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  • Opening dinner and program on Wednesday evening... Welcome and Opening Address by A. Kathryn Power, M.Ed.; 20 Years of Alternatives: And Still We Rise with pioneering leaders: Michael Finkle (Maryland); Joseph Rogers (Pennsylvania); Su Budd (Kansas); Celia Brown (New York); Jay Mahler (California); and Judi Chamberlin (Massachusetts).
  • Showing of the documentary Awa Hikoi – “A River Journey”... Photo looking out a cave entrance with a river passing by.with Maori guests from New Zealand, Nga Tangata o te Ao Marama, “People of New Beginnings”, who — in pursuit of their recovery — take a pilgrimage up a river in rural New Zealand to their tribal spiritual center.  The message of the film is one of recovery, self-direction, cultural relevance, spirituality, and community.
  • Plenary Panel, Celebrating Successful Self-Help Programs... Many consumer-run programs have been operating successfully for years.  Four innovative programs share perspectives: Lenora Kimball – Stepping Stones, Lebanon, New Hampshire; Regina D. Koch-Mart – Hope, Inc., Tucson, Arizona; Lavern Miller – Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center, NYC; and Thelma Rist – Shining Reflections, East Liverpool, Ohio.

    Extended Open Mic event with Ice Cream Social (NEW!)

  • Arizona Room... Featuring local artists, events, and culture of this unique state.

Workshops and Institutes

Alternatives Conference offers a wide selection of workshops and institutes providing technical assistance led by many skilled leaders. Sample workshop/institutes include:

Individual Approaches to Healing and Recovery

– Using the Arts for Healing and Personal Transformation
– From the Inside to the Outside:
       Your Wellness, Your Recovery
– Gratitude: A Spiritual Path to Healing and Recovery
– Self-Care and Healing:
       Intending Wellness and Reclaiming Personal Power
– Peer-Run Crisis Alternatives

Reaching Across Cultures

– Native American Traditional Healing
– Understanding Latino Needs
– A Japanese-American Consumer Exchange
– Culturally Sensitive Services for Consumers of Color
– Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender: Sexual Minority Mental Health Issues

Creating a Recovery Culture in Mental Health Systems

– Self-Direction as a Route to Recovery
– Survival Tools for Peer Support Programs in the Era of Evidence-Based Practices
– Creating a Culture of Recovery using Peer Specialists
– From Vision to Reality:
       A Roadmap to Systems Transformation
– Dante’s Cure: The Role of Therapy in Recovery
– Achieving Recovery:
       Peer-Run Programs that Leave No One Behind
– Wellness Centers: Peer Supporters in Action

Community Integration

– You Can Succeed in Higher Education and Self-Employment!
– Housing First: The Consumer Experience
– Communicating Your Message Through the Media
– Developing a Peer Network in an Urban Environment
– Peer Support and Unique Needs of Rural Areas


A. Kathryn Power, M.ED.

A. Kathryn Power, M.ED.

Director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Center for Mental Health Services

Sally Zinman

Sally Zinman

Long-time consumer/survivor activist, Executive Director of California Network of Mental Health Clients

David Hosseini

David Hosseini

Public Policy Advocate, California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies

Linford Gayle

Linford Gayle

Consumer Affairs Coordinator for the San Mateo Department of Mental Health