Shalom House dedication and open house. [Blaise Datoy]
Shalom House was previously office space for the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, which conducts research focused on the extent and causes of the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs, as well as other addictions and health risk behaviors.
As Duane McBride, director of IPA, saw the development of the International Center for Trauma Education & Care within the School of Social Work, he was moved to offer space to the Center, which provides trauma-informed education and care and facilitates long-term healing from trauma. McBride saw a combined workspace as an opportunity to create further synergy of ideas in the shared purpose of supporting the hurting as God calls His people to do.
McBride says, “We overlap with the International Center for Trauma Education & Care in many ways because trauma is a major cause of addiction in health risk behaviors. We’re very happy to partner with the Center in our work.”
The IPA offices were prepared for renovation during Andrews University’s Change Day 2022. Then, with support from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Andrews University and other generous donors, the space was redesigned to house offices for both employees and student interns and provide a place for meetings, small group trainings, and writing and research.
In late spring 2023, Shalom House was dedicated during a special program and open house. A newly remodeled wall displays the verse, “I am come that they might have life and they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Shalom House staff are working on programs to help facilitate prevention of addictions and an understanding of long-term, faith-based healing from trauma. The North American Division’s Adventist Recovery Ministry will also be hosted within the Shalom House structure. Websites continue to be developed and updated with resources and learning opportunities for anyone seeking more information or support.
The Shalom House specifically serves Andrews University students, too, providing trainings, consultations and, for those who have been through trauma, further coping skills. During “Care Café” events, students experience therapeutic art, journaling and regulation stations for the use of sensory tools such as weighted shawls, fidget tools and olfactory inclusion.
The house was intentionally decorated in colors and with nature themes to help with stress reduction. Due to its more remote location on campus, numerous birds and other wildlife can be observed through the windows. In the future, the Shalom House team hopes to create intentional areas around the house for people to be in nature as well as a lab space on the lower level to train students and others in sand tray therapy, sensory tools and play therapy.
Ingrid Slikkers, executive director of the International Center for Trauma Education & Care, says, “Having this beautiful space to work from will allow our team to further create ways to promote understanding, hope and healing on campus and in wider communities, and we are so grateful.”
Compiled by Gillian Panigot, communication manager & FOCUS editor, University Communication