Welcome to the website of the NAMI Utah Speakers Bureau!

Welcome to NAMI Utah Speakers Bureau's (NUSB) place on the web. I've created this page to serve the needs of the participants of NUSB, to post and provide information, training documents, event notifications, and access to the calendar of upcoming events and speaking opportunities. This page will certainly evolve and, hopefully, improve over time and your suggestions for improvement are definitely welcome.
This page is tied to the umbrella Google account of NAMIUtahSpeakersBureau@gmail.com. This includes the Google drive, Google docs, Google forms (reimbursement and feedback forms), Google calendar, etc. Because Google is a tool that is accessible anywhere, is very user friendly, and it includes all of the tools that NUSB will require for its communication and information disbursement needs, I've chosen this platform. Please familiarize yourselves with the format and the tools and, most importantly, FOLLOW the blog so that you'll receive emailed updates and notifications.

If you don't currently have a Google (*@gmail.com) account, please go here to create one. It's free and it will make your interaction with this page easier and more seamless.

1. To follow this blog so that you can receive all of the updates and new information, please enter your email address in the box that is shown in this pic:

2. Please feel free to provide feedback to NUSB by sending an email to NAMIUtahSpeakersBureau@gmail.com. I value your ideas and feedback and want to ensure that this site is as user friendly as possible. 

Most importantly, thank you for your willingness to participate in the Speakers Bureau, your willingness to work hard to hone your public speaking skills, to give of your time in training and participation in speaking opportunities, and, especially, for the courage you are demonstrating in sharing your stories. I fully realize how powerful, yet, how personal this effort is and I want you to know how grateful I am for each of you. Please know that, together, we are going to do our part to make a difference in how others understand mental illness and the myriad issues that accompany it. We will work hard and tell our stories as often as others will provide the opportunity to do so and we will make a positive difference - one story at a time.

Welcome and thank you!

Miscellaneous Training Forms and Documents

This section includes the links to the various forms, documents, PowerPoints, etc. that we have used during training. The links that I'm providing to you are to the most updated documents. If I make changes (for example, I'll certainly be updating the manual), I'll send out a new link to each of you and I'll also change these ones.

If you have any issues accessing the documents, please reach out to me and we'll see what we need to do to fix the issue. REMEMBER - accessing and using these forms is going to be easiest and most efficient if you create and use a free Gmail account. You can access the page to create an account here.

Thank you for taking the time to review these document and learn the information in them. It's a work in progress, for all of us, but I'm confident that we are creating and building an incredible force, a very effective tool, that will help to end stigmas surrounding mental illness, teach appropriate information to people in a multitude of formats, and, equally important, to provide a forum for each of us to tell our stories. Our stories will connect us with other people in ways that data driven information simply cannot. However, this data, combined with these stories, will open people's hearts and minds because we can all RELATE to them on a profoundly emotional level.
You are each a vitally important part of this effort and I am looking forward to continuing our combined efforts in this essential work. You each have my respect and my gratitude.
Now, on to the links!

NAMI Utah Speakers Bureau Manual - updated 12-21-18  (click the link and then either download the .doc file to your hard drive or click on the button to open it with Google docs.)

Event Participation Feedback Form - use this form to provide feedback to Dan and to the Speakers Bureau members following your participation in an event as a representative/member of the NAMI Utah Speakers Bureau. Please don't neglect this form as getting real and honest feedback is one of the most important tools that will inform us as we grow and improve.

Reimbursement Form - use this form to submit your hours spent in training, in speaking/presenting, and in travel related expenses (prior approval required from Dan Powell).

7 Steps to Tell Your Story - this is a reference form that we use to help guide us in including important elements in our story.

Practice Form for Writing Your Story - this is a practice form that you can use to write out, in sections, your story.

Fun Activities to Use for Practicing Public Speaking - these are fun activities that you can use to hone your skills at public speaking - especially spontaneous or 'off the cuff' speaking.

Gush About Something You Don't Love - Another fun game to play in a group (or in front of a mirror) that will help to practice your public speaking skills.

