NAMI Utah is looking for individuals and families who are willing to share their stories of recovery. Your stories will then be turned into storyboards that we can use at our State Conference and other events to inspire others in their recovery journey.
Stories should be no more than 250 words and may be subject to editing. No story will be published without the final approval of the author. You will also need to submit a clear photo (headshot only with white background) that can be used on the storyboard.
Storytelling guidelines: To tell the most engaging story, we encourage you to follow the principles of “First-Next-Then-Last.”
- FIRST: “I was 12 when I had my first psychotic break. I’ve never been so scared in my life.”
- NEXT: “I resisted getting help because I didn’t want to be ‘that crazy kid’ at school. My parents had to drag me to a counselor.”
- THEN: “I didn’t ‘click’ with the first counselor I saw. It took me years to find the right one. Meanwhile, I discovered that educating myself on mental illness helped a lot. So I started reading about artists and musicians I admired who lived with mental illness. Their stories inspired me and made me want to help others.”
- LAST: “Now when someone I know is struggling, I’m not afraid to reach out to them, because I know they’re not ‘crazy.’ They’re just like me. And like me, they can get better.”
- It’s okay to just tell a small part of your story.
- Be sure to talk about what helped/helps you most.
- Be descriptive. Instead of saying, “I like being outdoors,” say, “The feel of the sun on my face and the smell of freshly-mown grass help me as much as the medicines I take every morning.”
- Be honest about the hard stuff (“I hate having to take meds”) AND the good stuff (“I’ll always have ups and downs, but I’m thankful I’ve figured out what works best for me).
- Be sure to write about what recovery is like for you. That might be feeling hopeful about the future. It might be going back to school or getting/maintaining a job. It might be having good relationships in your life. Or it might be feeling at peace with yourself. It’s YOUR recovery, so only YOU know what it looks like!
E-mail your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org