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.

Meeting tomorrow, Jan 16, 6 p.m. - Guest Speaker - PLEASE attend

Hello everyone! A reminder that tomorrow, January 16, at 6 pm, we will have an amazing meeting where we'll be lucky enough to have a guest speaker to give us all some great info and instruction about the upcoming legislative session and the opportunities that we'll have to be involved, to speak, and to advocate for bills dealing with mental health (and other topics related). Carrie Butler is the Policy Director for Action Utah, a nonpartisan community advocacy organization whose mission is to empower Utah's citizens to get more civically engaged. 
It's a really great opportunity and I hope that all of you will do everything you can to attend. As I've said before, last year's legislative session was a learning experience and I'm looking forward to this year's and a much greater involvement by our group. Tonight will be an important step towards that goal, for all of us, so I really hope to see ALL your smiling faces at 6 p.m. at the NAMI Utah offices.
Here is a link to the address and a Google map, if you don't know where the offices are.
Please RSVP to 801-666-9061 ASAP so that I can order dinner accurately.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving. I have probably mentioned it, but if you didn’t know, Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday of them all. There are others – Christmas, July 4th, etc. – that I also love, for different reasons, but Thanksgiving is the one that I look forward to the most. I’ve shared with most of you before that gratitude is something that I have spent the last 13 years of recovery very focused on. I observed, over and over, other people in recovery that stopped being grateful, expressing gratitude, for the good things in their lives and, rather, spent a whole lot of time complaining about what they felt was wrong or unfair. Without exception, these people were unsuccessful in their recovery and ended up going back out again. This was a powerful lesson for me and so I’ve made gratitude the centerpiece of my recovery.
Gratitude keeps you humble. It’s very difficult to whine about what you don’t have when you are focused on what you are blessed with. Gratitude reminds me how very, very fortunate I am to be in recovery, to have the love and respect of my children again, to be able to do the work that I do, and to have incredible friends – an amazing support system – that I know that I can count on.
Each of you is a part of this group. I want you all to know how much I admire you and look up to you. We’re each on a journey, wandering on the various paths of recovery, and our paths have intersected during this particular time. We’re connected by our experiences – the challenging and the wonderful – and I have no doubt that we’re participating in essential and righteous work. You are all such amazing examples to me of strength and kindness. Your compassion has driven you to step up and do work so that others can benefit and your selflessness is awesome.
Thank you, to each one of you individually, and to the group, collectively. Thank you for the time that you freely give. Thank you for the selfless ways that you step into a vulnerable, sometimes painful, place to tell your stories so that others can learn from them, can see them as the examples of strength and hope that they are, and can grab hold of that hope in their own journeys. Thank you for humanizing mental illness and demonstrating to those that are listening that there is a way to live positively with mental illness, that there are real humans, with feelings and hopes, living with mental illnesses. Thank you for helping to end the stigmas that have too often corrupted the ways that those with mental illness are seen and treated. I want you all to know that you are making a difference and that I am grateful for you all.
And so, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. Please know that I’m grateful for, and to, each one of you, for so many things that you have shown me and taught me. Be safe. Be happy. Focus on the good things, no matter how big or small they are. I will see you all in a week!
Much love to you all,

Let's have a meeting!

Good afternoon to all of you beautiful people!!
I hope that you are all doing great, are well rested, and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday. To be honest, it's my favorite holiday of them all. How great is it to focus on gratitude, eat great food, maybe watch some football or a movie, rest and relax, and not have to worry about any damned gift exchanging! LOL! Of course, there is usually some family time thrown in and that can be dicey sometimes but, overall, I really love Thanksgiving. I believe, wholeheartedly, in living a grateful life and so it's a wonderful day to spend doing just that.

We're going to meet this Thursday at 6 p.m. I won't beg but I do hope that if you are able, you'll make the effort to attend. It's been a long time since we've had a robust group and I'd love to see the conference room filled up once again. We're in the beginning of the training and we're going to be talking about self-care. I'm shuffling the order of the lessons because I think it's important to really focus on this topic and learn different ways to take care of ourselves as we journey into what can be such vulnerable places. I want to make sure that we're proactive in taking care of ourselves and that it's front and center in our minds. I know that many of you were here before but I don't think a good review, especially of such an important topic, is a bad thing. I've been doing this for quite a while and I still look forward to a good review - I seem to learn something new every time.
So, please - I'd love to see you all there on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21 at 6 p.m. in the Conference Room at NAMI Utah.