PowerPoint How to Create and Tell Your Story - Tips for crafting your story in a way that makes it most effective

PowerPoint Public Speaking Tips and Techniques - Tips for preparing and presenting your story in public, including overcoming anxiety, mistakes, etc.

Speakers Bureau Participant Interest Form - form to be filled out by new members of the Speakers Bureau that includes contact information and provides me information about what types of speaking opportunities you are interested in or that you would prefer to avoid.

May 16 2019 - NO MEETING TONIGHT!!

Hi everyone,
The plans to have a meeting tonight are, unfortunately, cancelled. I’ve received enough messages telling me that folks won’t be able to make it and it just isn’t worth it to only have a couple of people.
I wanted to address a couple of things, briefly, since we aren’t going to meet tonight. The first is to ask for your assistance/feedback regarding our meetings. For whatever reason, they are now very lightly attended and it’s a little concerning to me. Now, please, don’t anyone personalize this and get offended because it’s certainly not directed towards any one in particular. I fully realize that things come up, things happen, illness happens, and sometimes we just don’t feel like it. I’m aware of all of that and understand it completely and I’m not pointing a single finger at anyone. I truly hope that no one reads this and feels like I am.
Rather, I simply want to get some feedback from members of the group regarding the meetings so that, if necessary, I can make adjustments or changes. Can you each follow up with an email to me and let me know if you have any suggestions regarding the meetings – other than the day of the week and time. The reason I say that is because not long ago I sent out a Google poll and asked for everyone to let me know which days and times worked best and Thursdays at 6 continued to have overall approval. That being said, if it’s the content, or anything else, can you please let me know so that I can take a look at it? I want them to be enriching and enjoyable experiences and not mandatory times of dread. J
Next, keep your eyes on the calendar that is on the Speakers Bureau website. I’m adding new events on a fairly consistent basis and, if there are any that you are interested in participating in, reach out to me and we’ll see what we can do to make it happen. It’s May – Mental Health Awareness Month – and so it has been so, so busy. I’ve been speaking to several large groups multiple times each week. The opportunities are there, if you are interested.
Finally, I really need help in finding additional people that are interested in participating in our group. Through attrition and through other circumstances, we’ve lost a few members of the group along the way. We’re at a point where it makes sense to bulk up our numbers and I really need your help to make that happen. Please keep your eyes open and keep the Speakers Bureau on your mind when you are out and about. Let’s see if we can increase our numbers quickly.
I’ll close by saying that I truly care about each and every one of you and am so grateful for you all. Thank you for all that you do and for stepping up, often into a place of vulnerability, to help others. You are all wonderful and I think the world of each of you.
Hoping to hear back from you soon,

Hi everyone,
I'm really sorry to do this but I need to cancel our meeting tonight and reschedule for next Thursday.  I waited as long as I could, hoping I'd feel better as the day went on but I'm not.  I really apologize and hope that no one feels that I don't respect your time. I started a short round of some new treatment/meds this week and they aren't fun at all.  I'll put the rescheduled meeting on the calendar and on the website, along with some updated events that are coming up on May. May is Mental Health Month so we have quite a few things coming up that you can look at and see if they are things you're interested in participating in.
Thanks for understanding and I'll see you all soon.

On a more positive note, I'm sending everyone an invitation for our meeting that I have scheduled for nest Thursday, April 25th, at 6 p.m. Please do what you can to make sure that you can attend but, if you can't, it's totally all right. Please just let me know so that I can plan. Email me or text me, please.

We're doing great work, folks, and I'm so proud of our group as well as each and every one of you. Thank you, with all of my heart, for your willingness to step up and do something so positive. You are all my heroes.
Take good care of yourselves and I'll see you all soon.

2019 NAMIWalks is coming up

Hi everyone,
Hope your week has been going well and that you are all doing great.
We received the following PSA video about the upcoming NAMIWalk. It is going to be held on May 4, 2019 at Veterans Memorial Park in West Jordan. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m. I hope that we can have as many members of the Speakers Bureau there to participate and support NAMI Utah. Let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to share the PSA on whatever platform you are on. You can link to the file here to download it or you can grab it from Youtube here.

