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Multicultural Action Center Highlights of 2010
The Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health initiative is entering its third year and still going strong. This year the Multicultural Action Center revised the Sharing Hope toolkit and released a new edition based on feedback received from eight implementation grant sites. The year-long grant cycle came to a close for those sites and five new grant sites were selected to help further build the evidence base to evaluate and provide feedback to support the continued success of the initiative. To date, the Sharing Hope toolkit has been distributed to 65 NAMI state organizations or local affiliates around the country and interest continues to grow.
Designed as a do-it-yourself initiative for NAMI state organizations and local affiliates to build partnerships with predominantly African American congregations, the toolkit provides an in-depth guide for outreach and education programming. The hallmark of Sharing Hope is a 60-minute interactive presentation led by a panel of presenters—a faith leader, individual living with mental illness and a family member—who share key mental health information and lead discussions of identifying symptoms and providing/finding support. More information on the components of the toolkit is available here.
Reports from the Sharing Hope grant sites have shown a very positive response from participating congregations. In the past year, 97 percent of participants agreed that the program increased their understanding of mental illness and the same 97 percent agreed (67 percent strongly agreed) that they would recommend the presentation to others.
What have congregations liked the most about Sharing Hope? There has been overwhelming praise for the personal testimonies of the presenters as the key to understanding sensitive issues and enabling participants to comfortably take part in discussion. The result of this success has led to further relationship building between congregations and NAMI as new participants come to NAMI’s signature education programs, individuals join mailing lists, volunteer bases and become members.
The Sharing Hope toolkit is available to any interested NAMI state organization or local affiliate whose leadership supports a commitment to the initiative’s policies and goals. For more information visit the Sharing Hope webpage.
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