Faith Based Recovery Forum held Sunday

JACKSON, Tenn.– According to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, in 2017, 1,776 Tennesseans died from an overdose or about five people each day.

Sunday, using a faith based initiative, local churches and recovery programs were invited to learn how to help people struggling with addiction and other mental health concerns in their congregation.

“What I see a lot in being able to help people change is I’ve been down that road, I started using very early in life, because of things that have happened, I’ve continued to use,” said Faith based Community Coordinator Jaime Harper.

Faith Based Community Coordinator of Middle Tennessee Jaime Harper said he knows first hand how it feels to not get help from his church when he was battling addiction.

“And being able to say ‘hey whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you.’ That would have been wonderful. A lot of people don’t know how to make that connection, and I want to be able to work with congregations, work with communities, so that they can understand how to make that connection,” said Harper.

Harper said ever since he got clean and turned his life around, he’s been to reaching out to congregations and others battling addiction to give them the tools necessary for recovery.

“A lot of people don’t know where to go for help and so I can be able to talk to individuals, I can talk to congregations, to allow a safe place for the conversation to be had,” Harper said.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call the Tennessee State Wide Crisis Line at 855-274-7471

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