“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
So many people struggle with mental health and addiction issues it’s nearly impossible to scratch the surface of the depth of the problems we face on a daily basis. Today, as we consider these massive issues, it’s important to understand that we’re not dealing with an ‘us and them’ issue here. I suspect most of us who work for and support The Salvation Army have experienced an addiction and/or a mental health issue. I regularly battle my own demons of depression and food addiction; my guess is that it’s a daily struggle for many of us; not just our ‘clients’.
Today we’re talking about and praying for just ‘us’ (justice).
Here are some of our Addiction and Mental Health Services that we’ll be praying for today:
Booth Packaging and Supportive Services
- Teach and maintain work skills for community inclusion while facilitating holistic support from a Christian perspective for adults with mental health needs and/or developmental disabilities
- Clients begin at the base level, performing simple assembly and packaging tasks along with the optional activities they choose to further their objectives
- The other complementary activities offered include Devotions, Bible Study, Fellowships, Board of Education Essential Skills Upgrading, and other personal interest activities
- 151 people served
- 10 staff
Booth Supportive Services
- Provide “wrap around” support and services in the housing context to people with severe and complex mental health and addiction issues
- 80 people served
- 10 staff
PLUS (People Learning Useful Skills) Program
- Day program for adults with a psychiatric illness
- Vocational Assessment, Training and Individual Counselling
- Social Recreation Club with Life Skills Groups, activities and outings
- Skills Training – factory assembly and packaging, computer, shipping/receiving, food preparation training, lead hand training, joint health & safety committee
- 120 people served
- 6 staff
TEP (Transitional Employment Program)
- A vocational rehabilitation program serves adults in the community who are living with a diagnosed a mental health issue
- Participants of the program can expect to receive employment support, on-site training, job placement, or assistance with job searching
- Develops mini-businesses to employ many clients who want part-time work; these include janitorial, lawn care and vending machines
- 40 people served
- 4 staff
Toronto Harbour Light Ministries and Homestead Addiction Services
- 4 Physical locations in Toronto, Scarborough and Glencairn
- 2 Community Churches—Toronto: Harbour Light and Glencairn: Hope Acres
- 3 residential addiction/concurrent disorder treatment programs , 2 Community addiction treatment programs and Satellite Addiction Counsellors in all Salvation Army Shelters in Toronto, Peel Region and Halton Region
- 2 Transitional Housing Programs for clients who need a new beginning after experiencing homelessness
- Supportive Housing Program for clients with addiction and concurrent mental health disorders
- Immigrant and Refugee Services including settlement support and English as a Second Language classes
- Addiction treatment programs: 745 residential and day clients
- Transitional Housing: 284 clients including community follow-up
- Supportive Housing: 26 clients
- Shelter Addiction Counsellors: 1172 individuals seen
- Immigrant and Refugee Services: 1,483 ESL students and settlement clients
- 98 staff
There’s a lot to pray about! The Salvation Army is doing its best to respond to the overwhelming needs of people with mental health and/or addiction issues.
Let’s keep trying to be The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.
Dion Oxford, Mission Strategist
For greater awareness of mental illnesses and addictions and its challenges in our families and community, we pray to the Lord.
For an increase in understanding, patience, kindness to those affected by mental illnesses and addictions and their families, we pray to the Lord.
For the recognition in our society that mental illness and addiction is like any other illness, and that it can affect anyone at any time whether they are young or old, rich or poor, accomplished or not, in all social strata of the society irrespective of race, ethnic affiliation or gender, we pray to the Lord.
For the elimination of prejudices, shame, and stigma in our society which further isolates and marginalizes those affected by mental illness and addiction and their families, we pray to the Lord.
With thanksgiving for support, guidance, fortitude, wisdom in long struggles for those affected, their families, friends, and professional caregivers, we pray to the Lord.
For all children who are affected by mental illnesses and addictions, we pray to the Lord.
For healing and recovery of all those affected by mental illnesses and addictions and greater opportunity for them to use their gifts and talents
For protection from harm due to acts of impulsiveness, despair, ignorance and harmful temptations, we pray to the Lord
For dedication in the part of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health and addiction support providers to their profession and care to those under their charges, we pray to the Lord.
For the Holy Spirit to enlighten scientists on the cause of mental illnesses and addictions, and for more efficacious prevention actions and treatments which will lead to the eradication of mental illnesses and addictions, we pray to the Lord.
For greater ministry of love in our church for those affected by mental illnesses and addictions and their families, we pray to the Lord.
Lord God, give to your people the joy of continual health in Mind and Body,
we pray to the Lord
Prayer adapted from here