August 18th – 21st at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel
The Alternatives Conference offers life-changing opportunities to those in the mental health peer-recovery movement. It helps mental health consumer/survivors make valuable connections, develop leadership skills, provide and receive peer support, and share expertise and resources. We honor those who have paved the way, provided leadership in promoting recovery, and kept the Alternatives Conference alive for three decades. We welcome emerging leaders and those who are new to the peer movement to this conference.
Registration is required for this event. NAMI Members with lived experience of mental health issues are encouraged to speak with their local NAMI affiliate if they need support to attend this event.
For more information and to register: http://www.power2u.org/alternatives-2017/
The Alternatives Conference is a yearly event focused on peer driven recovery options such as peer-support, wellness, self-help, diverse therapeutic modalities and education. The Alternatives Conference 2017 will be held in Boston, Massachusetts at the Boston Park Plaza from Friday evening, August 18 through Monday, August 21, 2017. This may be the last time that the conference is held in its present form as SAMHSA has withdrawn funding for the event.
NAMI Massachusetts is well represented at the event. Volunteers from the NAMI Massachusetts office will be manning the Information desk on Saturday 19th, welcoming visitors from all over the world to the Boston Alternatives Conference.
We will also be conducting a number of workshops and leading a number of caucuses as follows:
Saturday 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Ending Restraint and Seclusion (R&S) in Schools – The Role of Peers and the Leadership Factor (Cambridge Room) Howard Trachtman, Michael Weaver, Bill Lichtenstein Over 107,000 children were subjected to physical restraint or seclusion rooms in schools recently. Peer advocates can be instrumental in identifying the use of R&S, teaching U.S. Department of Education best practices for alternatives, converting seclusion rooms into comfort rooms, and and doing systemic work to reduce and ultimately eliminate the use of R&S.
Saturday 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
Compass: One Model for a Peer Driven Information and Referral Service (Arlington Room) Megan Wiechnik, Jill Gichuhi COMPASS is a peer-run and peer-driven free helpline service supporting thousands of callers each year to navigate the complex mental health system in Massachusetts. This workshop will demonstrate our team problem solving approach to get callers to the next step and connect with the next person or place that is most likely to help, whether they are a peer, family member, friend, provider, or community member.
Saturday CAUCUS SESSIONS 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Finding Common Ground (White Hill Room) A dialogue about how to champion and collaborate on shared principles promoting meaningful choice, harm reduction, and trauma-informed approaches. Led by Jill Gichuhi
Latinos en Acción: Un caucus para personas que identifican como latinos o hispanos (Boylston Room) Latinos In Action: A Caucus for people who identify as Latino or Hispanic Inglés/Español. Aunque encontramos muchas barreras, hemos aprendido que somos resistentes. ¡Como defensores, queremos que las demás personas sepan qué ayuda y qué sana! English/Spanish. Although we have many barriers, we are not alone and we are resilient. We want others to know what helps and what heals! Led by Jacqueline Martinez.
Sunday 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Journeys to Self-Understanding: Raising Strong Children through Literature of Strength, Courage, Hope, and Self-determination (St. James Room) Ewa Pytowska Learn about how the themes in children’s books relate to mental health recovery, healing, and coping with emotions in a healthy way. This workshop will teach parents living with a mental health diagnosis how to better connect with their children through children’s literature.
Workshops 3:15 pm – 4:00 pm
Peer-to-Peer: Images of Recovery (Boylston Room) Judi Maguire, Eliza Williamson See first hand how National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts has integrated the creation of expressive digital imagery into their peer-to peer recovery education program. There will be demonstrations, a presentation of images with narrative from the artists, and discussion about recent research that validates the efficacy of this model.
Sunday Caucus Sessions 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Entrepreneurship 2017 (Whittier Room) Network with your peers who have their own businesses or who would like to start one. Led by Howard Trachtman, Robin Zucker
Ally with Latinos en Acción!/Alianza con Latinos en Acción! (Clarendon Room) All are welcome to this caucus for people who want to ally with the Latino/Hispanic community! Todos son bienvenidos a este caucus para personas que desean aliarse con la comunidad latina/ hispana! Led by Jacqueline Martinez
The Alternatives Conference offers life-changing opportunities to those in the mental health peer-recovery movement. It helps mental health consumer/survivors make valuable connections, develop leadership skills, provide and receive peer support, and share expertise and resources.
For more information please visit the National Empowerment Web site http://www.power2u.org or contact the National Empowerment Center 978-685-1494