In Our Own Voice:
Living with Mental Illness
Panel Discussion Participants:
Carole Ballard, ADAMHSCC
Ellen Riehm, NAMI of Greater Cleveland
Lisa Marie Griffin, NAMI IOOV Presenter
Karen Curlis, NAMI IOOV Presenter
In Our Own Voice: The What
O IOOV was introduced in 1996 as Living with
Schizophrenia and the name was later
changed to In Our Own Voice.
O The program is now active in 44 states and
there have been over 500,000 audience
members reached through this training
In Our Own Voice: CIT
O Law enforcement officers are introduced to
IOOV on the first day of CIT training.
O Officers learn from consumers with mental
illness up front about the stages of recovery.
O Officers have an opportunity to interact and
engage with consumers in recovery and not
through a crisis.
In Our Own Voice
O IOOV was introduced to the Crisis
Intervention Team training in Cleveland in
O Since that time, IOOV was presented about
24 times reaching 720 law enforcement
In Our Own Voice:
O In Our Own Voice (IOOV) is a unique education
program developed by NAMI, in which two
trained peer speakers share compelling
personal stories about living with mental illness
and achieving recovery. The presentation is
divided into 5 segments
 Dark Days
 Acceptance
 Treatment
 Coping Tips
 Successes, Hopes and Dreams
In Our Own Voice: Dark Days
O Speakers explore feelings and experiences
that occurred during their darkest moments
of living with mental illness.
O Benefit to CIT Training-police encounter the
mentally ill during their dark days. This
segment helps officers see the “why” of how
these days came and the outcome.
In Our Own Voice: Acceptance
O Speakers explain their personal experience
of how they learned to accept the reality of
having a mental illness.
O Benefit to CIT Training: Officers learn that
recovery is possible with acceptance.
In Our Own Voice: Treatment
O Speakers explore what treatment milieus
worked for them and why.
O Benefit to CIT Training: Officers learn that
treatment for mental illness involves other
milieus such as counseling, etc.
In Our Own Voice: Coping
O Speakers share their personal coping
strategies and wellness.
O Benefit to CIT Training: Officers learn that
there are a broad variety of coping
strategies other than just taking medication.
In Our Own Voice: Successes,
Hopes and Dreams
O Speakers share the outcome of setting goals
while pursuing personal dreams.
O Benefit to CIT Training: Officers learn that
consumers have short term and long term
dreams and outcomes for themselves.
In Our Own Voice: The Value
O IOOV sets the tone for the CIT week by
introducing officers to consumers as
educators to the learning process.
O IOOV also provides law enforcement officers
with an interactive dialogue with consumers.
In Our Own Voice:
O “The information provided was very useful. I can apply these
techniques on my job as a Police Dispatcher as well as any
personal contact that I may have with someone suffering
from mental illness. The presenters were great!
O “Good Informative Presentation, nice to have actual
people speak on their experiences”
O “All officers should attend”
O “It showed the other side of mental
In Our Own Voice: Questions?
Interested in bringing IOOV to your CIT training ?
Go to to find your state
NAMI office and contact them.
Or email: [email protected]

In Our Own Voice: - CIT International