2013 Annual Conference



Thank you for joining NYAPRS at our 31st Annual Conference

Keeping the Focus on Recovery and Rights


Tuesday, September 10


Change of A Lifetime: NYS Medicaid, State Mental Health Services Redesign

Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Edye Schwartz, DSW, LCSW-R, NYAPRS, Mahopac, NY

Things are changing so rapidly in behavioral health care that sometimes it might seem like you simply can’t keep up. But at NYAPRS, we see these changes as an opportunity because they are creating the “perfect storm” for recovery-oriented service provision. Keep up with the latest changes and share your vision for assuring that the changes in our healthcare system are changes that promote recovery.


ONTrackNY: Treating First Episode Psychosis With the Guiding Principles of Shared Decision Making, Critical Time Interventions and Person Centered Care

Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH; Liza Watkins, LMSW; Marie Sabatino, Sapna Mendon

and Paul Margolies, PhD, Center for Practice Innovations, Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

OnTrackNY is an innovative treatment program for adolescents and young adults who recently have had a first episode of psychosis. OnTrackNY helps people achieve their goals for school, work, and relationships by providing psychotherapy, skills training, job and education assistance, psycho-education, and medication management in a new and innovative way. The treatment is driven by the participant.


Wellness Workforce Coalition: Uniting Peer Services Across Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Communities

Julie Brisson, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, VT

Karen Lorentzon, Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, Rutland, VT

Nick Nichols, Vermont Department of Mental Health, Montpelier, VT

This workshop will offer an opportunity to learn about Vermont’s statewide initiative to bring peer support communities in both substance use and mental health together and advance an unprecedented level of collaboration towards their mutual goal of growing and sustaining peer support in the context of healthcare reform. Participants will learn about the process for bringing these diverse communities together, the role of Vermont state government in supporting peer support and grassroots communities and the development of a Wellness Workforce Coalition (WWC). The WWC includes a focus on developing training opportunities in a number of peer support approaches, systems level advocacy for peer support, marketing peer services and developing collaborations between peer support services and traditional providers.


Debunking Myths and Knocking Down Barriers to Employment

Abigail Lemon, MA, SAMHSA SOAR Technical Assistance Center, Policy Research Associates, Delmar, NY

Employment is empowering for individuals with disabilities, many who are willing and able to make valuable contributions to their communities but are unsure how to start. Educating people on Social Security’s work incentive programs can debunk myths surrounding SSI/SSDI and work and empower people with disabilities to reenter the workforce.


From Case Management to Care Coordination: What it Means to You

Kevin Wendoloski, LCSW-R, Putnam Family & Community Services, Carmel, NY

Andrea Hopkins, LMSW, Clubhouse of Suffolk, Ronkonkoma, NY

Andrew O’Grady LCSW-R, MHA Dutchess County, Poughkeepsie, NY

There is much talk about the transformation of targeted case management to care coordination and there are multiple training opportunities to help case managers understand their new roles and responsibilities. This workshop will address a lesser discussed but equally important topic, what really is care coordination and what should service participants expect from a care coordinator as a service partner?


From Professional to Personal: Maximizing the Use of Lived Experience

Amanda Saake, LMSW, The Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery, The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc., New York, NY

This workshop will focus on the intersection of professional work and the peer experience (“prosumers”). The presenter will discuss her dual status as a program director and a person with lived experience. She will talk about her experience with traditional academic training that discourages self-disclosure, contrasted with the potential power of the lived experience in the therapeutic relationship. She will also talk about her personal decision to self-disclose, and the impact this had on peer staff, professionals, and program participants. Interwoven into the discussion will be supervision that capitalizes on the unique strengths of the “prosumer.”


Trauma and Recovery Skills

Mike Dorr, NYAPRS, Phelps, NY and Emily Grossman, NYAPRS, Montclair, NJ

In this dynamic and interactive training, participants will learn how coping skills can empower them and help them in their quest for self-mastery. Participants will experience five-senses work, mind-body work, and other highly effective techniques for managing intense emotions and traumatic stress responses.


NYPeer Operated Warm Lines: Success Stories, Tips and Lessons Learned

Shari Stallone, James Ennis, Tammy Burrows, and Donna Quackenbush

Otsego County Rehabilitation Support Services, Oneonta, NY

The Otsego County Warm line will share their firsthand experience on the elements of a successful peer-operated warm line, including the start-up phase, recruitment, training, operations, outreach/promotion, and ongoing support of warm line operators.


