A Christian support group for those with mental health challenges, and for their loved ones.
Mondays at 6:30 p.m.
The Purpose of Fresh Hope
To empower those with mental health challenges and their loved ones to live a full, rich, and faith-filled life in spite of having a mental health diagnosis.
Fresh Hope is an international network of Christian mental health support groups.
Our groups are nondenominational and approach mental health recovery from a hope and faith-filled perspective.
Type of Support Group
Fresh Hope is a mutual-help, peer-to-peer support group in which members encourage one another as equals under the guidance of a facilitator. The meeting format includes both a large and small group experience, where members can share as little or as much of their “journey” as they desire.
Fresh Hope is also a professionally-guided group, with a variety of educational, ministerial, social service and psychiatric representatives serving on the Board of Directors, in addition to Fresh Hope group members.
Fresh Hope is not intended to replace professional treatment such as therapy and prescribed medications when needed. Rather, Fresh Hope serves as a supplemental support and information system so that members and those who love them might develop tools to help them manage their illness on a daily basis in order to live with dignity and hope in Christ.
Proven Track Record
Fresh Hope has a proven track record as an effective approach to mental health recovery from a Christian perspective.
96% of the weekly participants attribute their participation as the reason they now feel more hopeful than prior to their participation in Fresh Hope.
92% of those who have attended other mental health support groups say that Fresh Hope has been more positive and helpful in their recovery than any previous groups.
No Longer Suicidal
86% of those who were suicidal prior to coming to Fresh Hope report that they have not been suicidal since participating.
No Hospital Stays
71% have had no hospital stays (outpatient or inpatient) since attending Fresh Hope, and attribute this to their participation in Fresh Hope.
Fresh Hope Tenets
About the Tenets/Principles of Fresh Hope
Fresh Hope is based upon six tenets/principles which we see as foundational for living well in spite of mental health diagnosis. These tenets/principles are for both the person who has a diagnosis (blue print) as well as for the loved ones of those who have a diagnosis (green print). The black print on each of the tenets is what we believe we share in common regarding that tenet. Each tenet is based upon a Scripture. These tenets are read at the beginning of each meeting.
We do not regard these tenets/principles as “steps”, but rather as building blocks of wellness. These tenets have not been created by a doctor or therapist, but by a peer who also has a mental health diagnosis – our founder, Brad Hoefs. Having overcome a devastating manic episode and a diagnosis of bipolar I, Brad “discovered” these faith-based principles, along with the help of his therapist and doctor, on his road to wellness. These principles work as we “work” through them. While the road to wellness is not linear and certainly has many twist and turns, we believe it quite possible to live well in spite of having a mental illness – because of the hope we have in Christ!
Recovery Principles of Fresh Hope
The tenets for those with mood disorders are in blue and the tenets for loved ones are in green.
My life is affected by a mental health issue and can become unmanageable and hopeless, especially if ignored or untreated. Therefore, I choose the help and support of others to overcome the struggles and find more joy in life.
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)
My mental health challenge has also affected my relationships and the lives of those around me. Therefore, I choose to overcome for both my own good, and the good of those who love me.
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)
My disorder can become an excuse. Therefore, I choose to believe I can live a full and rich life in spite of my disorder. I choose the support of people who will urge me to “push through.”
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.
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
My disorder can lead me to feel hopeless. Therefore, I choose to believe, regardless of my feelings, that there is help and hope for my physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being.
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)
While medicine is a key component in my recovery, it is not the only answer. Therefore, I choose to explore new ways of thinking and acting in my relationships and daily living.
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 (NIV)
At times I have allowed myself to become a victim, “defined” by my disorder. Therefore I choose to overcome and live in hope and joy, in spite of my disorder.
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 (NIV)
When to Begin
You are welcome to begin attending a Fresh Hope group at any point in your recovery. Discussion topics vary from week to week, addressing a broad range of mental health challenges.
Loved ones are also welcome any time and are encouraged to attend even if the person they love is not yet ready to take that step.