Welcome to the NAMI Colorado Blog

NAMI Colorado's mission is to build communities of hope and recovery by educating, supporting, and advocating for individuals affected by mental illness and their families.

Visit here often to read stories from those who have experienced the challenges of mental illness.  Our bloggers are In Our Own Voice presenters, family members, volunteers, staff, public policy committee members, and NAMIWalkers.   

You are NOT alone. 

NAMI Colorado Blog

In Our Own Voice - A Gift To Share

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From the start, I realized that In Our Own Voice had the power to change and shape the way we see mental illness. A positive perspective offered through the personal stories of two brave presenters. What I didn't fully realize is the profound impact it would have on my own journey.

Now that I have personally done many IOOV presentations, I fully grasp the gifts of this program. In my opinion, some of the greatest takeaways for the audience and presenters are putting a different face on mental illness, offering hope and building awareness. Each presenter is a living breathing testimony revealing that even the darkest places can have light.

My own experience as an IOOV presenter has offered me a comfort level in overcoming a story that was once wrought with shame and fear about an uncertain future, a life that certainly didn't seem hopeful in my mind. In time, my presentations helped to reduce my own stigmas about mental illness and revealed that life could be lived on my terms. Today, that once painful re-telling of my history is a just a story about a place in my past. While it still has great significance, I no longer allow it to have importance to paralyze me or make me feel less that in anyway.

A comfort level in discussing this path puts the audience at ease and fosters them to ask questions, which seeks to leave them with greater awareness and hope.  Each person’s walk is different, but the fight is similar. Together, we all desire a world where mental illness is understood and accepted. In Our Own Voice is a critical and important step in that direction. What a gift to share!

--Jason Hopcus

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