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In Our Own Voice Program
In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which two trained consumer speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. IOOV is an opportunity for those who have struggled with mental illness to gain confidence and to share their individual experiences of recovery and transformation. Throughout the IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Audience participation is an important aspect of IOOV because the more audience members become involved, the closer they come to understanding what it is like to live with a mental illness and stay in recovery.
IOOV presentations are given to all interested audiences including consumer groups, students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups. All presentations are offered free of charge. Groups or organizations interested in seeing a presentation may request that one be given in their area through their state or local affiliate.
The goals of IOOV are to meet the need for consumer- run initiatives, to set a standard for quality education about mental illness from those who have been there, to offer genuine work opportunities, to encourage self-confidence and self-esteem in presenters, and to focus on recovery and the message of hope.
Anyone familiar with mental illness knows that recovery is not a singular event, but a multi-dimensional, multi-linear journey characterized more by the mindset of the one taking it than by his or her condition at any given moment along the way. Understanding recovery as having several dimensions makes its uneven course easier to accept. Much as we don’t blame the cancer patient for dying of invasive tumors, we can’t condemn a consumer whose symptoms overtake his or her best efforts to manage illness. Recovery is the point in someone’s illness in which the illness is no longer the first and foremost part of his or her life, no longer the essence of all his or her existence. Ultimately, recovery is about attitude and making the effort.
Opportunities for Involvement in In Our Own Voice:
The In Our Own Voice Program is currently offered in the following localities:
- Piedmont - Culpeper/Warrenton
- Northern Virginia
- Loudoun Co.
- Prince William Co.
- Tri-county - Lee, Wise, Scott co.
- Hampton/Newport News
- Virginia Beach
NAMI Virginia's In Our Own Voice program can make a presentation to:
- Your school
- Your place of employment
- Your civic association
- Your place of worship
Are you a consumer in recovery who wants to get involved with the In Our Own Voice program?
Thank you to everyone who participated in our May 2013 training, it was an amazing group!
NAMI Virginia will hold the next In Our Own Voice Training in Richmond in 2014!!
To learn more about how to get involved, contact your local affiliate and ask for the local In Our Own Voice Coordinator. If you have questions related to training please contact Sarah Eisenman, Director of Programs at 804-285-8264 x203 or email@example.com
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, the training is free of charge to participants.
Affiliate and In Our Own Voice Program Leaders' Resources
Please make sure to check out resources on the In Our Own Voice Program found under 'Resources for Strengthening your NAMI Program to help your program succeed!