By: Samanta Karraa
When I started attending a Fresh Hope group I found-
- People who had a mental health diagnosis, who were living a full and rich life in spite of their diagnosis. They were working, taking care of their families, getting married, getting a master’s degree, serving at their churches and starting new projects in spite of having a mental health challenge. I cannot describe to you how loudly this spoke to me.
- A leader who had a diagnosis and therefore could understand me. She was well ahead in her recovery process and had been trained to facilitate the meeting. FH groups function peer to peer. Encouragement and hope are shared amongst the members.
- Acceptance. People accepted me for who I am and at the point of recovery in which I was.
- Confidentiality. What is said in a FH group stays there. We don’t mention who was at the meeting either.
- A community of faith who understood. With so much stigma going around and so much misunderstanding amongst Christian circles, finding a faith-based community who understood mental illness was like finding a treasure. Although the topics introduced at the groups don’t have the format of a bible study, but rather a recovery centered approach, our values and recovery principles are Biblically based.
- Answers. After having been diagnosed I had lots of questions and uncertainty. However through the Fresh Hope principles of recovery I received answers to my many questions. And this filled me with hope.
If you´re thinking about attending a Fresh Hope group or starting one in your area, think about it no more. Don´t settle for reading about the things that I found. Go and try for yourself. I am sure you will find these blessings and many more.
Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.
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