2014 Annual Conference

Thank you for joining NYAPRS at our 32nd Annual Conference!!

Recovery Moves to the Mainstream

September 17-19, 2014

Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Zero Suicide and the Crucial Role of Peers

Michael Hogan, PhD, Hogan Health Solutions, Albany, NY

Eduardo Vega, Mental Health Association of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Leah Harris, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, Washington, DC

Most notably, as suicide rates among young people and veterans continue to rise, people with mental health conditionsremain at the highest risk. This includes people in crisis who rely on mental health services that need to do a much better job of keeping them well while minimizing use of coercive and institutional “solutions.” The presenters will highlight several new national initiatives: the Zero Suicide movement that seeks to make health care safer, and a just-released national report, “The Way Forward: Pathways to Hope, Recovery and Wellness with Insights from Lived Experience,” that seeks to bridge the gaps between suicide attempt survivors, mental health policy makers, suicide prevention leaders, and program implementers.

Creating Your Own Cultural Card using CAPs

Lenora Reid-Rose, MBA, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY & Coordinated Care Ser vices, Inc., Rochester, NY

Jennifer Hernandez, MPA, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, Orangeburg, NY

Join us to learn about “Cultural Activation Prompts” (CAPs) a consumer empowerment tool to help amplify your voice in care decisions by providing your unique cultural lens on mental health challenges, and views and attitudes towards care. You will have an opportunity to create your own personal cultural card.

New York State Peer Services Credentialing

Joseph Swinford, NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Albany, NY

Lureen McNeil, NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services (OASES), New York, NY

There are tremendous opportunities to expand peer support services, as New York is moving rapidly toward 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 and OASES are in finalizing the online curriculum and credentialing program!

Health Literacy for Behavioral Health Populations

Steve Estrine, PhD and Maria (Sam) Josepher, MPA, SAE and Associates, New York, NY

Health literacy can be a valuable tool for providers working with behavioral health clients navigating the behavioral and primary healthcare systems.  Improved health literacy can improve service outcomes by empowering patients to be actively involved in all aspects of their treatment. The presenters will walk through an outline of SAE’s health literacy curriculum and will define how health literacy can influence treatment access, choice, engagement and retention across a variety of populations of focus.

Reaching Out and Engaging People in a Transformed Healthcare System

Andrew Cleek, PsyD, and Jayson Jones, LMSW, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, New York, NY

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

The presenters will look at how the process of engagement goes well beyond the initial session and involves efforts thatengage the whole person in services that actually meet their individual needs and wants.  Specific attention will be paid to how engagement in services is changing in our transformed healthcare system. The workshop will address how new state program models such as HARPS, DSRIP, and Health Homes will affect how people connect to their service system.

Healing through Spiritual Practices with a Trauma-Informed Care Lens

Patricia Blum, PhDand Janet Vlavianos, Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., Sacramento, CA

This workshop delves into the value of supporting recovery by weaving spirituality into a trauma-informed care lens. The presenters will describe culturally relevant and personally meaningful practices that support people to feel empowered to take responsibility for their own wellness and recovery.

Let’s Argue! A Values Exchange

George Ebert, The Mental Patients Liberation Alliance, Utica, NY

Anne Dox, The Empowerment Center, Mount Vernon, NY

This highly interactive discussion provides a forum to explore personal differences about the highly controversial issue of coercive psychiatric intervention or treatment.

How the Move to Managed Behavioral Healthcare Will Affect You: HARPS, DSRIP and Health Homes Update

Robert Myers, PhD, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Greg Allen, MSW, NYS Department of Health, Albany, NY

Robert A. Kent, Esq, NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, Albany, NY

Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

We are in the midst of the greatest changes to our mental health and addiction recovery services in our lifetime! On the eve of the startup of the new Health and Recovery Plan (HARP) managed care and DSRIP designs, come hear the latest details from the government leaders who are heading up the transition. This presentation is designed to be very interactive so come with your questions and concerns!

A Path to Getting What You Really Need: Self-Directed Care

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

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Perhaps the most transformative way to make services truly person-centered is to give recovering people a self-directed care budget and to support them to buy the real-world goods, services and therapies they really want and need. Come and hear where New York is in implementing this program and learn from the experience of pioneers from Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida.