Thanks to each one of you for the work that you do and for being willing to step up and give your time - share your stories - in such an important way. Thank you for your friendships and for being amazing people. You each have my deep admiration and affection and I'll see you on Thursday!

P.S. Please RSVP for the meeting as soon as possible so that I can plan for food!

Updates and meeting on November 7th

Good afternoon to you all!
I think it might be fall break and some people are feeling ill - seems to happen when the seasons start to change. But several have reversed their RSVP's for this evening.
That being the case, I've canceled the meeting that was going to be tonight and scheduled our next one for Thursday, November 7 at 6 p.m. I sent a notice to each of you via text and this should go out as an email as well. I hope that everyone gets the message and is able to add the meeting to their calendars. I think that this will give everyone enough time to prepare and plan to attend.

In the interim, keep an eye on the calendar and I remain willing to help out or speak with any of you, anytime that you need. Also, last week a couple of us attended the training that Utah Action offered regarding the Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation that will be offered and debated during the upcoming legislative session. Utah Action sent me an electronic copy of the PowerPoint that they used and I'm going to post it on this site - probably this evening - so please watch for it and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

It's that time of the year again, the lead-up to the 2020 legislative session and so I hope that we can have great attendance at the upcoming Speakers Bureau meetings as we're going to be going through the training modules again - new for many of you, a refresher for others. Last year was a learning experience for all of us and I'm looking forward to having a louder voice during the session that is coming.

As always, please take good care of yourselves and let me know if there is anything that I can do for any of you. Each of you continues to have my utmost respect, admiration, and affection. Be well and I'll see you all soon.

Extreme Risk Protection Order Training Event

Good evening to you all! 
At tonight's meeting, I spoke with those that were here about an upcoming training event that is being put on  by Action Utah regarding the upcoming Extreme Risk Protection Order bill that will be debated during the upcoming legislative session in 2020. Please read the following information and let's all do what we can to attend. We feel like this will be a great opportunity for the Speakers Bureau to begin to be a loud and important voice for, and during, the upcoming session. Last year was challenging but we learned from it and we're going to make every effort to provide opportunities for the members of the Speakers Bureau to speak and be the faces and voices of people that are affected by mental illness. With that in mind, if you can make it, please do so. There is a link for the required registration - it's free but you need to go in and register. If you have any questions or any issues with the registration link, please let me know and I'll do what I can to help.
To follow is the email from Action Utah, along with the registration link:
Hello Fellow Advocates: We are reaching out to support coalition signatories from last session for Utah's Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill to update you on an upcoming opportunity for supporters of the bill. 

Utah’s ERPO bill (sometimes referred to as a "red flag” bill) has recently been gaining traction as one important, research-based tool to reduce firearm suicides and prevent other firearm deaths from mass shootings and domestic violence homicide. It's time to get this bill passed in Utah, and we need constituents to show their support in order to convince legislators to vote in favor during the 2020 legislative session starting in January!

Utah's bill has incorporated feedback from a broad range of stakeholders, including suicide prevention, mental health, domestic violence, public health, law enforcement, courts, and gun owners to craft a bill that delicately balances a variety of concerns to ensure this bill will save lives, provide a pathway to behavioral health services, and protect Second Amendment rights. That makes it a bit of a complicated bill to understand and talk about. But a little training goes a long way!

That's why Action Utah is hosting "ERPO Advocacy Training" session on Wednesday Oct 16th at the Salt Lake Public Library (see event info below). 

Learn about messaging, and specific actions and come away with an advocacy guide to help community members make a meaningful difference on this bill.

FYI - We will not be advertising this event publicly, as it is open only to community members and advocates interested in helping pass ERPO. Please feel free to share accordingly. The event is free, but registration is required.