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Lived Experience

In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is an opportunity for those in recovery from a serious mental illness to gain confidence and to share their individual experiences of resilience and transformation. Often that participation, in and of itself, is a strong factor in the sustainability of their recovery process.

NAMI Indiana actively seeks out partnerships with organizations to which IOOV presentations can be made: to others living with serious mental illnesses; students; law enforcement officials and offenders; educators; mental health and medical providers; faith community members; elected officials and public policymakers; nonprofit and business professionals; and other interested civic and community groups.

Throughout an IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Participation is an important aspect of IOOV--as audience members increase their involvement, they increase their understanding of what it is like to live with a serious mental illness and to live in recovery. IOOV is known as a “stigma buster,” and we have seen that to be true. For students and providers in the mental health field, these presentations offer a unique, convenient experiential learning experience that accelerates their abilities to treat and relate to those whom they serve. All presentations are offered at no cost.

In Our Own Voice is an important component of our efforts to change the negative attitudes commonly held about mental illness by both those with mental illness and those in the community at large. As stigma breaks down and people start to recover, persons dealing with mental illness seek empowered relationships with peers, family members, and friends who provide critical support. As they speak out, they influence and connect to clinical providers who work with persons and their support networks, not for or against them. IOOV jump starts those dynamics.