Spiritual Care at CAMH
Twice a month, two members of the Bathurst congregation travel to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto’s west end.
They go there to conduct worship services in the CAMH forensic assessment unit. The doors at the unit are locked. The people inside are facing criminal charges and are being evaluated prior to their trial.
This spiritual care initiative is supported by volunteers from Bathurst and other local churches. Judy McCallum has been a key participant since the launching of the project six years ago. She says one goal is to be an ally to those with mental health challenges.
“It is our hope that our presence is a way of bringing love and the Spirit into the lives of some of the most marginalized people in the city, and of letting them know they are not alone.”
McCallum says another aim is to promote openess and conversations about mental health issues within Bathurst and in the wider community. As well, the initiative helps the churches to be welcoming to people with mental health issues who may be looking for a congregation.
The worship services are in the afternoon, on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Under a partnership with CAMH, the volunteers receive training and an orientation from the Centre's personnel.