Emerge from Stigma Speakers Bureau Training Portland Day Two
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Emerge from Stigma Speakers Bureau Training Portland  Day Two

The speakers bureau training will be a 2-day on-site training. Each day will be 4 hours in length and will be one week apart. The first day will cover how to tell our stories and the second day will have the opportunity to practice and present in front of training participants.

When: Day One & Two: Wednesday, February 24 and March 2
5:00 to 9:00
Where: USM School of Social Work
Masteron Hall, SW Conference Room G06 (ground floor)
71 Bedford Street
Portland, ME  04104
Presenter: Heather Carter and Cheryl Ramsay
Contact: Cheryl Ramsay
207.622.5767 Ext. 307

Online registration is closed.
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Our lived experience – our stories - is where the power and impact lies to change lives, create system change and help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. Through the NAMI Maine speakers bureau, the sharing of our personal stories helps:

  •  Increase understanding and awareness of risk factors and warning signs for mental illness and suicide.
  • Educate the public about mental health, mental illness and recovery
  • Provide insight to suicide and suicide loss
  • Create system change by sharing lived experiences of what helps, what works and what doesn’t


In this training, participants will learn the basics of how to tell an impactful story in a way that also conveys Hope.  On the first day, we will cover:

  • Why a speakers bureau
  • Motivation to speak
  • Communication skills
  • Story Structure
  • Logistics

Participants will receive training materials, templates and resources to work on their story during the weeklong break. The second day of training is spent entirely on practicing and listening to participants stories with constructive feedback. At the end of this training, participants will have the training and knowledge required to present to groups and organizations that contact NAMI Maine with speaker requests.


Anyone with lived experience is welcome to attend a training. Lived experience includes:

  • Anyone living with a mental illness or experience with mental health challenges
  • Survivors of a suicide loss
  • Individuals who have attempted suicide
  • Anyone who is supporting a loved one or friend struggling with mental illness

We are hoping to expand our youth outreach. If you know a young person who has experience in any of the above, please share this training with them.  


The NAMI Maine speakers bureau is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. Nothing has the ability to heal the heart, mend the soul or change the mind than hearing the story of another. Understanding the perspective of others through the sharing of our stories changes our own perspectives unlike any other information.