The Critical Role of Peers in the ACA Environment

Ron Manderscheid, PhD, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors,Washington, DC

Central to New York State’s Medicaid Redesign initiative are the federal Affordable Care Act’s emphasis on outreach, engagement, prevention, wellness and recovery. Learn the latest from one of the nation’s top healthcare reform advocates about how these reforms are providing unprecedented opportunities for peer run services and programs.

Parachute NYC: A Positive Model for Dealing With Trauma and Stress Among Young Adults

Ondina Miller, Services for the UnderServed, Brooklyn, NY

Lou Ramirez, and Kimberly Carter, RMHA, Bronx Crisis Respite Center, Bronx, NY

This workshop by staff of both the Parachute NYC Brooklyn and Bronx Respite Centers will share how peer support has been invaluable for young adults as they begin to heal from traumatic experiences, as well as how to use the NATM and IPS models for dealing with challenging and stressful situations. Group participation and role play will be included.

The Urge to Merge: Our Journey to a New Planet

Michael Stoltz, LCSW, Association for Mental Health and Wellness, Ronkonkoma,

In this presentation, the director from the Association for Mental Health and Wellness, formerly Clubhouse of Suffolk, MHA in Suffolk, and Suffolk County United Veterans, will discuss the process and challenges these agencies have faced in their merger under a new organizational structure and brand. Discussion will include topics like “Date, Partner, Commit, Marry.... or Call the Whole Thing Off,” Developing a New Mission: Respecting a Legacy... but Honoring Your Future, “Risk: What To Lose? The Costs of Merger,” and Myths and Realities of Merger (i.e. It’s not for the faint of heart).

Trauma-Informed Communities Project: Building Grassroots Demand for Trauma-Informed Approaches

Amy Colesante, Cathy Cave, and Darby Penney, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Yasmine Kamel, Community Links-Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

While most people using mental health services are trauma survivors, few trauma-informed services are available. The panelists will discuss how practicing trauma-informed peer support and educating their communities about trauma and its impact can help build grassroots demand for trauma-informed approaches that promote healing and growth.

The Power of Yoga

Dagny Alexander, LMT, CYT, Albany, NY

In this workshop 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.

Employment Resource Book - A Tool For Consumers and Service Providers

Thomas Jewell, PhD, Gary Scannevin, Jr., MPS, CPRP, Paul Margolies, PhD, Raymond Gregory,

Karen Broadway-Wilson, and Lisa Dixon, MD, MPH, Center for Practice Innovations, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

The Center for Practice Innovations 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 and Support (IPS) approach to competitive employment, with a special focus on CPI’s Employment Resource Book. The Employment Resource Book is available to consumers, family members, and service providers and is designed for consumers to use with employment specialists, other practitioners, peer specialists, and on their own.

Keynote: The Personal is the Political: Reflections on an Advocacy Journey

Leah Harris, MA, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, Washington DC

Leah Harris is the daughter of two parents diagnosed with schizophrenia, both of whom died young as a result of the toxic effects of overmedication and broken dreams. She herself is a person who has struggled since childhood with serious mental health conditions, traumatic stress, and suicide. At age 25, Leah dedicated her life to working for human rights and social justice in mental health. Her decision was fueled by the profound suffering she experienced at a young age, and her deep belief that a better world is possible. Leah’s decision to become an advocate saved her life and taught her powerful lessons along the way. She will share her reflections on the transformative journey of advocacy, a journey of personal and collective healing and liberation.

Self-Direction in New York: Piloting the Future of Behavioral Health

Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Teena Brooks, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY

In this policy roundtable, hear about NY’s development of a program to implement a self-directed approach to behavioral health through a statewide pilot. Self-direction may be the optimal way to promote empowerment, community integration, and independence within our community. NY is still in the draft development stage of building this approach with assistance from multiple stakeholders. Join the conversation with planning partners NYAPRS and DOHMH to learn more and add your recommendations to the implementation strategy.

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 weak in the knees? This workshop will offer some fun andengaging strategies that will help you to 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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


How What’s Happening in Washington Affects You... and What You Can Do About It!

Ron Manderscheid, PhD, National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, Washington, DC

Jennifer Mathis, Esq, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Washington DC

Over the past year, mental health services and policies have become major topics of discussion in Washington! Legislative proposals by Congressmen Tim Murphy and Ronald Barber could have a significant impact both here in New York and nationally. Get the latest analysis from two of the most prominent and respected advocates in the country on what it all means and what actions you can take to help shape new federal policies.

