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In a 60-minute interactive presentation, a team consisting of a faith leader, a family member and an individual living with mental illness provides an overview of mental illness, treatment and recovery from the perspective of people of faith who have experienced these illnesses. Sharing Hope helps faith leaders and their congregations to initiate an open dialogue about mental health, the important role spirituality plays in recovery and the support faith communities can provide for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Sharing Hope offers information and tools to help members of congregations find treatment and support.
Evaluative data from 2009 grant sites shows that the presentation increases understanding of mental illness and encourages a greater sense empathy and desire to be supportive of individuals who live with mental illness. Audiences have sent a resounding message that one of the most effective components of the Sharing Hope presentation is the presenter team sharing personal experiences. Presenters are themselves examples that recovery is real.