Let's get together!

Hi everyone!
I know that it's been a while since we've all been able to get together. That's OK - it's been busy, there has been sickness, bad weather - lots and lots of things that we just can't prevent or plan for.
So, I think it's a great time - spring time - for a new beginning and some reinvigoration. I think April 4 at 6 p.m. is a great time for this renewal.
I've created a new chapter for the manual/training called "Self Care". It's an area that I think we can all benefit from. As a mental health provider, it's really easy to get "busy" and too wrapped up in caring for others while completely neglecting our own self-care. Whether or not a person is a mental health provider, self-care is crucial for maintaining good health and good mental health. I think that as we dive into new projects and make new paths in our own recovery, being aware of and reminded of the necessity of taking better care of ourselves is critically important so I hope that everyone can make their best effort to attend. With that being said, as always, I completely understand if things come up and your attendance isn't possible. Please communicate with me when this happens and we'll work things out for you.
Keep an eye on your emails and on the website for updates. I'll be out of the state from the 27th - 30th of this month - actually, some self care in the sun in Tucson. I'm going to do my best to not be tied to any electronic device but surely, if it's an emergency, feel free to reach out and I'll do my best to respond.
Until the next time, please take care and be kind to yourself. Each of you deserves the very best and that begins within your own selves. You've become some of my very favorite people and I'm looking forward to seeing you all again very soon.
My best, always,

Please read

Good evening, everyone. I'm really sorry that so many of you are feeling under the weather or otherwise unable to attend the meeting that was scheduled for tonight. Please know that I'm sending out all the good energy and feelings that I can muster.

This is also a good time, I think to mention "self-care" - something that is necessary - even crucial - to remember and to practice. I'll only mention it briefly here but I think we should plan on including it in our training during an upcoming meeting. I'll come up with something good. In the meantime, just let me say this - I can't stress the importance of this concept enough. When I first began studying Social Work, nearly every single professor would talk about "self-care". It often made me wonder what terrible thing is coming that is going to require so much attention to my own well-being. And then I started working in this field and I quickly found out - this can be incredibly taxing work. There are even times when we don't feel it but stress is a cumulative thing - if we don't deal with it, it just builds and builds until it becomes debilitating - physically, emotionally, mentally, & spiritually.
Self-care is often difficult because we lead such busy and full lives - we have so much going on that we feel like there is simply no time to do something kind or enriching for ourselves. While it is true that we are busy people, neglecting our own care will only lead to a less productive, less happy person. It will pay, in dividends, to take even 15 minutes to regroup, to collect ourselves, and to do something that is beneficial to our well being. One of the most important things that we can do is to get plenty of sleep.  Believe me, I know how hard it is to pull away from the telly or our computers/phones but getting to bed and getting plenty of sleep is tantamount to maintaining our best selves. Also, a healthy diet - not necessarily a hard-core, tree-hugging, granola diet - but there are always ways that we can better our diets, right? And, finally, we need to make sure that we doing some kind of exercise - again, not necessarily becoming a gym rat but I think we can all find time to take a nice walk or do some simple stretching.
I am listing these things mainly because they are things that I am personally trying to improve on. I'm as guilty as anyone so we're all in this together. And together we'll work on it to make sure that we are maintaining a healthy level of wellness.
Perhaps most importantly, it's imperative that we reach out to others when we are in need of it. All too often we, humans, think that the best way to handle stress is to swallow it down and then move on to our next task. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've said this before and I'm sure that you'll continue to hear it from me - your emotional safety is my number one priority. I know that even with as much training and practice as I can give you in our meetings, the task of speaking our stories out loud can be stressful and triggering Please, please, please - make sure that you reach out to someone if you need to. There is absolutely no shame in it. If nothing else, give me a call. I'll happily sit down to a phone call or a cup of coffee and we can talk about whatever you need.
I care about each one of you, very much, and hope that as we go forward with this important work, we can do it with as much care and self-awareness as possible. Be good to yourselves, please.