I May Not Always Agree With You, But I Will Always Respect You

Jeremy Reuling, LCSW, MHA of Westchester, Tarrytown, NY

One of the most challenging dilemmas for service providers doing person-centered work with individuals comes when a person appears to be making choices that are counterproductive or self-destructive. This interactive workshop will give attendees a framework for assertively addressing these situations based on collaborative relationships and mutual respect, as well as addressing common misconceptions surrounding person-centeredness.


The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication

Skip Weisman, Weisman Success Resources, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY

This program brings awareness to the seven most damaging communication mistakes taking place in work environments today that either instantly kill, or slowly erode, the motivation, morale and trust necessary to get the best results. These are fundamental habits of communication occurring daily in workplaces that few organizational leaders understand the impact of.


Bringing Trauma-Informed Practices to Peer Support: MHEP’s ‘Creating a Trauma-Informed Community’ Project

Darby Penney and Eva Dech, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

This presentation will offer an overview of key concepts in Engaging Women in Trauma Informed Peer Support, a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Technical Assistance document. Participants will gain information, tools and resources to increase their understanding of trauma and its impact, cultural considerations, and the principles and values of trauma-informed peer support.


How Managed Care Can Fund Self Directed Care

Erme Maula, RN, MSN, CRRN, CPS, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Tom Lane, CRPS, Magellan Public Sector Solutions, Ft. Pierce, FL

Managed care is upon us and with it comes a total change in our payment methods. We have learned often, that with changes can come major innovation. This workshop will demonstrate innovative ways to use managed care to support self-direction and recovery-based service provision.


Making Noise, Getting Results: The NYAPRS Public Policy Agenda

Raymond Schwartz, Venture House, Jamaica, NY

Carla Rabinowitz, Community Access, New York, NY

Harvey Rosenthal and Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

NYAPRS has become an important advocate for recovery and rehabilitation services and rights for people with a psychiatric disability. Each year NYAPRS develops a legislative advocacy agenda that seeks to influence New York State mental health policy. This workshop will review the 2013 agenda and seek input for the 2014 legislative agenda. What are your legislative priorities? How much noise can you make?


Employment and Recovery: OMH, PROS and ACCES-VR

Liam McNabb, and Jill Dorsi, LCSW, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Frank Coco, CRC, ACCESS-VR, Albany, NY

Matthew Crave, LCSW, Rehabilitation Support Services, Albany, NY

Len Statham, MS, CBP, NYAPRS, Rochester, NY

The New York State Office of Mental Health and the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCESS-VR) will describe current guidance on how to coordinate employment services to individuals under both Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) and ACCES-VR. While a special emphasis will be on supported employment services, other aspects of coordination will be discussed, including referral process, liaison relationships, implementation of the Individualized Placement and Support (IPS) model and recovery-oriented vocational rehabilitation services. A community PROS provider, Rehabilitation Services and Support (RSS), will provide perspectives on how to utilize PROS and ACCES-VR services to assist individuals in achieving meaningful employment goals.


LGBTQ Mental Health Consumers: Sexual and Gender Minority MH & SS Issues

Bert Coffman, Lorraine Nunez, Michael Livote, Zappalorti Society, New York, NY

Phillip Williams, Rainbow Heights Club, New York, NY

Lourdes Cintron, City Wide Mental Health Project, New York, NY

Anthony Dicampli, New Alternatives, New York, NY

This presentation will encompass the history and legacy of the modern LGBT rights movement at its intersection with the MH system. Presenters will offer compelling examples in our history from the early gay MH pioneers to today’s LGBT MH activists who advocate for progress and reform in the MH system towards the empowerment and enfranchisement of LGBT MH recipients.


How to Meet and Mingle

Amy Colesante and Bill Gamble, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Does the idea of talking to people you don’t know make you feel weak in the knees? This workshop will offer some fun and engaging strategies that will help you overcome your fears and meet new people with charm and confidence. This fun and interactive workshop will also present opportunities to brainstorm about how to overcome obstacles to dating such as budget limitations, transportation and the dreaded first date jitters.


SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice: Next Steps in Training the Peer Workforce

Rita Cronise, MS, iNAPS, Victor, NY

Colleen Sheehan, CPRP, NYAPRS, Woodstock, NY

Noelle Pollet, Heart Circle Consulting, West Camp, NY

A preview of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Recovery-to-Practice training for experienced psychiatric, trauma, and/or substance use recovery peer supporters. This highly interactive and experiential training explores challenges related to peer recovery support with powerful opportunities for reflection and sharing of group wisdom by those who are actually doing the work.


