2013 Topical Areas
Workshops & Institutes
Proposals to present workshops or institutes at Alternatives were due July 15, 2013. Thank you for submitting your proposals. We aim to notify people about whether their proposals to present were accepted by the end of September.
Click here to download the complete Call for Presentations (PDF, 190KB, 4 pages).
We welcome proposals for presentations in Spanish.
We invite everyone to apply; first-time presenters are especially welcome. Learning from each other exemplifies self-help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action!
The Alternatives 2013 Advisory Committee, which includes consumer/survivor leaders from across the nation, is seeking proposals for presentations in the following areas, although proposals need not be limited to the these subjects:
Building Strong and Inclusive Communities:
Recently there has been much public debate about how to create safety in our communities. We in the mental health consumer/survivor/peer-recovery movement believe that isolation, alienation, and the breakdown of traditional support systems are at the root of much individual and social suffering. Building cohesive communities of support can provide a sense of safety, security, and belonging for all.
Topics may include innovative community-building programs, strategies to reenergize and revitalize our movement, peer support groups, faith-based communities, online and social networking programs, and violence prevention programs.
Health Care Reform and Systems Transformation:
Impending changes to the United States health care system will dramatically affect how mental health services are funded and received. Being educated about and involved in these changes will help ensure a future of recovery-based, peer-provided services. Building a better future for our community requires our involvement in the redesign of the health care system.
Possible topics include: influencing policy and planning, involvement in designing and measuring outcomes, legislative topics such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Housing Act, health homes/other provisions in the Affordable Care Act, working with the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) system, peer-run/cross-disability/human rights advocacy programs, state offices of consumer affairs, rural/urban issues, preventing seclusion, restraint, and promoting choice.
Embracing Our Diversity:
We each add to our communities in unique ways, based on our complex, multi-faceted identities and backgrounds. One of our central values is being able to unite in our similarities yet celebrate our unique differences. Workshops in this topic area will reflect strategies and skills to promote inclusive cultures, organizations, and communities.
Possible topics include: reducing stigma and discrimination, promoting cultural competence, linguistic competence, trauma-informed approaches, outreach and engagement strategies to groups who are underrepresented in the consumer/survivor movement (including youth, ethnic/racial minorities, veterans, individuals with criminal justice histories, individuals who are homeless, the LGBTIQ communities, and immigrants).
Building vibrant peer-run organizations is key to building a better future for our community. Here is an opportunity to receive training on how to create and strengthen organizations that facilitate recovery and improve our lives.
Possible topics include: Leadership development, utilizing technology and social media tools, model peer-run programs, program sustainability, data collection, program evaluation, financing mechanisms, grassroots organizing, and consumer-provider partnerships.
Holistic Approaches to Wellness:
Wellness is more than the absence of disease—it is a multi-dimensional and holistic approach to living that includes creative expression, physical health, and spirituality. Workshops might highlight innovative wellness programs or could be experiential workshops that introduce participants to wellness and healing approaches.
Possible topics include: use of traditional, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. For additional ideas see the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) website.
Innovative Supports and Services:
For many with mental health diagnoses, access to innovative and specialized supports and services is a critical part of creating a better future. Here is an opportunity to explore tailored supports that address the varied needs of our community.
Possible topics include: the needs of returning veterans and their families, model housing programs, peer-run crisis services (including warmlines and crisis respites), suicide prevention, parenting, model community partnerships, innovative approaches to address domestic violence and substance abuse, financial education, poverty reduction programs, supported education and employment, work incentives and benefits planning, entrepreneurship, and small business resources.