Developing Partnerships in DSRIP

Kristen Mucitelli-Heath, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, Syracuse, NY

John Javis, MHA Nassau County, Hempstead, NY

Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Central to New York’s emerging DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program) is the formation of new regional collaborations between hospitals and community providers that are designed to improve health outcomes while reducing avoidable hospital use by 25% over a 5 year period. This session will provide a ground-level analysis of strategies behavioral healthcare providers can use to successfully partner with regional leads by educating new Performing Provider Systems about our strengths to advance recovery approaches and outcomes.

Getting Down to Business: Taking Peer Run Ser vices into Managed Care, Part 1

Eugene Johnson, MSW, Recovery Innovations, Phoenix, AZ

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Rapidly advancing changes in our healthcare system are providing unprecedented opportunities for peer programs andservices, especially in New York where health plans will be required to offer peer services and evaluated on whether they do so. This 2-part presentation looks at the key elements of successful program design, promotion, contracting and evaluation and a good look at keeping the integrity in integration of peer services into the broader healthcare system. Our presenters are the CEO of one of the nation’s leading recovery providers and a nationally recognized expert on peer services expansion.

Community Health Workers: A Critical Element of our New Healthcare Systems

Sergio Matosand April Hicks, MSW, Community Health Worker Network of NYC, New York, NY

Community health workers are rapidly being considered an essential element for successful integrated healthcare systems. Extensive evidence exists to document the effectiveness of CHWs at improving outcomes, lowering costs and increasing recruitment and retention rates in various settings. CHWs are effective at motivating people to embrace healthier behaviors and integrate disease management and wellness goals into their busy and complicated lives. Come learn more about the CHW scope of practice and how organizations have integrated CHWs into their health reform innovations with extraordinary results.

Multiple Pathways to Employment: Discovering and Creating the Job you Love!

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

Can Truong, Center for Education Empowerment, Stockbridge, MA

James Rye, The Empowerment Center, Mount Vernon, NY

Too often when thinking about employment, we are limited by others ideas about how one should “look” for employment. The traditional route for employment is not for everyone. Learn the importance of understanding your skill sets, strengths, and abilities so if the economy is bad or you’re having trouble “finding” a job, you can use other means to become self- employed and discover the multiple pathways to finding the job you love.

Suicide as a Never-event: Emerging Prevention and Care Practices

Sigrid Frandsen-Pechenik, PsyD, NYS OMH, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Buffalo, NY

Fran Wishnick, Advocate, New Paltz, NY

This interactive workshop will discuss how individuals can contribute towards NYS’s goal of making “Suicide a Never-event.” Dr. Pechenik, a psychologist and chair of NYS Office of Mental Health State Operated Facilities’ Suicide Prevention & Care Initiative, will present an overview of current suicide prevention and care best practices.   A wide range of clinical and practical resources will be offered to meet the diverse needs of the participating audience.

Emotional CPR: Supporting One Another through Distress into Healing

Leah Harris, MA, National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery, Washington, DC

Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a public health education program created to teach everyday people to support one another through emotional distress and trauma into recovery and healing. eCPR was created entirely by people with lived experience and is based on the values of peer support, trauma-informed care, recovery, suicide prevention, and crisis counseling. Join Leah Harris, eCPR Trainer, to learn the fundamentals of this program.

LGBTQ Mental Health Consumers: Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health and Social Services Issues

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

Phillip Williams, Rainbow Heights Club, Brooklyn, NY

Lourdes Cintron, City Wide Mental Health Project, Bronx, NY

Christopher Gilmartin, Goodwill, Queens, NY

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

Working Your Way to Wellness

Tia Lews, WNY Independent Living, Buffalo, NY

This presentation from the director of one of the state’s most successful employment programs will look at how health and well-being improves not only for those who have a job but also for those who are engaged in the goal of getting a job. Come hear about how health improves both before and after employment!

Keynote: Helping Families in Crisis: Opportunities for Collaboration and Change

Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Phyllis Vine, PhD, MPH, Freelance Writer, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Wendy Brennan, MS, NAMI-NYC Metro, New York, NY

Moterator: Chacku Mathai, CPRP, NAMI, Arlington, VA

The national debate about how to best restructure the mental health system and support individuals and families in crisis has never been more prominent in the media and in Congress. Meanwhile, our mental health advocacy community’s historic tensions continue to weaken our ability to collaborate and offer what could be a powerfully united response. Join us for a keynote panel engaged in candid and courageous dialogue and discover ways our consumer/survivor/ex-patient and family movements and members can better understand and support each other’s goals.

