanctuary was founded in response to the gospel call to BE the transformative good news, and it is to this call that we must continue to press on in hope and faith toward all that the Lord wants to do in and through us.
As we step into this next phase, I pray that we do so with a strong resolution to continue this invaluable work, a work of redemptively restoring our brokenness in community with God, others and self.
Long may Sanctuary continue in its God given call to speak intelligently, pastorally and theologically into the mental health arena, as we prepare people of faith to support mental health recovery in their communities.
In Christ’s Service,