Demystifying Managed Care

Kelly Lauletta, LCSW, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, Yonkers, NY

Carole Taylor, RN, MSN, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, Pittsburgh, PA

There is so much talk about managed care mostly for the major change it means for providers. This workshop will demystify “managed care” by discussing what the change in payer systems to managed care means and how it will affect both those who provide and those who use services.


Collaborations with Academic Communities and Institutions

Donna Marcello, BA, CASAC and Walter DeRouen, LMSW, East House Corporation, Rochester, NY

East House Career Services has partnered with a prestigious college, Rochester Institute of Technology, for the last 17 years, to offer the “East House Enrichment Program at RIT”. This collaboration provides East House clients with a 2 week college experience, empowering each individual to make decisions regarding their education. Learn about the program, expectations, experience, and outcomes in this session. You will also hear from a graduate of the Enrichment Program, and how the experience impacted his life.


Using the NYS Clinical Records Initiative (NYSCRI) Clinical Documentation Tools to Enhance Integrated, Collaborative and Recovery-Oriented Care

Jon Rice, LCSW-R, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Lisa Lite-Rottmann, CASAC, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Albany, NY

How can the necessary task of documenting our work be a vehicle to promote integrated, person-centered and recovery oriented care? See how this provider-driven joint OMH and OASAS project helps do just that, via paper or electronic formats, through this painstakingly developed, no-cost, and standardized compliant form set.


Keynote:Recovery in a World full of Troubles: The Meaning of Cultural and Linguistic Competence in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services

Vivian Jackson, PhD, LICSW, National Center for Cultural Competence and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Mental Health, Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development, Washington, DC

What does it mean to thrive in this world with a mental illness? How does one reconcile the contradictions within our society with the conditions for living a healthy life? Dr. Jackson will discuss authentic cultural and linguistic competence as a key ingredient to robust recovery in a world of troubles and opportunities.


Wednesday, September 11


New York State Peer Services Credentialing: An Update

Joe Swinford, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

There are tremendous opportunities to expand peer support services, as New York is moving rapidly towards new Medicaid managed care and health home driven system redesigns. In order to participate, peer practitioners will have to demonstrate their expertise and competencies by getting credentialed by the state. Come learn about where OMH is in finalizing the online curriculum and credentialing program!


Health Homes: What They Are and How They Affect You

Adele Gorges, New York Care Coordination Program Inc., Rochester, NY

Amy Kohn, DSW, MHA of Westchester County, Tarrytown, NY

In this workshop, two providers who are actively engaged in developing robust, responsive health homes, will share their thoughts on how health homes can actually be a positive vehicle for members to access all the services they need for their recovery through a pro-active and person centered process.


Emotional CPR (eCPR)

Lauren Spiro, MA, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, Washington, DC

The three elements of emotional CPR (eCPR) will be reviewed: connecting, emPowering and revitalizing along with the proficiencies of each element. After two demonstration role plays, participants will be invited to role play in dyads to experience assisting someone through an emotional crisis, followed by a dialogue about their experience.


Psychiatric Advance Directives: A Consumer-Provider Partnership

Hunter McQuistion, MDand Linda Brown, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY

Colleen Sheehan, CPRP, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Bill Gamble, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

After orienting workshop participants to models of psychiatric advance directives (PADs), we will describe the conception and implementation of a PAD program at a New York City teaching hospital. Issues relating to changes in institutional culture and in training of professionals and peers will be discussed in detail, engaging workshop participants in active feedback.


Making Employment Real

Andy Karhan, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Focusing on the New York Employment Services System, community collaborations across providers, and the overall system, this workshop will offer ways to engage people with psychiatric disabilities in a new way to both motivate and look for employment. The workshop will focus on moving the employment needle within the mental health field thus making a significant cultural change in the way providers and participants view employment.


The Three A’s of a Successful Agency: Accountability, Accessibility, Affordability

David Bucciferro, Foothold Technology, New York, NY

Steve Coe, Community Access, New York, NY

A funder’s evaluation depends on how well these three words apply to your agency. This session offers specific strategies for using metrics to help agencies operate more efficiently and economically while improving the quality of person-centered care. Presenters will draw on decades of experience as legislators, direct care providers, and administrators.