Are State Olmstead Plans Sufficiently Promoting Community Integration?

Jennifer Mathis, ESQ, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Washington DC

Roger Bearden, ESQ, General Counsel, New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Albany, NY

Briana Gilmore, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

In 1999, the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision required states to serve people with disabilities in the most integrated community setting. But how much real progress have states, including New York, made towards meeting that goal? The presenters will take a candid look at what has and is being done and what should be done to best advance full community integration for our communities.

Time to Talk About Families!

Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Wendy Brennan, MS, NAMI-NYC Metro, New York, NY

Phyllis Vine, PhD, MPH, Freelance Writer, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

It’s long past time for the consumer, family and recovery movements to join forces and to best help those we love and support to survive and thrive. This is meant to be a highly engaging, open and candid discussion that looks at some historic barriers and some critically important opportunities for new alliances and partnerships.

Health Homes: What do They Really Mean to YOU?

Amy Colesante, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Danika Mills, LMSW, LCAT, MPS, ATR-BC, Coordinated Behavioral Care, Inc., New York, NY

Hillel Hirshbein, LMSW, MPH, JBFCS Care Management Ser vices, New York, NY

Scott Ebner, Onondaga Case Management, Syracuse, NY

Everyone is talking about Health Homes, but not everyone is talking to those who are expected to enroll in Health Homes for services. This workshop will focus on what a Health Home means to the person who is enrolling in one for services. Strengths and opportunities of the Health Home will be discussed along with possible changes and barriers that might need to be overcome in order to assure that everyone receives the integrated care that Health Homes were established to assure.

Getting Down to Business: Taking Peer Run Ser vices into Managed Care, Part 2

Eugene Johnson, MSW, Recovery Innovations, Phoenix, AZ

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Rapidly advancing changes in our healthcare system are providing unprecedented opportunities for peer programs and services, especially in New York where health plans will be required to offer peer services and evaluated on whether they do so. This 2-part presentation looks at the key elements of successful program design, promotion, contracting and evaluation and a good look at keeping the integrity in integration of peer services into the broader healthcare system. Our presenters are the CEO of one of the nation’s leading recovery providers and a nationally recognized expert on peer services expansion.

OnTrackNY: Early Implementation Experiences at Four OnTrackNY Sites Treating First Episode Psychosis

Tia Dole, PhD, MHA of Westchester, Tarrytown, NY

Melissa Anderson, LCSW, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY

Nannan Liu, ED.M, LMHC, Washington Heights Community Center (NYSPI), New York, NY

Liza Watkins, LMSW, OnTrackNY, New York, NY

Cindy Peterson-Dana, MHA of Westchester, Tarrytown, 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. This workshop will provide an overview of the OnTrackNY model and an opportunity to hear how teams are working with children and young adults and their families at current OnTrackNY sites.

Talking to the Doctor: How a Managed Care Company Supports Common Ground

Beth Orr, MS, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, Pittsburgh, PA

For the past decade, Community Care, a not for profit behavioral health organization (BHO), has worked closely with Pat Deegan to implement her peer supported shared decision making model in decision support centers in a dozen mental health centers in Pennsylvania. Community Care staff are now partnering with Dr. Deegan and others in a federally funded evaluation of shared decision making strategies in several additional sites. This presentation will describe implementation strategies, roles for peers, and how the program has helped individuals who receive services.

Spiritual Energy Meditation for Relaxation, Rejuvenation, and Self-Healing

Can Truong, Center for Education Empowerment, Stockbridge, MA

This is an experiential workshop that introduces the practice of spiritual energy meditation where you witness activation and tune into Qi (chee) energy. This energy-based meditation allows the Qi to flow in your body for relaxation, rejuvenation, healing, and spiritual empowerment. After the workshop, you will experience a meditative and healing state of mind, body, and spirit.  

Shopping For a Person-Centered Integrated Treatment Program That Promotes Dual Recovery

Forrest Foster, MSW, Luis Lopez, MH, HSBCP, Nancy Covell, PhDand Paul Margolies, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

This presentation provides knowledge and tools to find a person-centered integrated treatment program for people experiencing both mental health and substance use issues. Additionally, participants will understand how people can set goals and define their own dual recovery.

