Hospitalization for a mental health diagnosis coincides with a number of challenging emotions. Among the strongest, especially for those at the beginning of their journey toward recovery, are denial and hopelessness. These related emotions commonly interfere with recovery. To help those coping with natural reactions of this kind, NAMI DuPage has a numerous and diverse group that makes up our Speakers Bureau. These speakers are trained to tell their personal stories and draw others toward hope and acceptance.
Our Speaker’s Bureau is made up of individuals with mental illnesses and family members, who bravely go into the community libraries, churches, hospitals, and other facilities with the goal of sharing not only their personal stories, but also sharing the hope that they have found in recovery and wellness.
What does a presentation look like?
During a typical presentation, speakers tell their personal stories, progressing through their “dark days” to connect with individuals, and moving through their own periods of treatment, acceptance, and post-diagnosis achievements. Family members are also able to tell their own stories, and how they have followed their own paths of recovery as well. Family members sharing their stories are able to inspire other family members and friends of individuals with mental illness, to realize that it is not only possible- but vital for them to take care of their own health- as they aim to support and come alongside their family members. Participants are also given an opportunity to interact with speakers through questions and comments.
Our Speaker’s Bureau is consistently well-reviewed. Post-program surveys demonstrate that as persons personally-affected by mental illness and family members hear from the Speaker’s Bureau, participants are able to be drawn toward a unique recovery of their own. One of the most important things that our speakers are able to provide is the real face of a person with mental illness in recovery.
Because mental illness can affect people from any age, race, education level, or profession- we are proud to have a diverse group of speakers that represent many different groups of people. Because our speakers come from so many different walks of life, they further prove the fact that mental illness is not a choice, but recovery is.
“The speakers helped me to realize that you can live a happy and fulfilled life even if you have a mental illness.”
– Hospital Recovery Connections Participant
“It’s inspiring and a great reminder to hear from successful people who have experienced mental illness and are able to share their story.”
– Community Presentation Participant
Interested in becoming a part of our Speaker’s Bureau? Fill out a Volunteer Form!
For more information contact:
Sara Hynes – Education & Community Training Director
630-752-0066 x 216