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Ten States Offer the Bridges Program for Consumers

Building Recovery of Individual Dreams and Goals through Education and Support

The BRIDGES consumer program is part of the ongoing commitment to education that NAMI-MN offers to those whose lives are affected by mental illness. The BRIDGES program was designed by consumers to meet the needs of the consumer. The ten-week course and ongoing support groups are taught and facilitated by mental health consumers who have been trained in the BRIDGES method.

The classes and groups employ three consumers each for each site. The recommended class size is from 8-12 persons. You need not have taken the class to attend the support groups.

The course covers such issues as:

Basic facts about psychiatric diagnoses and medications.

Identifying our needs and making mental health services and resources work for us in getting those needs met.

The dimensions of recovery and tools for healing:

  • Physical — the mind/body connection; achieving a healthy lifestyle
  • Intellectual — knowledge and skills in communication, assertiveness, problem solving, and advocacy.
  • Emotional — support for expressing and accepting our feelings; building a support system.
  • Spiritual — healthy religion/spirituality.

B.R.I.D.G.E.S Courses: BRIDGES is a free 10-week course that covers major diagnoses, medications, and mental health services. In addition, it teaches wellness/recovery tools and how to advocate for oneself.

Contact the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers Alliance, (888) 539-0393, http://www.tmhca-tn.org.

This program is offered in Minnesota, Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana, Hawaii, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Utah, and British Columbia in Canada.


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