NAMI In Our Own Voice

What People are Saying about the Program

“Not only does telling my story help me in my recovery, but it helps others to know they too can recover and there is hope.”

“I learned more about mental health conditions from these generous people than any book I have read.”


NAMI In Our Own Voice is a unique presentation in which two trained speakers share their compelling personal stories of living with mental health challenges and achieving recovery. Audiences range from individuals with mental health challenges, students of all ages, law enforcement officials and faith community members to veterans and service providers. While audiences benefit from the inspirational stories of the speakers, presenters increase their confidence and develop leadership skills while helping to inspire and motivate others.

Program Goals

To educate and empower. The goal of NAMI In Our Own Voice is to meet the need for peer- (individuals living with mental illness)- led 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. Specific presentation goals are:

• To provide the audience the personal perspectives of individuals of diverse backgrounds

sharing their journey of recovery with mental health challenges

• To allow audience members to connect on a personal level with the presenters via question and answer sessions

• To provide an opportunity for audience members to gain insight into the lived experience of life with mental illness

Who Leads the Program

A NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter is a trained NAMI leader. They play an important role 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 process. Presenters, therefore, can share personal wisdom with those who are just beginning the journey of mental health recovery, as well as, educate and inform audience members about mental illness. A NAMI In Our Own Voice presenter ensures that the presentations achieve the educational objectives.

How to Give Back

NAMI In Our Own Voice presenters are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a 2 day training. The training is designed for presenters to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful and informative educational experience for all participants. After the training, certified presenters know how to deliver their story of recovery; encourage collective thought and questions; and direct energy towards productive outcomes. Presenters make us of 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 are required to go through 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 are always in need of places for presentations, promotional assistance and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of materials, trainings and refreshments.