In Our Own Voice: community presentations

[socialring]In Our Own Voice is a unique recovery education presentation that offers hope and provides insight into the recovery now possible for people with mental illness. IOOV is often a transformative experience for presenters, who are empowered by giving voice to their struggles and successes. Presenters cover issues they frequently face while living with mental illness as they delve into the following topics:

  •  Dark Days – Recovery from a serious mental illness can be a long, difficult journey. During the Dark Days portion of the presentation, the speakers explore feelings and experiences that occurred during the darkest moments of living with a mental illness.
  • Acceptance – Learning to accept the reality of having a serious mental illness is quite a challenge. It can be hard for anyone to come to terms with having a serious illness, no matter what it is. Acceptance is essential to beginning recovery.
  • Treatment – There are many methods for treating mental illness. Every person is different, and this is the reason that there are many ways to walk down the path to recovery. Presenters explain what treatment plan worked for them during this segment.
  • Coping Strategies – Wellness can be achieved by following a treatment plan and incorporating personal coping skills as an integral part of that plan. During this section, presenters share their own coping skills with the audience.
  • Successes, Hopes and Dreams – Presenters have a variety of skills and ambitions. A key component of recovery is setting goals while pursuing personal dreams. Many incorporate what they’ve learned from their illness into activities and plans for their future. During this section presenters share their own successes, hopes, and dreams.

The Audience of IOOV Presentations:

  •  Consumers – 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 mental illness.
  • Any Community or Civic Organization – Who may be interested in learning more about mental illnesses and recovery.

Want to request an In Our Own Voice Presentation for your group?

We’d love the opportunity to share our stories of recovery and help change the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Contact Dana Hafter-Manza, Education Programs Coordinator for NAMI Multnomah, at 503-501-2363 or

So that we can have a successful presentation with your group, we generally request the following:

  • Request made minimum of 2 weeks in advance
  • Minimum of 12-15 participants/audience members
  • Presentation room has light dimmers and either a TV and DVD player or computer and projector with screen
  • If possible, organization makes a donation to cover at a minimum the hard costs ($60); ideally $125 to also cover cost of printed materials, administration and overhead

Are you a Peer looking to tell your story with In Our Own Voice presentations? Contact Dana at 503-501-2363 or

Clip above from In Our Own Voice video: NAMI members discuss their battles with mental illness.

Contact Us

NAMI Multnomah
524 NE 52nd Ave.
Portland, OR 97213
Fax: 503.235.8959
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Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 3:00 pm