Hopefully most of you
have seen a presentation of NAMI NEW JERSEY's In Our Own Voice: Living with
Mental Illness (www.facebook.com/naminjioov). For over a decade, NAMI NEW
JERSEY members have gone into the community with this live plus video
presentation about our own recoveries, talking about our dark days, acceptance,
treatment, coping skills, and life successes. We make about 200 presentations a
year, reaching high school and college classes, peer and family audiences, and
many more groups. The presentations appear effective at putting a human face on
mental health recovery, reducing stigma, and sometimes helping people consider
trying out peer support or seeking treatment. There is some research on In Our
Own Voice supporting our perception.
The past months
have been tough for many of us. The Newtown tragedy has resulted in some
unwarranted finger-pointing at those of us with mental health issues. Closer to
home, there continues to be a pattern of suicide attempts among high school
students in our own county. One attempt last week .
It is for this
reason that we are asking for your help. We believe that In Our Own for high
school students, and for their parents and teachers. Mass marketing and cold
calling does not get us many presentation opportunities. We would like your
help getting into any High School in the state with which you are connected.
You may be (or may be close to) a current or former student, a parent, a
faculty member, a PTO leader, a school board member, etc.
Some facts about
In Our Own Voice:
modify to make a 1-hour presentation if needed
of ways - assemblies, health education, special education, psychology, or
social science classes, psychology or service clubs, PTA meeting, and
offer In-Service credits for faculty presentations
to High Schools. Contact with principals and teachers who have hosted a
presentation. Pilot presentations, where we present to a small committee.
We are also willing to
reach out to High Schools in other ways. Health fairs. Transition Fairs. Career
Days. Needless to day, we are also grateful for your help scheduling
presentations to other audiences.
If you can get the
ball rolling, we will gladly take over and try to help market and schedule one
or more presentations. Please contact In Our Own Voice scheduling coordinator
Jill Zwick at 732-571-2316. firstname.lastname@example.org.