One out of every five children, teens, and adults in America has a diagnosable mental illness in any given year. And the lives of those who love them are also affected by their mental health challenge. This means that a mental health challenge touches approximately 50% of the American population.
And while the doctor, therapist, and medicine are necessary, they are not enough. Suicide rates continue to rise. The medical (the doctor, therapist, and medicine) aspects of mental health recovery can lead to a type of “learned helplessness.”
When someone’s life is interrupted by mental illness, it can be tough to see a practical way forward with day-to-day life, and a good future seems out of reach. Feelings of hopelessness begin to settle in. This hopelessness can lead to suicidal thinking and even death by suicide. W
A serious gap exists between someone receiving medical treatment for mental illness and them learning how to live well in spite of it. This gap is critical. So we become the bridge, the guide from the point of diagnosis to living well. Research shows that finding a way to live a hope-filled life can be best caught, not taught, by peers who have “been there” and are now living well. Research also shows that the best antidote for hopelessness is a hope that is rooted in faith.
We provide those who are hopeless a safe place to process their pain and experience faith-filled hope modeled, shared, and given in support groups, classes, coaching, and resources that are led and written by peers who are living well in spite of their mental health challenge. This serves as a bridge between someone’s diagnosis and living well in spite of their diagnosis. Our approach is based on seven mental health recovery principles and 25 years of clinical research on hope. And it works.
Because of Fresh Hope, thousands of people are living active, faith- and hope-filled lives. They are enjoying their relationships, their families, their work, and are feeling more hopeful than ever before. They are living well in spite of their mental health challenge. They are thriving!
Living Well In Spite Of A Mental Health Diagnosis Pastor Brad Hoefs, M.Div.
About Tenets / Principles of Fresh Hope
Fresh Hope Tenets
Tenets for those with mood disorders | Tenets for loved ones
My loved one’s mental health challenge has also left me feeling helpless and hopeless. Therefore, I choose the help of others in learning about the disorder and choosing healthy boundaries for myself.
Together, we have understanding. We remind each other of the Lord’s love, and that He alone can do all things. He is the source of our hope, and in Him we can overcome all things.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
I haven’t always responded to my loved one’s mental health issue in ways that were good for the relationship. Therefore, I choose to learn better ways to communicate with, support, and encourage my loved one.
Together, we commit to speaking the truth in love, healing broken relationships and viewing each other as the Lord views us.
“So let’s pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other.”
Romans 14:19 (God’s Word Translation, 1995)
At times I don’t understand my loved one and can allow them to either wallow in their excuses, or push them too hard. Therefore I choose to learn healthy, appropriate ways to contribute to my loved one’s recovery.
Together we do better than trying on our own. We will hold one another accountable for learning, growing, and choosing to push through in hope. “So let’s pursue those things which bring peace and which are good for each other.”
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
At times I also feel hopeless, letting my loved one’s actions and recovery define my happiness. Therefore, I choose to live with healthy emotional boundaries, and I choose my own joy despite the ups and downs of my loved one.
Together we remind each other that our hope and joy come from the Lord. He alone is able to fulfill our needs in every aspect of our lives.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
I, too, have been part of the cycle of dysfunctional living, either thinking I had all the answers or thinking the problem didn’t belong to me. Therefore, I choose to submit myself to learning new behaviors and taking responsibility for my own healthy, balanced living.
Together we choose freedom over suffering, and joy in living through self-knowledge in action.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5
At times, I have viewed myself as a victim of my loved one’s behavior and disorder, living in resentment, anger, unforgiveness, or self pity. Therefore, I choose to separate the disorder from the person I love, forgive and let go of the past, and live as a contributor to successful recovery.
Together, we share in each other’s victories and celebrate the whole person.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Our purpose is to encourage one another to choose God’s fresh hope for our daily life and future.
Who we see here remains confidential. What is said here stays here. We don’t judge; nor do we lecture.
We listen, we share and we grow.
To empower individuals to live a full and rich faith-filled life in spite of a mental health diagnosis.
The Goals of Fresh Hope (Vision)
Fresh Hope Philosophy
Fresh Hope is a peer-to-peer Christ-centered wellness approach to mental health recovery based upon six tenets that empowers people to connect both their faith and recovery principles. This approach both empowers and encouraging individuals live full and rich lives in spite of their diagnosis.
The Fresh Hope approach includes the following beliefs:
Research Supporting Fresh Hope
Research Prepared By: Breakwater Light
This document was completed using a literature review in May 2020. All information presented is based on research available as of May 2020. Research, therefore, after this date are not included and would need to be considered when further evaluating the program.