The Self Help Independence Project (SHIP) offers a continuum of programming and self help services designed to provide educational and experiential opportunities for individuals who wish to become active participants in their own self-directed recovery. Two core programs, The Speakers Bureau, and The SHIP Spring Conference help to achieve these outcomes. The Speakers Bureau provides training in public speaking for individuals interested in presenting their “story” to the public. Speaking venues are arranged by SHIP staff and include colleges, service clubs, and human service agencies. The Speakers meet regurlarly to review and prepare presentations. The Speakers Bureau continues to receive praise for educating, battling stigma, and informing the community about the realities of life with a psychiatric diagnosis.
“Thank you for sharing your personal accounts. We talked about how so many things you shared are things we hear in our activities…about looking in a mirror and making commitment to follow positive choices. If by chance they fall down, to continue to get up, to ask for help, to become engaged in positive habits and volunteer work, that will encourage them to continue in positive paths.” - Work Force New York
The SHIP Spring Conference (Day of Recovery) is an annual event open to the entire community and human service providers. Each year, the spring conference seeks to inform and educate the community on innovative topics relevant to the field of mental health.
Another SHIP program is the Fundamental Follies. The Fundamental Follies Theater Company presents original plays with mental health themes. The shows are testimony to what people with a mental health diagnosis can achieve. The dynamics of theatre, including writing, acting, singing, and dancing serve as a nontraditional avenue of dedication to process as well as a unique opportunity for communication and collaboration between providers and recipients. Utilizing a satirical theme allows us all to look at ourselves in a refreshingly different light and to inject the crucial element of humor into the serious business of recovery.