Education Pays! Academic Credit as a Springboard to Peer Career Development.

Jessica Wolf, PhD, Decision Solutions, Fairfield, CT

Educational credentials are essential for career progress. This workshop will describe a community college mental health certificate program that successfully prepared peers from diverse cultural backgrounds for employment.  Many graduates obtained additional degrees and jobs. Workshop faculty will speak from experience about the impact of academic credentials on peer careers. We will also discuss participants’ educational goals and brainstorm about how to meet them.

What a Great Training, But Now What!? The Importance of Developing a Sound Training and Implementation Plan

Susan Batkin, MSW, Center for Urban Community Services, New York, NY

Increasingly, agency leaders are dedicating financial and human resources to training staff in evidence-based and bestpractices.  But how often does training lead to actual implementation? In this training, we will discuss the strategies that agency leaders can use to maximize their training dollars and avoid some of the pitfalls that occur when training follows the well-worn path from enthusiasm to extinction. Make your training dollars count by developing a strategy that helps you move from training to sustainable practice.

Integrating Peer Support in Emerging New Program Designs

Tom Hill, Altarum Institute, Washington, DC

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

Chacku Mathai, CPRP, NAMI, Arlington, VA

Peer Support has become a household word in our movement and a key strategy in transforming systems and services to focus on recovery-oriented approaches. As healthcare reform and Medicaid redesign initiatives to improve health, improve quality and reduce cost are underway, mental health and addiction recovery communities are preparing strategies for integrating peer support into the fast emerging program models being explored by states and territories across the country. Presenters will offer participants an opportunity to learn about these peer support innovations in both mental health and addiction recovery communities as well as engage in a candid dialogue about the current level of collaboration between mental health and addiction recovery communities.

Beyond the Violence

Ray Schwartz, Venture House, Jamaica, NY

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

Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Over the past years, national and state mental health public policy discussions have been dominated by the ideas of “managing the violent mentally ill” and the expansion of involuntary treatment measures. Too often, the recovery movement has found itself on the defense. Let’s develop a proactive approach that puts violence in its proper context and that looks at forging broad-based alliances to counter stigma and discrimination. Let’s also look directly at what can and should our best response be when services are not effective and someone is in danger.

Supervision of Peer Employees in Peer and Non-Peer Run Programs

Kendall Atterbury, LMSW, and Lynnae C. Brown, Community Access, New York, NY

Alison Carroll, LCSW, Putnam Family and Community Services, Carmel, NY

Tanya Stevens, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

People with lived experience are increasingly entering the workforce. As peers move into management positions, it isimportant to maintain the integrity of peer values and culture. This workshop will delve into the intricacies of supervising peers in both peer and non-peer run programs, as well as addressing the strengths and challenges of being a peer manager in a peer run program.

The Youth Movement Rising

Stephanie Orlando, Caitlin Neumann, and Debra Paradiso, YOUTH POWER!, Albany, NY

In 2007, a group of young people formed YOUTH POWER!, the New York State Network of young people who are labeled and are seeking change.  In the past 7 years, the network has grown to include hundreds of members and multiple funded initiatives.  Come and learn about what the youth and young adult statewide peer network’s advocacy priorities and what YP! is doing to ensure the availability of self-help and peer support for young people.  Join us in discussion of how we can build a multi-generational peer collaborative and strengthen the CSX movement.

The End of the Professional Patient

Daniel Anderson, LMSW, and Donald J. Decker, LCSW, CASAC, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY

The NYC DOHMH recently launched a cutting-edge initiative designed to rapidly identify and connect individuals hospitalized for a first episode of psychosis to specialized care in the community. This first-of-its-kind program in the country is designed to decrease the duration of untreated psychosis and improve the recovery trajectory for thousands of young people in NYC.

Thriving, Not Just Surviving

Mike Skinner, Surviving Spirit, Goffstown, NH

Come hear a first-hand account of trauma, abuse and mental health challenges and how one can not only survive butthrive. Participants will come away with a greater awareness of how the trauma and abuse in their lives has affected them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and will be inspired to build their strength, courage and resiliency.

