• A 60-90 minute presentation that aims to change the attitudes, assumptions, and stereotypes about people with mental health conditions

  • Available free of charge to the audience

  • Presenters with mental health conditions share their personal stories, including what happened, what helps, and what's next

What is IOOV?

In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique public education program developed by NAMI, in which two trained speakers share compelling personal stories about living with mental illness and achieving recovery. IOOV was started with a grant from Eli Lily and Company. IOOV is an opportunity for those who have struggled with mental illness to gain confidence and share their individual experiences of recovery and transformation.

What does IOOV Offer?

Throughout the IOOV presentation, audience members are encouraged to offer feedback and ask questions. Audience participation is an essential 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.

Who is IOOV For?

IOOV presentations are given to consumer groups, students, law enforcement officials, educators, providers, faith community members, politicians, professionals, inmates, and interested civic groups.

In Our Own Voice presentations can take place at:

  • Business offices

  • Civic group meetings

  • Churches

  • Club houses and other peer-run organizations

  • Colleges and universities

  • Community meeting places

  • Court/legal offices

  • Faith-based group meetings

  • Group homes

  • Hospitals

  • Law enforcement agencies/CITs

  • Libraries

  • Mental health facilities

  • Political organizations

  • Prisons

  • Schools, including K-12, medical, and social work

  • Shelters

  • Veterans Administration sites

IOOV Goals

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.

This presentation provides:

  • An opportunity to hear open and honest perspectives on a highly misunderstood topic

  • A chance to ask leaders questions, allowing for a deeper understanding of mental health conditions and dispelling of stereotypes and misconceptions

  • The understanding that people with mental health conditions have lives enriched by hopes, dreams, and goals

  • Information on how to learn more about mental health and get involved with the mental health community

Who Leads the Program

A NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter is a trained NAMI leader. They are essential in ensuring that all audience members feel welcomed, supported, and informed. NAMI In Our Own Voice presenters are uniquely qualified to lead presentations because they are going through their own recovery processes. Therefore, presenters can share personal wisdom with those just beginning the journey of mental health recovery and educate and inform audience members about mental illness. A NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter ensures that the presentations achieve the educational objectives.

Learn to Understand

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 their best efforts to manage illness.

Recovery is the point in someone’s illness in which the condition is no longer the first and foremost part of their life, no longer the essence of all their existence. Ultimately, recovery is about attitude and putting forth effort.

How to Give Back

NAMI In Our Own Voice presenters are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a two-day training. The training is designed for presenters to learn and practice specific skills that guarantee all participants a meaningful and informative educational experience. After the training, certified presenters know how to deliver their recovery story, encourage collective thought and questions, and direct energy towards productive outcomes. Presenters use their storytelling skills and the NAMI In Our Own Voice presentational model to ensure that audience members experience a well-planned and informative presentation. Presenter trainees must undergo an application and screening process before being approved to attend a training event.

Support a local NAMI In Our Own Voice program in your community. Our presentations utilize volunteers, and we always need places for presentations, promotional assistance, and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of materials, training, and refreshments.

What People Are Saying

“Amazing presentation with amazing presenters! You 100% erased any stigma I used to associate with mental illness.” -Audience member

“Several of the mental health staff stated that they saw recovery as a real option—for the first time ever.” -Audience member

“Presenting this program is the single most effective thing I am doing to maintain my mental health. Time after time, I see the audience respond with curiosity and interest. I know I am changing the face of mental illness and that I have transformed my pain into the power to make a difference.” -IOOV Program Leader

To schedule a free presentation, contact Elizabeth Boyle at: eboyle@namiindiana.org

To inquire about volunteering to lead a presentation, contact Linda Williams at: lwilliams@namiindiana.org