Victoria Courville - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Victoria Courville

Victoria Courville

Nominee for 2010 Samaritan of the Year Award

My goal is to change the world one person at a time and I will start with myself by being compassionate enough to listen to the stories, but one story stands out…

Hopeless eyes, will I ever forget them? This time they are not mine, but a crisis negotiator as he hears my story about my personal struggle with mental illness and stops to think about his son. After, the many experiences of sharing my personal story through NAMI programs like Parents and Teachers as Allies and helping train Crisis Intervention Team members through a question and answer format, I receive the gift of being able to educate others and be blessed by people who are brave enough to share their perception of mental illness through their own lived experiences or through the eyes of people whom they love and see struggling with a chemical imbalance. I know I have touched many lives, but the important thing is how strangers have touched my life through the many questions they have asked.

While having Senioritis at McNeese State University, in my sociology courses I have learned culture is the lens through which many people see these terrible disorders. So because of lived experiences, I have a passion for my job at Volunteers of America as a Peer Support Specialist where I facilitate classes and the NAMI Connections Support Group. I am a trained Wellness Recovery Action Plan facilitator and know that to have one person's life change is the best blessing of all.

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