NAMI Indiana has been collaborating with the Indiana Department of Correction to bring a one hour presentation to the training facilities for newly hired employees at five State Prisons every month. They are Westville, Miami, Putnamville, Plainfield, and New Castle Correctional Facilities. The program is in place to educate the staff and reduce stigma so that those experiencing mental illness while incarcerated will have the best outcome. Two volunteers communicate openly to the audience about their personal stories. The two volunteers consist of a person living with a mental illness and also a close family member of someone living with a mental illness. Our goal is to show both perspectives to give a better understanding of how mental illness has an effect on all people that have personal contact with those individuals. There is plenty of time for questions and answers during the presentation. According to the audience evaluations that we collect after the presentations, we are making an impact.
This worthwhile project is dependent on many volunteers every month. Do you have a story to tell? Do you want to help break down stigma? Do you want to help those that are incarcerated with a mental illness get better treatment? WE NEED YOU!! We know that preparation is the key to a good presentation and also helps reduce anxiety. We have created an outline for the speakers that should be easy to follow. We do not expect or want you to be an expert on this subject. We just ask that you speak from your own experience. We currently have over 30 volunteers helping out with this project but still need more.
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