Ashley Smith (pictured) writes about her experience as the plenary speaker at the SSNS's 22nd Annual Conference on her blog, Overcoming Schizophrenia:
The 22nd Annual Conference: Mental Illness- Why Me?, hosted by the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS), was wonderful! The event took place on Friday, November 26, 2010 at Pier 21. The SSNS Executive Director, Dr. Stephen Ayer, gave me a warm welcome along with the Board of Directors. Dr. Ayer gave me a tour of the city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I had an opportunity to dine with the Board of Directors and a couple of other speakers for the conference. The Board gave me a beautiful gift of a photograph taken by Mr. John Ross. In addition to that, I went to dinner with another presenter from the conference, Ms. Laura Burke and her family and friends.
Speaking at the conference enabled me to share my testimony of living with schizophrenia, and to give suggestions to other people directly affected by the illness. I titled my speech, A Distorted Perception to Reality: My Insight Into Recovery, because for me, schizophrenia forced me to think irrationally. However, the illness is manageable, and I am overcoming schizophrenia with the support of medication, support from others, and group therapy.
After delivering my speech, several people asked questions about my experience. I had a moment with some of the guests to elaborate on my experience and to exchange stories. Many of the participants thought my talk was inspirational, which I am glad because having an illness like schizophrenia can be tough, however, it is manageable.
Please click on the photograph to magnify it.