National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Why Consumers as Presenters

Who better to talk about having a mental illness than those in recovery from a mental illness? We are the experts in sharing our life experience.   We know what has and has not worked for us.

Audiences will benefit from the presentation because it reveals personal experiences of recovery. Audience members learn, first hand, what it means to have a serious mental illness and how the recovery process works.


People who become "In Our Own Voice" presenters may find it helps build self-esteem; we become more educated about our illnesses; we learn new coping strategies.  We find a community of peers that brings us hope and strength.  There are a myriad of ways consumers can grow as  In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness presenters.

Every presenter is successful, oftentimes in many different ways.  Recovery is a continuing process of growth. The presentation is about how to achieve and then stay in recovery with a major mental illness.

Consumers are essential to the message of the program because:

  • All audiences learn first hand where recovery can bring us.
  • We become role models of hope for other consumers and families
  • We help eradicate the stigma of mental illness for lay and professional audiences.
  • We educate everyone about the recovery process in the treatment of severe mental illnesses.

For more information about IOOV:

History of the Program

Philosophy of the Program

Key Presentation Topics

How to See/Arrange a Presentation

How to Arrange an IOOV Training of Presenters

What's Happening in the Field

Learn About IOOV's Policies and Best Practices

Funding Information