This post contains the directions and guidelines for sharing your story for the campaign, “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” in honor of May is Mental Health Month. Please see my post from yesterday to learn what it is.
I strongly wanted to encourage everyone to share their story. Even though it is Mental Health Month, I am looking for all stories. You do not have to be a mental illness survivor to share your story and to have an impactful and inspirational story to tell. I want to include EVERYONE.
I am looking for EVERYONE that wants to participate in this campaign. I decided to call it a campaign, as a campaign is a connected series of operations designed to bring about a particular result —a change. The goal is to help others and end stigma.
I am a certified NAMI presenter, which means I can share my story for NAMI. I haven’t given any presentations for about three years but would love to branch out and speak more often again. I learned a lot from taking the weekend NAMI course and gained a lot of valuable experiences. Sharing my story and hearing the story of many others was very therapeutic and was life changing for me.
NAMI uses a wonderful format to guide you during the writing process and presentation of your story. Their technique helps you share the most concise, educational, effective and inspirational version of your life story. It assists you by making sure your story does not become too long. We never want to lose a reader’s interest.
I found another guide from NAMI that helps people share the written version of their story. I have taken parts of their guide and added some areas and ideas of my own to use for my new project “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.”
Remember this is just a guide to help you if you want it. You can follow it or use your own style and format. I do not want to tell you how to share your story. This is just a guide to help you if you want to use it. I thought it would make it easier for you to share your story.
- Introduction – Include your name (first name only is fine), city, country, organization (if applicable) and blog name and link. Describe who you are, what you do and a little bit about yourself. Briefly talk about how you are affected by any mental health conditions.
- What happened – Aim for 3-9 sentences. Briefly describe the most important and compelling thing(s) about your situation. Sentence number is only a guide for you to follow if you want to. You can make your story as long or short as you want to.
- What is helpful – Aim for 1-5 sentences. Briefly describe what helped in your recovery (or what would or could have helped). Aim for a hopeful tone that helps show what was helpful to you during your journey. Again, remember the sentence number is only a guide. You can make it whatever length you feel would be appropriate to tell your story.
- How I am different today – Aim for 1-3 sentences. Share your strengths and what is going right in your life and/or how you are experiencing recovery. This concludes your personal story on a positive note that inspires. Remember the sentence length is only a suggestion.
You can end your story here if you would like. Otherwise, you can add your wisdom, advice and insights to help and educate others further.
- What is the need problem?– Aim for 1-2 sentences. Transition to the challenge(s) faced by people living with mental illness that you want addressed. What do you think are the biggest challenges and obstacles people living with mental illness face?
- What will help others – Aim for 1-2 sentences. Talk about what will help. Let your listener know what will address the need or problem you described. How do you think mental health treatment can improve for the many people living with mental illness?
- My “ask” – Aim for 1-2 sentences. Thank your listener for listening to you. Then,
ask your listener for a commitment. Be specific. Ask the reader how they can best help improve the lives of the many people living with mental illness.
That’s it. Simple Simon. A beautiful and inspirational story told. Yours.
Here are my suggested methods to write and share your story.
The first step is to write it:
- Copy and paste my guidelines onto your page for reference.
- After you finished writing your story you do not have to share it until you are ready. Sometimes just writing it for yourself is half the battle and is very therapeutic and healing, in itself.
- Delete my questions and guidelines, so you only have your information left to post and share. Now you have a beautiful and glorious story to share with others.
The next step is to share your story when you are ready.
There are a couple of ways you can share it with me:
- Share your completed story on your blog. Then notify me that it is ready for me to copy and post on my blog.
- Email me a copy of your completed story and I will share it on my blog.
I hope a lot of people will want to write and share their stories on their own blogs and on mine as well.
My dream for this campaign is that many people will be interested in participating. I hope it will go past the month of May and I will be able to share more stories to add to the “There’s Glory in Your Story” campaign. When I learn of a story to be shared I will post it on my blog as soon as possible.
FYI – You can remain anonymous. You don’t even have to disclose your blog name if you don’t want to. Just share your story by email and I will post it on my blog. Just let me know you want to remain anonymous and I will share your story anonymously. It is very therapeutic, freeing and a wonderful release to tell your story. One step at a time. Do it at your own pace. The fun part will be that you can see the impact your story has on others from the feedback your story receives.
It will be fun to see how this idea of mine transforms. I hope it is successful and helps many.
We can help ourselves and others by sharing our stories. Happy story-telling and sharing. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get started. Have fun.
I can’t wait to be inspired by many stories.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
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