Volunteers are needed to serve as In Our Own Voice (IOOV) Presenters to share their stories of living with a mental illness to decrease stigma and increase awareness. Storytelling is an integral tool for NAMI’s outreach and education efforts, as well as an empowering tool for individuals living with mental illness.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with serious mental illness and their families. IOOV began as part of a movement within NAMI to further involve individuals in peer education about mental illness. The program is recognized for its potential to reduce stigma and educate the public about mental illness.
When individuals with mental illness lead these presentations mental health providers and community members begin to understand that these illnesses are biologically based brain disorders that disrupt many lives. The opportunity to tell personal experiences is built into the scripted workshops. What an excellent way to advocate for yourself and others, as well as decrease stigma!
General Presentations are given to consumers, family and friends, health care providers, law enforcement officials, faith communities, students, and any other community or civic organization that is interested in learning more about mental illnesses and recovery. IOOV presentations are also conducted at two inpatient behavioral health units on a weekly and monthly basis. The presentation can be facilitated in 40, 60, or 90 minutes and the format includes viewing a NAMI video about mental illness, personal testimony from 2 IOOV volunteers, and time for questions from the audience. Presenters receive a $30 stipend for their service.
▪ Adult with mental illness who is living well in recovery.
▪ Comfortable presenting to an audience, or willingness to learn public speaking skills.
▪ Complete an 8 hour online training and 1-day in person training provided by NAMI. The next In Our Own Voice Presenter training will be held on January 12, 2019 in Baltimore.
▪ Volunteers are encouraged to commit to presenting 1 time per month for a year; however, the number of presentations a volunteer completes will be dependent on their availability and demands of the program.
▪ Work cooperatively with a co-presenter to conduct the presentation.
▪ Volunteers are responsible for gathering materials needed for the event from the NAMI Metropolitan Baltimore office. Excess materials should be returned after the event.
▪ Volunteers are required to complete a Presenter Report Form and collect Evaluations from audience members. These items must be returned to the Director of Outreach and Special Projects within 1-week of the presentation.
▪ Volunteers are contacted on an as-needed basis to present. Volunteers are responsible for ensuring the Director of Outreach and Special Projects has accurate information regarding their availability.