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In Our Own Voice is a NAMI presentation by person’s with mental illness that creates awareness about what is involved in recovery from mental illness.  This presentation is a powerful anti-stigma tool to change hearts, minds and attitudes about mental illness.  It also provides an opportunity for persons with mental illness to gain self-esteem while serving as role models for the community.  It is living proof that recovery from mental illness is an on-going reality.

What a presentation includes:

  • Hear from people who have struggled with disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental illnesses.
  • A brief video features consumers (people with mental illness), speaking about the topics of Dark Days, Acceptance, Treatment, Coping Skills, and Successes, Hopes, and Dreams.
  • Insight into how people with serious mental illnesses cope with the realities of their disorders while reclaiming productive lives.
  • Ask questions from the real experts — the presenters are the ones who “have been there.”
  • A Take Home Folder is distributed to all attendees, which includes resources and an opportunity for program evaluation.

The presentation is for:

  • Persons with a mental illness…in day programs, inpatient settings, support groups, and other community settings who can share, learn, and find hope for successful living.
  • Family and friends…who may need further reassurance of the possibility of recovery for their loved ones.
  • Health care providers…who desire strengthened communication with their clients and improved outcomes.
  • Law enforcement officials…to increase awareness of and sensitivity to behaviors triggered by mental illness. Faith communities…to increase responsiveness to people with mental illnesses who may first turn to their spiritual community for guidance.
  • Students…of various age levels, who wish to expand their knowledge of living with mental illness. Any community or civic organization…who may be interested in learning more about mental illnesses and recovery.

Why is this presentation important?

  • Raises awareness in communities about recovery from mental illness.
  • Empowers consumers by providing a path to recovery.
  • Presents the real face of mental illness.
  • Combats stigma by opening dialogue.
  • Provides supported employment opportunities for consumers.
  • Increases visibility of NAMI as a resource.