The Important Partnership Between Behavioral and Physical Healthcare

Anna Ivanova-Tatlici, LMHC and John Javis, Mdiv, MHA of Nassau County, Hempstead, NY

This workshop will provide an overview of programmatic advances in promoting personal healing in mental health consumers through an OMH grant funded project aimed at integrating behavioral and physical healthcare services. The presenters will also discuss how mental health consumers have been benefiting from integrated health care as it relates to their recovery and rehabilitation needs.


Digging our Recovery and Social Justice Heels in the Ground

Karen Rosenthal, CPRP and Duysal Karakus, MSW, Community Access, New York, NY

This workshop will explore how the mental health field can erode the recovery and human rights values and passion of workers, both peer and non-peer identified. Topics such as resisting compassion fatigue, workplace resilience and social justice values inform the workshop’s lens and perspective. Personal and organizational strategies will be shared and discussed and opportunities for trying out skills will be provided.


Wellness Self-Management Plus Program: Empowering People with Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders to Define Their Goals and Recovery

Forest Foster, MSW, Nancy Covell, PhD, Paul Margolies, PhD, and

Luis Lopez, MS, HSBCP Center for Practice Innovations, Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

CPI supports NYS OMH’s mission to promote widespread availability of evidence-based practices to improve mental health services and promote recovery-oriented outcomes for consumers and families. This presentation provides first-hand accounts from programs and consumers who have benefitted from implementing Wellness Self-Management.


Being Heard: Taking Our Seat at the Table

Matthew Costanzo, Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, NY

Why, with all of our insight, experience and knowledge are we not being asked to contribute to diagnoses, treatment plans, interventions or appropriate after-care? How do we pull a seat up to the decision-making table so we can contribute our entire range of skills? We start here: Communication.


Keynote: Peer Support: A Critical Role in Health Care Reform

Larry Fricks, SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Solutions, Cleveland, GA

Health prevention and self-management are among the essential benefits states are required to provide as part of the Affordable Care Act. This presentation will focus on how peers trained in mind-body health and resiliency can play a critical role in delivering those essential benefit outcomes.


Dignity and Recovery Now! Lived Expertise at the Front Lines of Innovation for Community Health, Wellness and Social Change

Eduardo Vega, MA, MHA of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Consumer-run programs and researchers represent great partners for moving and shaking healthcare systems and driving a focus on recovery under heath care reform. The Center for Dignity, Recovery and Stigma Elimination, the world’s only consumer-run technical assistance research and training center (TARTC), brings consumer-run agencies, leading researchers and ethnic communities together to effectively challenge stigma, reduce suicide and advance leading-edge recovery programs with a focus on the larger health-care system and cultural responsiveness.


Social Self-Directed Care, It’s My Life

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

The need for innovative approaches in helping people develop social skills, friends, and intimate relationships is particularly acute for people with schizophrenia. It’s My Life is staffed by peers trained as Certified Peer Specialists and cross-trained in the principles of psychiatric rehabilitation and as professional life coaches. Using these skills, and a self-directed care model, they will work one-on-one with people living in the community to connect with that community and form the bonds of friendships and intimate relationships as defined by the individual.


Parachute NYC

Pablo Sadler, MD, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY

Katie Linn, Services for the UnderServed, Brooklyn, NY

Since early 2013 four agencies in NYC are changing the way people receive services when they are in crisis by delivering peer and non-peer services at home and at respites as alternatives to hospitalization. We will present the accomplishments and challenges of the first year implementation of Parachute NYC.


Housing Options: Welcome Home Consumer Integration

Joe Woodward, CASAC, Housing Options Made Easy, Inc., Gowanda, NY

This workshop will describe: peer-run business principles; how to develop innovative programming to assist individuals to find their “spark of life” integrated into the community; and how to train staff to assist individuals to gain independence. The panel discussion will include sharing of experiences of developing new peer-run programs.


Best Practices to NYS: IPS Model of Supported Employment

Paul Margolies, PhD, Gary Scannevin, Jr., MPS, CPRP, Thomas Jewell, PhD, Raymond Gregory, Karen Broadway-Wilson and Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Center for Practice Innovations (CPI), Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

CPI supports the NYS Office of Mental Health’s mission to promote the widespread availability of evidence-based practices to improve mental health services and promote recovery-oriented outcomes for consumers and families. This workshop focuses on the Individual Placement Support (IPS) supported employment initiative and describes our 2013 work with 48 Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) programs which includes regional learning collaboratives and a Resource Book for consumers. One important aspect of this workshop is that participants will hear from consumers who have received IPS services and practitioners who provide them.


