Frequently Asked Questions
Mercy Canada's free-of-charge Christian residential program helps young women between the ages of 19 to 28 who are dealing with life-controlling issues such as eating disorders, self-harm, drug and alcohol addictions, unplanned pregnancies, depression, abuse, and trafficking.
The Mercy Canada program runs for 6 to 9 months and combines biblical principles of healing and unconditional love with best-practice clinical interventions, as outlined in Ditch the Baggage, Change Your Life by Nancy Alcorn.
Trained counsellors lead residents through the program curriculum, helping them explore issues of faith, forgiveness, family and generational patterns, overcoming abuse and past hurts, and general life principles for lifelong success.
In addition to the curriculum, all residents’ weekly schedules include personalized counselling sessions, life-skills classes, nutrition and wellness planning, and daily worship, Bible reading, and physical exercise.
All staff have the necessary credentials, relevant experience, and maturity in their relationships with God needed for the diverse roles at Mercy Canada.
The Director of Counselling must hold a master’s degree from an accredited university in counselling, social work, psychology, or a related field and is required to provide proof of licensure with an external certification body (such as the BC Association of Clinical Counsellors or the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association).
Secondary counsellors must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in counselling, social work, psychology, or a related field, but are strongly encouraged to pursue master’s degrees as well. Secondary counsellors are supervised by the Director of Counselling.
Mercy Canada is not a medical facility, however, some of the young women who enter our program have medical issues that need to be managed.
To that end, our home employs a licensed registered nurse to take residents to medical and dental appointments as needed, monitor their medications, and work with local practitioners who provide both medical and psychiatric oversight.
Mercy Canada does not discourage the use of medication. In fact, Mercy Canada values the role medical intervention and pharmaceuticals have in helping young women struggling with depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions. Mercy Canada staff follow directions from independent physicians with regard to medication, as it is not our place to make medication determinations.
As is common in therapy and counselling, when a young woman progresses through processing past hurts and trauma, she may find that certain medications do not seem to be needed anymore. However, this is something she would handle with the independent physician she sees and is not determined by Mercy Canada staff.
Meal plans are developed by our Registered Dietitian in conjunction with our Household Manager. All residents eat three meals a day, with additional healthy snacks available.
Residents who require individualized meal plans (those with disordered eating and health issues) meet as needed with our Registered Dietitian, who develops a plan with them.
Mercy Canada’s Fitness Manager designs specific fitness plans for residents. On weekends, residents can participate in recreational activities such as hiking and various sports.
Fitness restrictions due to a resident’s health are determined on an individual basis by our Wellness Team.
Mercy Canada is designed for young women ages 19 to 28 with a strong desire to change their lives. Entry to the program is voluntary – that is, young women make their own choice to come to Mercy Canada. Once in the program, they are expected to participate in all aspects of the program.
If an applicant has legal issues, we will work with her on an individual basis. Any outstanding legal issues will usually need to be addressed before an applicant enters our program. Being on probation does not prohibit someone from being accepted into our program.
If you have any questions about any medical, financial, legal, marital, or parenting issues that may restrict your ability to enter and/or stay in the program to its completion, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercy Canada’s online application is free and can be completed at any time. If you are serious about getting help and are ready to apply, please click the button below.
The length of the application process depends on many variables, including space availability, medical stability, and demonstrated commitment. Applicants who demonstrate a high level of commitment have the potential to be placed more quickly into our program.
Once an application has been completed, applicants may still be placed on our waiting list. The waiting list changes all the time, so it is difficult to determine how long a young woman will be required to wait for admission. While on the waiting list, applicants will receive check-in calls and assignments to encourage and prepare them for the program.
It is the goal of Mercy Canada to bring young women into the program as soon as space becomes available.
In the final stages of a resident’s time at Mercy Canada, she will begin the transitional care component of the program. This involves meeting with our Transitional/Aftercare Facilitator, who helps equip them practically in making plans for work, education, training, accommodations, and transportation.
Each resident also works with their counsellor in identifying an accountability partner in their city to meet with on a regular basis after they complete the program. Accountability partners get in contact with the resident regularly for up to one year and offer support and encouragement as they transition back into daily life after finishing the program.
Because change is a process that takes place over a period of time, Mercy Canada encourages applicants to make an initial commitment to our program for approximately 6 months.
However, our program is 100% voluntary, and residents are free to leave at any point.
Mercy Canada is not directly affiliated with any particular church, denomination, or organization, but is rather an interdenominational Christian organization with staff members from a variety of Christian backgrounds and traditions.
No, it is not essential to have a Christian faith to apply for Mercy Canada’s residential program. We welcome applications from young women struggling with life-controlling issues regardless of their personal faith or religious background.
However, we are transparent about the fact that we offer a Christ-centred, biblically-based discipleship program and aspects of the program include Bible study, worship, Christian teachings, prayer, and regular church attendance.