Evidence-Based Yoga for Mood Regulation

Allie Middleton, JD, LCSW, RYT, Integrative Leadership Practices, Albany, NY

Learn new tools to bring balance to the emotional and physical body. Learn the current research supporting the wider application of this complementary mind-body practice for health and well-being. Allie teaches yoga for NYS Office of Mental Health and developed a successful yoga program at a community health care organization. Allie will introduce you to evidence-based pranayama, posture, mudra, mantra, and bhavana practices for meeting and managing mood.

Advancing our Practice: Evaluating ParachuteNYC and Lessons Learned

David Lee, MPHand Jonathan P. Edwards, LMSW, ParachuteNYC, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York, NY

ParachuteNYC is an innovative program that uses integrated teams of Peers and clinicians to divert people from psychiatric hospitalizations. Parachute provides a “soft landing” designed to facilitate access to needed mental health services which help someone maintain their daily lives and strengthen their existing support network. We will discuss lessons learned from the evaluation, the training, the models we used to engage respite guests and mobile team participants along with activities to build cohesion and connection among staff within, and across sites. We will also discuss how data identifies obstacles and shapes solutions in intervention implementation.

Using Organizational and Social Capital to Improve Employment Outcomes

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

Human service agencies across the nation generally don’t look at organizational capital as a means to help participants find employment and yet, it can be quite useful to further the cause of the participants they support. Additionally, the use of social capital has proven to be most effective in helping people find employment.  Learn how to deploy these two powerful tools to help improve employment outcomes.

Getting Unstuck: Helping Individuals to Move Through Services and Reintegrate into the Community

Jeremy Reuling, LCSW, MHA of Westchester, White Plains, NY

Tia Dole, PhD, MHA of Westchester, White Plains, NY

Amanda Saake, LMSW, CPRP, The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc, New York, NY

A major goal of recovery oriented services is to help people move away from the “system” and into their own lives. Yet, individuals often form strong attachments to programs that can be a barrier to this goal. We will describe how to provide supportive and helpful Person-Centered services to people while making sure their focus remains on integrating into the larger community.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Dignity, Empowerment and Recovery

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

Want to break the chains of stigma within ourselves, our services and our communities? The presenter will provideinspiration and encouragement to organize nationwide ‘Days of Dignity’ for advocacy that works to fight for rights and to take back power and advance community-wide healing and recovery.

All Hands on Deck for Employment!

John B. Allen, Jr., NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

While far too many Americans with psychiatric disabilities are unemployed, New York is fast becoming a national leader in its advancement of a number of work incentives and assistance as well as new expectations and funding opportunities for employment programs. Come hear an update on where we are with Medicaid Buy-In enrollments, Ticket-to-Work utilization, benefits advisement opportunities and new Medicaid 1915.i funding for vocational rehabilitation and employment supports.

One Family’s Recovery Story

Debbie Plotnick, MSS, MLSP, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Ashley Quinn, RN, Certified Rolfer, Crestone, CO

Mother and daughter, Debbie Plotnick and Ashley Quinn, will highlight their individual and shared stories of breaking their family’s legacy of intergenerational dysfunction. Come hear about how Debbie’s childhood colored by unpredictability, and how her experiences as a mother who learned about recovery and resilience from her daughter, shaped her policy career. And hear from Ashley about how to “own your wellness” to become a “health activated individual.” Ashley is a nurse, a certified Rolfer, and a teacher of yoga and movement-based healing.

WRAP and Peer Support Maintains our Roots

Matthew Federici, Copeland Center, Brattleboro, VT

A key to the promotion of recovery outcomes has been the utilization of self-help and peer-based supports. One such key evidenced-based program is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan®. Across the United States and worldwide, traditional services for mental/behavioral health have been recognizing the value of partnering with people who the “lived experience” of recovery in providing supports within their services. However, a fundamental challenge to the implementation of people with “lived experience” of mental/behavioral health recovery into those traditional services has been a lack of understanding and belief in peer support and recovery. To move forward with successful implementation of Peer Support services our current system of services must shift its overarching assumptions and paradigm about the experiences of people who receive and provide their services. This workshop will discuss this shift.

The Importance and Value of Taking Personal Responsibility for Ourselves

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

Taking personal responsibility means that I alone am responsible for my own well-being. While there are governmentprograms to help us take care of ourselves, ultimately the responsibility is ours alone. In this workshop, we will discuss what we could be doing and what we might stop doing to begin accepting more personal responsibility for ourselves.

