BRIDGES stands for Building Recovery of Individual Dreams and Goals through Education and Support. The mission of BRIDGES is to empower people who have mental health disorders to take an active and informed role in their treatment and to recover a new sense of purpose in life. BRIDGES is a self-help program that provides education and support to adults who have mental health disorders. There are two parts to the program: a set of courses on recovery taught by mental health consumers and support groups facilitated by mental health consumers.

BRIDGES is built on a philosophy of recovery, a philosophy that one can live an active and full life even while experiencing psychiatric symptoms. Participants learn that there is no need to put life on hold because of depression or anxiety or even delusions or hallucinations. The BRIDGES curriculum takes teachers and students on an exploration of the road to recovery that lies before them. The curriculum includes:

  • Information about psychiatric disorders;
  • Information about medications;
  • Best practices in mental health treatment; and
  • The skills needed to help oneself and others.

By learning about mental health disorders and treatment, participants learn to identify their own barriers to recovery and then gain the ability to put those barriers in the background and get on with life.

The 10-week education component of the program includes classes of different lengths designed for consumers in either community or inpatient settings. Courses offer detailed information on mental illness, mental health treatment, self-help skills and the philosophy of recovery. The goal is to empower students to take an active role in their treatment and recovery. Classes include discussions and exercises to help students apply the information.

The other part of the program consists of ongoing support groups. BRIDGES support group meetings provide a structured way for individuals to work with one another to strengthen coping skills and to deal with the realities of living with a mental health disorder. These meetings supply the emotional “glue” that enables people to ease feelings of helplessness, hopelessness or guilt. The “Principles of Support” and “Emotional Stages of Recovery” used in BRIDGES support groups provide individuals with a foundation for building and maintaining a healthy, happy life.

How to find a BRIDGES class

For more information about BRIDGES in your area, please call us at (888) 539-0393 or e-mail TMHCA at Click here for the TMHCA website.

3931 Gallatin Pike Ste A
Nashville, TN 37216
(615) 250-1176

BRIDGES classes are funded by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services