Rapid Transit: In and Out of the Hospital with Peer Support

Gayle Bluebird Delaware Psychiatric Center, New Castle, DE

Hospitals and state institutions are becoming increasingly aware of the development of roles established for peers in inpatient settings. Peers are being trained as peer specialists to provide support based on their own lived experiences and promote recovery for others. This workshop will update us on the work being done in Delaware to adapt Peer Services into hospital and inpatient settings.


Advancing Recovery in the Context of an Integrated Health Plan Model

Karen Smith-Hagman, RN, MSN, EmblemHealth, New York, NY

Richard Sheola, ValueOptions Public Sector Division, Boston, MA

Presenters, representing a main stream health plan and a specialty management behavioral health organization, will discuss collaborative strategies to improve access by higher risk members to a comprehensive array of responsive services and supports in the down state region. These strategies reflect a commitment to physical and behavioral health integration, person-centered care management and member choice and empowerment, all occurring in the context of a recovery oriented model of care.


Why Culture Matters in Receiving Care

Lenora Reid-Rose, MBA, Coordinated Care Services Inc./Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health at Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Rochester, NY

Jennifer Hernandez, MPAand Christina Pratt, PhD, MSSW, Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health at Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY

Please join us for a discussion group that asks you as experts of your own experience with health care to share your culture in seeking and getting support for effective treatment and recovery. We will discuss cultural features such as race, language, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, spirituality, gender and more.


Get Excited About Human Rights!

Kathryn Cascio, Empowerment Exchange, Troy, NY

Sally Zinman, California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, Berkeley, CA

Through the use of powerpoint presentation, dvd, handouts and discussion, people will be given an overview of basic human rights using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and brief overview of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


Care and Maintenance of Your Brain

Sara Goodman, Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

The brain is our most powerful tool. Most people don’t realize the brain starts to slow down if not cared for properly, and if we don’t care for our brain no one else will. In this workshop, we will discuss and explore the basics of healthy brain care and learn how to increase our brain health.


Peer Bridging Now

Stella Pappas, LCSW-R, ACSW, New York City BHO, New York, NY

Peggy Elmer, LMSW, OptumHealth New York City BHO, Albany, NY

Sara Goodman, Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

Tanya Stevens, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Von A. Grubbs, PsyD, Behavioral Solutions Affordability, Atlanta, GA

This session will briefly discuss the Peer Bridger model and the multiple different ways this model has been implemented in programs throughout NYS. The panel will also discuss outcomes for Peer Bridger services and ways that current roles for peers can be incorporated in to a larger Peer Bridger context.


Expanding Medicaid’s Definition of ‘Medically Necessary Services': Finding Out What People Really Need and Want for Their Recovery

Gretchen Snethen, PhD, CTRS, Department of Rehabilitation Services and

Andrea Bilger, Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, Philadelphia, PA

Erme Maula, RN, MSN, CRRN, CPS, MHA of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

This presentation reviews the Self-Directed Care Project being implemented in Delaware County, PA where consumers had a more direct control over Medicaid expenditures for their recovery and were able to choose from non-traditional goods and services that were defined as medically necessary. This project serves as a national model for community inclusion.


Bringing Helpful Resources to Consumers and Families

Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Nancy Covell, PhD, Helle Thorning, PhD, and Paul Margolies, PhD

Center for Practice Innovations, Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

CPI supports the NYS OMH’s mission to promote the widespread availability of evidence-based practices to improve mental health services and promote recovery-oriented outcomes for consumers and families. This workshop focuses on CPI’s commitment to develop and bring helpful resources directly to consumers and families. These include videos and online modules developed specifically for consumers and families that are available at no cost through an easy to use portal on CPI’s website. In addition, CPI offers useful tools such as the newly developed Supported Employment Resource Book which is designed to help consumers choose, get and keep competitive jobs.


Healing Stigma through Trauma Informed Approaches

Patricia Blum, CPRP, Janet Vlavianos, and Lynn Gurkp, CPRP, Crestwood Behavioral Health, Sacramento, CA

Trauma informed care is the approach used in mental health recovery and can be used to heal stigma. We are introducing the use of trauma informed approaches to heal and prevent stigma. We infuse trauma informed approaches in a variety of interventions and community education to prevent stigma.


