What It Is:

  • presentation by people living with mental illness that creates awareness about what is involved in recovery from mental illness. A powerful anti-stigma tool to change hearts, minds, and attitudes about mental illness.
  • An opportunity for people diagnosed with a mental illness to gain self-confidence, self-esteem, and income while serving as role models for the community.
  • Living proof that recovery from mental illness is an ongoing reality.

The Presentation:

  • Hear from people who have struggled with disorders such as depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental illnesses.
  • A brief video features consumers speaking about the topics of Dark Days, Acceptance, Treatment, Coping Skills, and Successes, Hopes, and Dreams.
  • Gain insight into how people with serious mental illnesses cope with the realities of their disorders while reclaiming productive lives.
  • Ask questions from the real experts — the consumers are the ones who “have been there.” A Take Home Folder is distributed to all attendees, which includes resources and an opportunity for program evaluation.

The Audience:

  • People living with a mental illness…in day programs, inpatient settings, support groups, and other community settings who can share, learn, and find hope for successful living.
  • Family and friends…who may need further reassurance of the possibility of recovery for their loved ones.
  • Health care providers…who desire strengthened communication with their clients and improved outcomes.
  • Law enforcement officials…to increase awareness of and sensitivity to behaviors triggered by mental illness.
  • Faith communities…to increase responsiveness to people with mental illnesses who may first turn to their spiritual community for guidance.
  • Students…of various age levels, who wish to expand their knowledge of living with mental illness.
  • Any community or civic organization…who may be interested in learning more about mental illnesses and recovery.

Why Must We Have This Program?

  • Raises awareness in communities about recovery from mental illness. Empowers people living with mental illness by providing a path to recovery.
  • Presents the real face of mental illness. Combats stigma by opening dialogue.
  • Provides supported employment opportunities for people living with mental illness. Increases visibility of NAMI as a resource.