A Review and Update on Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Programs

Don Kamin, PhD, Monroe County Office of Mental Health, Rochester, NY

After describing the core elements of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs, the presenter will offer a brief summary of the research demonstrating the effectiveness of these community-based collaborative initiatives. The presentation will conclude with the latest available information about efforts to develop CITs in New York.

Promoting Recovery, Cultural Competency, & System Advocacy through Hip Hop

Matthew Petitte, Mental Health Association, Rochester, NY

Chacku Mathai, CPRP, NAMI, Arlington, VA

Luis Lopez, MH, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Come hear a dynamic group of presenters share their passion, personal stories, insight, and thought provoking idea’s around Hip Hop and how it relates to recovery, cultural competency, and systems advocacy. Workshop participants will learn from, and engage with, presenters whose lived experience and recovery are directly influenced by Hip Hop culture. Hip Hop, like the psychiatric survivors/consumers movement, has brought awareness to discrimination, stigma, and inequality for decades. The presentation is for everyone from the Hip Hop enthusiast to the novice. Come hear a dynamic group of presenters share their passion, personal stories, insight, and thought provoking idea’s around Hip Hop and how it relates to recovery, cultural competency, and systems advocacy. Workshop participants will learn from, and engage with, presenters whose lived experience and recovery are directly influenced by Hip Hop culture.

What Has Our Advocacy Meant? Hot Topics in Legal Rights Advocacy

Jota Borgmann, JD, MFY Legal Services, New York, NY

Ilona Spiegel, Peer Advocate, Coalition of Institutionalized, Aged and Disabled, New York, NY

Ray Schwartz, Venture House, Jamaica, N

Robin Goods, Family Member of an Individual who is currently incarcerated and Member of CAIC

Susan Goodwillie, LMSW, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY

Over the past two decades, NYAPRS members have come to Albany each year to raise their voices on behalf of the rights and needs of various groups of community members. This presentation will delve into legal and policy advocacy by and for adult home residents and state inmates with mental health conditions, including best practices and pitfalls...and discuss.

The Mental Illness/Recovery Memoir: From Personal Artistry to Political Action

Carl Blumenthal, MS, CPRP, Baltic Street, AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

Barbara Tedesco, MS, CRC, MHA Nassau County, Hempstead, NY

Duncan Bethel, BSW, MS EdA, Community Connections of NY, Buffalo, NY

Focusing on the contribution of women to this literary genre, we will review the recovery strategies, from performance art to dark humor, of several prominent authors, inviting participants to discuss their favorite memoirists and write the opening lines of their own recovery stories.

Keynote: Making a Difference Through Culture: Practical Approaches and Perspectives

Chacku Mathai, CPRP, NAMI, Arlington, VA

Can Truong, Center for Educational Empowerment, Stockbridge, MA

Ellen Healion, MA, Hands Across Long Island, Central Islip, NY

Luis Lopez, MH, HSBCP, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Cultural competence has emerged as a key strategy in reducing disparities in access and quality of healthcare, including mental health and substance use services. Engaging policy makers, organizational leaders, program leaders and individuals in a meaningful process to improve the cultural competence of systems and services has never been more critical as failures to engage specific racial, ethnic and cultural groups show up on the radar screen of state budget directors. This keynote panel of cultural competence change agents will offer concrete strategies and approaches for making a difference through culture in our communities.

Recover the Joy Within and Then Claim the Joy That’s Out There for You

Neville Morris, Interpersonal Communication Skills and Development, Binghamton, NY

The joy in our life is often the product of things in our past, the present, and our expectations of what is to unfold in the future. Irrespective of the amounts of joy we have today or the absence thereof, we still have a key role to play in the outcome of it all. Yes we may meet a few helpers along the road to recovery; however, for much of the journey we are left on our own. It is not enough to wait for the ‘joy that comes in the morn,’ sometimes we have to row out and meet our ship and then help to steer the course. In this workshop we will cover what steps we can take to maintain the joy we have, regain some of what was lost, and more importantly, how to make more deposits than withdrawals in the process.

Looking at Trauma and the Culture of Healing

Luis Lopez, MH, HSBCP and Helle Thorning, PhD, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Mike Dorr, BS, CPRP, NYAPRS, Phelps, NY

Theresa Hall, NYAPRS Board of Directors, New York, NY

As New York State continues to transform its services, there is a concern that people are not connecting to the right service providers - or are not getting the right level of services. How will consumers address trauma in this new system? How can programs introduce and implement a trauma informed culture? What system changes do we need to look at? This workshop will answer these and similar questions. Additionally, this workshop will provide simple exercises to engage individuals in the discussion of trauma.

PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans: Understanding Military Culture and Its Impact on Treatment and Recovery Through the Personal Experiences of Our Nation’s Heroes

Amy Molloy, MSW, Heroes at Home, Troy, NY

Sean Baxter, Heroes at Home, Troy, NY

Veterans and active-duty service members will share their experiences accessing treatment for PTSD and other mental health concerns, as well as substance abuse and reintegration challenges. Their stories will increase our awareness about military culture and its impact on the treatment/recovery process, highlighting the benefits of peer support.

Innovations and Interventions-Thinking Outside the Box

Corryn Bailey-Ludwig, MS Ed, Monica Carr, LCSW, Maureen Hyatt, LCSW, Helene Schiff, CPRP,

Terri Schoenfeld, LCAT, NCPsyA, Anthony Thomas, LMHC, MA, and Joseph Zweig, PhD, Jawonio, Spring Valley, NY

Moving PROS interventions into new areas of relevance and innovation is a constant challenge especially in the age of value-based outcomes. We will present live and taped vignettes of creative arts projects and in vivo interventions that have enhanced recovery for PROS participants without sacrificing funding.

MyPSYCKES: Putting the Person in Person-Centered Care

Carl Blumenthal, MS, CPRP, Baltic Street, AEH, Inc, Brooklyn, NY

Rachel Steimnitz, MPH, NYS Office of Mental Health, New York, NY

MyPSYCKES is a web-based application developed by the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYS OMH) to strengthen peoples’ ability to track the outcomes of care and to participate in shared decision-making. This session will provide an overview of MyPSYCKES and describe the important role of peers in the program.

Pet Access

Kurt Sass, and Carla Rabinowitz, Community Access, New York, NY

Come and learn about Pet Access, a program run by Community Access which helps promote joy, hope and healing while saving pets from being euthanized.

The Importance of Play for Trauma Survivors

Bill Gamble, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Play is not just essential for kids; it is an important source of relaxation and healing for adults. Play improves our mood and well-being. We will explore play, it’s brain changing effects and how to develop our “playful side”.

Making Psychiatric Rehabilitation History in Karachi, Pakistan

Veronica Carey, PhD, CPRP, Drexel University, Behavioral Health Counseling, Philadelphia, PA

Shaheen Ahmed and Khurso Elly, Col, Pakistan

Implementing psychiatric rehabilitation into Pakistan was an arduous but beneficial journey! Come hear how the journey went from defining recovery, explaining rehabilitation to assisting with the implementation of The Recovery House in Karachi, Pakistan. This transformation process is not to be missed; this is what success and people supporting people looks like in the community.

Preparing to Write a Psychiatric Advance Directive

Colleen Sheehan, CPRP, NYAPRS, Woodstock, NY

Many of us learn about the psychiatric advance directives and think “that’s a good idea...” then never complete one. Preparation may be the key. We will explore conversations, information and tools that would arm you with the knowledge and desire to successfully complete your PADs.


Click here for some fantastic pictures of our

32nd Annual Conference,

courtesy of Neville B. Morris!!


More Pictures of the Conference

Chacku and Teena pose for the camera

Chacku and Teena pose for the camera

Peter Ashenden with awardees, Angela Hebner and Steve Miccio

Peter Ashenden with awardees, Angela Hebner and Steve Miccio

Enjoying Our Famous Barbeque!

Enjoying Our Famous Barbeque!

Steve Miccio and Jonathan Edwards

Steve Miccio and Jonathan Edwards

The Hebners, Sara Goodman, Coleen Mimnagh

The Hebners, Sara Goodman, Coleen Mimnagh

View of the beautiful Catskills from the Hudson Valley Resort

View of the beautiful Catskills from the Hudson Valley Resort

Theresa Hall and Luis Lopez, Co-Chairs of the Cultural Competence Commitee

Theresa Hall and Luis Lopez, Co-Chairs of the Cultural Competence Commitee

Leah Harris and Angela Hebner

Leah Harris and Angela Hebner

Jonathan Edwards, Chacku Mathai and Joe Powell

Jonathan Edwards, Chacku Mathai and Joe Powell


NYAPRS Staff- Thanks for Joining Us!