National Alliance on Mental Illness
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(800) 950-NAMI; email@example.com
Mental illness affects one in four adults in America. These rates are the same for African Americans though, unfortunately, the context may not be. As many studies have highlighted, limited mental illness educational opportunities and high levels of stigma prevent many members of this community from accessing mental health support.
NAMI’s Multicultural Action Center, which works to focus attention on system reform to ensure access to culturally competent services, education and support for all Americans, created Sharing Hope to help increase available knowledge and resources about mental health within African American communities.
“We’re perking up our ears, tuning up our hearts so that we can listen and help one another.”
NAMI video featuring African American leaders' perspectives on mental health recovery and support.
Sharing Hope has been adapted for the Latino community! Click here to learn more about Compartiendo Esperanza, a fully bilingual adaptation of this initiative.
Click here for a complete list of all NAMI sites who piloted or have taken part in grant implementation and evaluation of Sharing Hope.
An adaptation of Sharing Hope to target NAMI partnership building among Latino communities with a bilingual curriculum is currently in development with the help of pilot sites. Click here to learn more. The following sites were selected to participate in this pilot program:
• NAMI Austin
• NAMI Lexington (Ky.)
• NAMI Louisville
• NAMI Mercer (N.J.)
• NAMI Utah
Sharing Hope Grantees/ Pilot Program of 2012
Sites selected to receive grants this year were tasked to pilot and help develop a newly created coordination and networking portal via Microsoft SharePoint. All former grantees were also welcomed into this pilot group and a total of 11 sites have been given access to participate and test out the Sharing Hope Coordinators’ Portal to determine whether it will be more broadly used in the future. Of the participating sites, three were chosen to receive grant funding for the first time this year:
With excellent feedback received from current and former grant sites utilizing these materials with great attention on evaluation and sustainability, the latest edition of the Sharing Hope materials contains changes to include more in-depth examples of successful program marketing and sustaining community partnerships. The main update to program materials is in a change of accessibility. The materials are now all available on the web from this main Sharing Hope page (see highlight box at top right). Coordinators of the program, with written approval from NAMI state organization or local affiliates, are now given access to the materials with their NAMI.org account. This electronic access will allow those working with the program to download and utlize materials as needed and receive any updates quickly and easily.
“We are alert and adapting to important new understandings of our community. We have an obligation to make our approach to the African-American faith communities one of grass-roots empowerment.”
-NAMI Texas, 2011 Sharing Hope grant recipient
For the first time, Sharing Hope grants were made available to sites previously funded in interest of helping sustain successful efforts. On April 1, 2011 we welcomed nine new grantees considered ‘start-up sites’ and five ‘sustainability sites,’ returning grantees from previous funding years:
Highlighted states are locations of
* denotes sustainability grantees
Feedback received from the ever-expanding cadre of NAMI state and affiliate organizations taking part in the Sharing Hope initiative continues to inform improvements and is reflected in the latest edition of the Sharing Hope materials. The Multicultural Action Center wishes to thank our 2010-2011 grant sites in particular for their invaluable reports of evaluation data and thoughtful feedback that led to many of the major changes to the materials.
What's new for 2011? Below are the major changes included in the 2011 edition of the Sharing Hope materials:
All NAMI state and affiliate organizations are welcome to utilize these materials and bring the Sharing Hope initiative into communities around the country. Materials are disseminated electronically free of charge in PDF and Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word formats. Download and complete the Materials Release Form to receive the latest Sharing Hope materials.
In the news
Faith and Mental Illness in the African American Community: Gina Duncan, M.D., a psychiatrist, shares her perspective on the relationship between mental illness and spirituality in the African American community for the American Psychiatric Association's Healthy Minds. Healthy Lives. blog.
The 2010 grant sites were selected in March to work with the Multicultural Action Center to expand and continue to evaluate the Sharing Hope initiative:
• NAMI Central Virginia
• NAMI Connecticut
• NAMI Lexington (Ky.)
• NAMI Oklahoma
• NAMI Southeastern Arizona
We congratulate these sites and enjoyed working with them as well as all NAMI state organizations and affiliates working with the Sharing Hope initiative. All NAMI sites working with Sharing Hope are supported by the Multicultural Action Center and receive technical assistance upon request.
The 2009 implementation grantees made great strides in developing partnerships with African American congregationsIn their first year with the Sharing Hope initiative. Through these efforts, they were able to provide the Multicultural Action Center with invaluable evaluation data and feedback that informed revisions made to the Sharing Hope toolkit and supportive materials.
The 2010 revised edition of the Sharing Hope toolkit includes even more detailed information and tools to assist coordinators and presentation facilitators in successfully engaging congregations. Contact us to request the Sharing Hope materials.
NAMI selected eight NAMI state organizations and affiliates to expand and evaluate its Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health. Each of the selected sites received a small Sharing Hope implementation grant to cover the costs associated with implementing and providing program evaluative data back to NAMI.
Program updates and information gathered from these grant sites will be shared on this site and through Recovery for All, the e-newsletter of the Multicultural Action Center.
Sharing Hope Featured in NAMI's Advocate Magazine
"One of the best things that we as Galileens have ever done was to bring Sharing Hope to the church. We have overcome slavery, impoverishment, trials, and tribulations. Now it is time for us to come out of the dark ages in dealing with mental illness."
An article entitled, "New NAMI Toolkit Reaches Out to African american Congregations," by Sally Osmer, Executive Director of NAMI Mercer was featured in the Spring 2009 issue of the Advocate. Click here to read the article (note, you must sign in to your NAMI account to do so).
The Sharing Hope presentation was piloted in Atlanta at the True Light Baptist Church (NAMI Georgia), the Galilee Baptist Church in Trenton (NAMI Mercer, NJ), and the United Church of God in Christ in St. Paul (NAMI Minnesota). Revisions to the toolkit and the presentation were made based on feedback from these pilot sites and evaluation results.
This session highlighted the importance of mental health awareness as well as how the faith community can play a key role in educating the African American community about mental illness. Additionally, the audience provided feedback for the presenters regarding issues that should be considered during the development and implementation of the African American Faith-Based Initiative.
Multicultural Action Center staff attended the 8th Annual Central Texas African American Family and Consumer Support Conference in February 2008, where they were joined by Joe Powell of NAMI Dallas to host a focus group of conference attendees. Approximately 20 conference participants attended and provided valuable feedback and ideas for consideration in the initiative's development.
A 15-person advisory group has formed consisting of pastors, NAMI leaders, and other experts from around the country. The group first convened at the NAMI National office on February 25, 2008 to go over plans for the project and offer feedback and recommendations. The Multicultural Action Center continued to work with the advisory group through the completion of the outreach and education toolkit program.
NAMI state and affiliate offices and other individuals with experience working with African Americans in faith-based contexts also provided input to the Multicultural Action Center, identifying successful program models and key issues to consider during the development and implementation of this program.