Preventing Incarceration: Advancing Prison Reforms

Meghan-Crowe Rothstein, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY

Carla Rabinowitz, Community Access, New York, NY

People with psychiatric disabilities experience far too many avoidable police contacts and incarcerations and when incarcerated, are typically traumatized and all too often penalized and subject to longer prison stays. The presenters will review efforts to advance Crisis Intervention Treatment teams in local police departments and to extend prison mental health reform efforts.


The Power of Yoga

Dagny Alexander, LMT, CYT, Voorheesville, NY

In this class we will explore how the practice of yoga can heal us in body, mind and spirit. We will look at the 8 limbs of yoga and how they can help us discover our true nature. We will experience yoga through asana, breathing and meditation.


Self-Awareness: A Key Component of Cultural Competence

Demetria Nelson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Center at Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY

Jeremy King, Odyssey House, Bronx, NY

The first step in becoming culturally aware and incorporating this awareness into your practice is to start with you. How do you view yourself? What are your strengths? Where can you improve? This workshop will assist you as you begin or continue on your journey to increasing your cultural competence.


Moving from a Traditional Medical Model Oriented Organization to a Peer Informed Organization

Kathy Lynch, Richard Frelock, Ulysses Harrell, Kara McCunn, and Thomas Dodson Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Buffalo, NY

Members of peer staff, medical staff and administration of a psychiatric center seeking to continue its lengthy journey of change into a truly peer-informed organization will share the Buffalo Psychiatric Center’s story of inclusion of, learning from, and reliance on peers. Peer driven strategies for change, necessary paradigm shifts, administrative support, peer-operated programs, roles and opportunities for peers, and associated organizational change will be discussed.


Exploring the Value of Religion, Spirituality and Cultural Competence for Peer Specialist Group Leaders

Frances Priester, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Christina Pratt, PhD, MSSW, Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health at Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY

The workshop aims to help peer specialists be better aware of the role religion and spirituality play in multicultural communities and identities.


TMI, aka: Too Much Information: Changing the World One Story at a Time

Eva Tenutoand Sari Botton, Starling Productions, TMI Inc, Rosendale, NY

Denise Ranaghan, EdM, LMHC, CPRP and John Brillon, MHA in Ulster County, Kingston, NY

This DVD is a culmination of a 10 week workshop that took place at MHA. Eight individuals share their personal stories of recovery. Our goal is to highlight the diversity of experiences among people, and realize the different approaches that work for different people.


Peer Staff as Disruptive Innovators

Pat Deegan, PhD, Pat Deegan & Associates, Byfield, MA

In this presentation, Pat Deegan will discuss 5 ways in which the emerging peer workforce disrupts practice as usual in traditional mental health settings. Pat will then explain how such culture shift creates roll strain and resistance in the form of various micro-aggressions. Pat will then suggest how the peer workforce can address and manage micro-aggression in the work setting.


Collaborations between Addiction and Mental Health Recovery Movements

Joe Powell, LCDC, CAS, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction, Dallas, TX

Chacku Mathai, CPRP, NYAPRS, Rochester, NY

Healthcare reform has offered a unique opportunity for collaboration between mental health and addiction recovery communities. Across the country people with lived experience with mental health and substance use issues are coming together to accomplish a number of goals including promoting a vision for recovery for everyone, supporting holistic approaches that support the whole person and advancing the role of peer support in healthcare reform. In this mini-plenary session, participants will have the opportunity to participate in an open dialogue about the challenges and opportunities involved in bringing our communities together towards collaborative goals. We will identify potential goals and strategies for accomplishing them as well as ways for leaders to conduct similar listening and dialogue sessions in your local communities.


State Disability Initiatives

Roger Bearden, Special Counsel to Governor Cuomo for Olmstead, Albany, NY

Jeff Wise, NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, Albany, NY

Cliff Zucker, Disability Rights New York, Albany, NY

New York State government has launched several important new initiatives aimed at promoting the rights and community integration of people with disabilities, including the creation of a Justice Center to address and prevent abuse and neglect, a new nonprofit run Protection and Advocacy system and a detailed Olmstead Plan that sets targets for how state agencies must serve people in the most integrated settings. Learn firsthand about these initiatives from their leaders.


Choice and Rights Protections in a Managed Care Environment

Trilby de Jeung, Esq, Empire Justice Center, Rochester, NY

Valerie Bogart, Esq, Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program at New York Legal Assistance Group, New York, NY

Harvey Rosenthal and Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Over the next 2 years, mental health and addiction Medicaid services for over 160,000 New Yorkers will be turned over to the coordination of managed care plans that already managed their medical care. These changes may present great challenges to beneficiaries who require good information and support to know their rights and to make the best healthcare choices for themselves. The presenters will provide details about both the changes and the need and prospects for self and system advocacy in this rapidly changing environment.


