About Us >

Southdown is located in a rural setting of Holland Landing, township of East Gwillimbury, which is approximately 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of Toronto.

For 50 years, we have provided compassionate, professional and integrative assistance to men and women in ministry.

While today Southdown treats persons suffering from all forms of psychological and emotional distress, our beginnings are rooted in the struggle of one Canadian priest with the disease of alcoholism. After many years of struggle to overcome his illness, he achieved healing and dreamed of establishing an environment where others would not have to battle alone. Two Catholic laymen, friends of the priest, encouraged him to approach the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In 1965, with the generous support of the bishops, the Emmanuel Convalescent Foundation was established to develop a facility, today known as Southdown, to care for the caregivers. Soon afterwards, the Canadian Religious Conference generously joined in the effort to expand services to provide a full range of mental health services to clergy and vowed religious.

Since those first tentative days, thousands have found relief from their difficulties, and most have returned to active ministry. Southdown’s programs and treatment services continue to evolve in order to remain flexible and responsive to changing needs of those committed to ministry.

Our History

Quality Care

Southdown Institute is an accredited health organization with Accreditation Canada and well recognized for its unique mission. It is the only centre in Canada that provides comprehensive and holistic mental health services to church ministers from Canada, the United States and other countries. We achieve our mission through continuous delivery and evaluation of our existing programs, on-going improvement and commitment to our core values and professional growth.

We monitor the results of our treatment and progress that our residents make in achieving their goals through regular team reviews. We continue to use valid and trusted measures to quantitatively assess change. They continue to provide us with data that informs our overall programming as well as individual decision-making.

We measure our success in various ways:

  • “Return to Ministry” for a significant number of our residents. There are individuals for whom the ministry is not appropriate and persons who are called to serve in other ways.
  • We collect data on treatment progress and treatment outcome. We inform of those results in the Covenant and our Annual Report.
  • Upon accepting referrals for assessment or residency, we typically hear leaders say that experience or referral from other leaders has led them to believe that we are the preferred provider for services they seek.
  • Former residents often comment on how their experience at Southdown has changed their lives and enabled them to continue to minister effectively.
  • Expressions of gratitude for a life-changing experience by our residents at their departure ceremony.
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