AJ French has personal and professional expertise regarding mental health recovery. She developed Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) trainings for faith communities and justice populations. She also partnered as a trainer with the Illinois Division of Mental Health for the CRSS Values & Ethics Training.
French has presented on the topic of self-care for clergy members and ministry leaders at Christian Theological Seminary in Indiana and recently presented on the topic of “Equipping Ministry Leaders to Cultivate Healthy Congregations” for students and faculty at St. Louis Christian College.
In November 2015, she was invited to participate in an interfaith discussion with the U.S. Surgeon General on the topic of mental health. In 2014, she also attended a White House Briefing on Suicide Prevention. During both executive forums, she was the only individual in the room who self-disclosed living with a psychiatric disability.
AJ French has won numerous awards including Threshold’s Hero Award and the Life Unlimited Award from the Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance. Despite daily thoughts of suicide and sensory challenges, she has twice given testimony before the Illinois General Assembly and periodically writes a mental health commentary for The Telegraph newspaper.