Rhythms for Wellness, Recovery & Connection: Community Experiencing the Power of the Drum

Chrys Ballerano, NYS Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Albany, NY

This interactive workshop is an opportunity to connect to your innate sense of play and the healing, gentle power of rhythm. You may bring your own percussive instrument. A limited number of instruments (35-45) will be provided. An atmosphere of gentle safety is maintained and modeled. We’ll review basic drumming technique, connect with our heartbeat, and play in community-responding to the rhythms of the natural world and enjoying a circle of rhythm. No drumming experience is necessary.


Thursday, September 12


Are Health Plans Ready for Us?

Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Ian Shaffer, MD, MMM, CPE, Healthfirst, New York, NY

Margaret Leonard, MS, RN-BC, FNP, Hudson Health Plan, Tarrytown, NY

New York State is allocating over a billion dollars in public mental health and addiction Medicaid fee for service programs and services under the coordination of up to 18 health plans that already oversee many of our community members’ medical and pharmacy needs. Currently plans don’t have a lot of experience in providing behavioral health services to people with more complex, ongoing needs…and they will be required by the state to authorize access to a range of services, from PROS to peer services. Further, housing, employment and social needs, areas for which health plans have not been historically responsible; will also need to be addressed. Attend this session to hear how the plans will prepare and support the needs of our community.


Recovery Centers: Peers Helping Peers Pursue Passionate Recovery

Joe Swinford, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

This presentation will give an overview of the unique New York State Recovery Center approach to peer services and the current status of programs in operation. This new approach seeks to help peers find that “spark of life” or passion that gives meaning. Staff in the recovery centers, assist people in the discovery process to find opportunities to pursue this passion that are integrated into the community, and in developing the supports need to become successful. Peers who are pursuing passionate recovery find hope and meaning to their recovery as well as purpose to the use of support services.


The Silence of Suicide

Michael Skinner, Surviving Spirit, Goffstown, NH

Part of the book “Our Encounters with Suicide” brings together a range of voices on the theme of suicide - those who have been suicidal, alongside the friends, family and staff who have lived and worked with them. Too often the rhetoric of ‘suicidology’ is occupied only by those who have never had personal experience of suicidality. The first-person voice is strangely absent. These frank accounts go some way to correcting the balance.


The NYAPRS’ My Culture Matters Campaign

Theresa Hall, NYAPRS Board of Directors, Co-Chair Cultural Competence Committee, West Babylon, NY

Luis Lopez, MS, HSBCP, Center for Practice Innovations, New York State Psychiatric Institute New York, NY

As health care continues to change, we greatly fear that many communities will be overlooked and potentially neglected. The NYAPRS Cultural Competency Committee is very concerned about how the implementation of new managed care mandates and policies will limit the medical treatment people receive. The workshop will review some of the recommendations the Committee has made to address the upcoming challenges of care coordination and managed care.


Leisure and Recreation to Support Social and Emotional Wellness

Gretchen Snethen, PhD, CTRS, Department of Rehabilitation and

Gena Bell Vargas, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

This workshop will provide information about the social and emotional benefits of leisure participation. This will be mostly a hands-on session to develop an individualized plan that identifies strategies for engagement in interest-based leisure activities, which support social wellness. Participants will leave the session with an individualized plan, along with worksheets to help evaluate and sustain participation.


Community Advocacy Course, Fighting for Systems Change

Meghan Crowe-Rothstein, Warren Berke, and Damon Potenza, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY

In this workshop, presenters will share their experience developing and attending the Advocacy Course at the Urban Justice Center’s Mental Health Project. We will discuss the basic tenets of advocacy and organizing and strategies for facilitating discussions and activities. We will explore ways of addressing “diversity” and power in coalition building. We hope that people who have participated in advocacy as well as people who are new to it will join us.


The “Peace Work: Liberating our Hopes and Dreams” Curriculum

Colleen Sheehan, CPRP, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Noelle Pollet, Heart Circle Consulting, West Camp, NY

This curriculum, based on the Alternatives to Violence Project, utilizes experiential exercises to create community. By equalizing power and sharing vulnerability members in the workshop embrace trust and feel safe to unearth buried hopes and dreams. NYAPRS is making this curriculum available to conference attendees.


