The In Our Own Voice program and its impact on participant's lives... in their own voice.
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.
The program 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 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 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.
What Is Hearts & Minds?
The NAMI Hearts & Minds program is an online, interactive, educational initiative promoting the idea of wellness in both mind and body. Wellness is an ongoing process of learning how to make choices that support a more successful, healthy life.
Engaging in a wellness effort can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. One study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that taking the wellness approach can result in a 17 percent decline in total medical visits and a 35 percent decline in medical visits for minor illnesses.
Wellness is about the individual; you can decide what parts of your life you would like to change and you can determine your own success.
Across the nation, congregations of all denominations bring African American families together and provide emotional support to their members. Researchers have found evidence that African Americans seek help from the clergy more frequently than from other professionals. Mental health issues are no exception. When dealing with mental illness, African American families might look for guidance, support, and understanding from their faith community.
It is for these reasons that NAMI has developed Sharing Hope: Understanding Mental Health. The presentation goals are to decrease mental health stigma in this community, increase awareness of mental health recovery, and to introduce NAMI education and support programs.
“We’re perking up our ears, tuning up our hearts so that we can listen and help one another.”
-Debra Jacoway, presenter of Sharing Hope pilot in St. Paul, MN.