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2/8/02

At On Our Own of Roanoke Valley, a cozy Southwestern Virginia drop-in center, we sat down with Everett Franklin, Vice President of NAMI-Virginia, to discuss consumer involvement in the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. A full transcript of the 40 minute interview is available here.

Below are MP3 audio files of each of the five questions individually. You may right-click and "save target as" to download the files, or double-click them to listen to them streaming.

Question 1 Audio File (0.5 MB)

Everett, as Vice President of NAMI-Virginia, and as a family member who's been involved in mental health advocacy work for many years, can you tell us what role you see for the mental health consumer in NAMI and in mental health advocacy generally?

Question 2 Audio File (0.3 MB)

Everett, how far do you think NAMI-VA has come in terms of being inclusive of consumers, and what challenges remain?

Question 3 Audio File (0.9 MB)

There have been some charges that we have been made aware of from several quarters throughout the country that NAMI local affiliates often discriminate against those with mental illness by making them feel somewhat unwelcome at meetings and refusing them full participation in the organization. Can you comment on such charges?

Question 4 Audio File (1.5 MB)

You've spoken a little bit to this, but I'd like you to specifically address the possibility of a consumer led and directed NAMI at all levels, and why you feel as you do.

Question 5 Audio File (1.9 MB)

Right now we see the consumer movement nationally is not well-focused. Consumers are split into different camps and only a small percentage of consumers are participating politically. What steps do you think we as consumers can take to bring us together and speak out as one voice in society and in the political arena, thinking about the barriers and the activities we can undertake to accomplish that end?