Dylan’s Law: Service Dogs Can be Critical to Well-Being

Patricia Feinberg, Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, New York, NY

Carla Rabinowitz, Community Access, New York, NY

People with disabilities of all kinds are finding that a service or emotional support animal helps them in all sorts of concrete and emotional ways.


Keynote: Making Healthcare Reform Enhance Recovery and Rights!

Larry Davidson, PhD, SAMHSA Recovery to Practice; Yale University, New Haven, CT

Maura Kelley, Western New York Independent Living, Buffalo, NY

Our speakers will discuss a number of strategies to advance recovery and rights of people with psychiatric diagnoses that draw from a civil rights perspective and that help create a broad array of pathways into communities of choice.

Creating a Culture of Employment and Economic Self-Sufficiency

Len Statham, MS, CBP, NYAPRS, Rochester, NY

Strong outcomes in employment and economic self-sufficiency can’t be attained without a culture that supports it. This workshop gives participants some concrete measures that your agency can do to create stronger outcomes and embed employment as a central part of the culture of your services.


Seven Strategies to Promoting a Consumer-Based Engagement Approach that Infuses Cultural Competency

Hextor Pabon, NYS Office of Mental Health, Centers of Excellence, Albany, NY

Cultural competence is important because it allows us to connect with others in a genuine way. We want to show authenticity, respect, true understanding and to build trust at all times with the consumers and family members, and the communities that we serve, especially within the organization and agency staff.


More Than Just Staying Alive: Wellness Interventions in Clubhouses

Laura Kitterle, RD and Rebecca English, Venture House, Jamaica, NY

This workshop will show how Accredited Clubhouses can implement Wellness programs while adhering to the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) clubhouse model and mental health recovery principles. Presenters from an accredited clubhouse in Queens, NY will discuss some of the challenges and successes in implementing Wellness interventions. Successful interventions involved collaboration with academic institutions and other community agencies as well as utilization of the unique skills of clubhouse members and staff. This workshop will describe the challenges and successes in quantifying the results of Wellness interventions and obtaining measurable Wellness outcomes, while meeting the community’s needs as well as the growing demands of government funding sources. The workshop will also review the clubhouse’s progress in defining and reaching community Wellness goals.


Person Centered Planning: Making Recovery Real

Helle Thorning, PhD, MS, LSCW; Paul Margolies, PhD; and Luis Lopez, MS, HSBCP, Center for Practice Innovations,Division of Mental Health Services and Policy Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Kendall Atterbury, Victoria Stanhope, New York University, New York, NY

This workshop presents person-centered treatment planning as a platform to establish a road map for recovery. This practice represents a paradigm shift in the traditional relationship between care-providers and care-receivers, thus attention to creating readiness for change will be presented. A web-based training module will be introduced.


How We Can Create a Recovery Culture

Kim MacDonald-Wilson, ScD., CRC, CPRP and Melissa Rufo, BMus, CPRP, Community Care Behavioral Health, Exton, PA

Have you been inspired at a conference to try something new but found it hard to put into practice back at work? A Learning Collaborative may help change the culture in your program to enhance recovery practice, combining new knowledge, involvement of key people, and collaboration and support over time.


How Breath Can Change Your Life!: Experiencing the Self-Healing Art of Pranayama

Europa Baker-Brathwaite, Empowerment Exchange, Troy, NY

Uzoma Nwosu, MD, Niberia, New York, NY

This workshop will focus on Pranayama (yogic breathing practice). Together we will explore the divine science and art of the breath. Our breath is an incredible system that is connected to our self-expression, a component we too often take for granted. You are invited to enter into a meditative state as you are guided gently through easy-to-learn breathing exercises. Equanimity is your new best friend.


Integrating Yoga & Expressive Arts into Community
Allie Middleton, JD, LCSW, RYT,
Integrative Leadership Practices, New York, NY
This workshop will explore the various dimensions of bringing deliberate creativity into community programs during times of complex system transformation.  It is also a tale of purposeful innovation, leadership challenges and implementation strategies that may help set the stage and conditions where everybody can thrive.  Resources will be shared.  These recovery-based practices might inspire individuals and teams to innovate with research-based practice innovations that are deeply engaging and empowering, even when operating under fiscal and system constraints.  The effects of such strategies can enable breakthroughs in insight and action, stress reduction during times of change, encourage whole system learning and transformative team development. Come learn inspiring self-management practices of wellbeing and transformation while also expressing your individual achievements through art and theatre activities

Download the full program here.