2015 Annual Conference

Thank you for joining NYAPRS at our 33rd Annual Conference!!

Recovery at the Crossroad: The Choices and Changes Ahead.”

September 16-18, 2015

Hudson Valley Resort & Conference Center

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Promoting Recovery, Marching for Dignity

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

Debbie Plotnick and Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Julie Erdman, Association for Mental Health and WellnessRonkonkoma, NY

Moderator: Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

The presenters will provide an update on Recovery Now!, a national campaign to raise awareness about proven approaches to recovery and whole health that was launched at last year’s NYAPRS conference, and will discuss the outcomes and next steps of the August 24th Destination Dignity March in Washington, DC.


Recovery’s New Wave: Self-Direction in NY for Independence and Well-Being

Recovery’s New Wave: Self-Direction in NY for Independence and Well-Being (E. Maula)

Recovery’s New Wave: Self-Direction in NY for Independence and Well-Being (P. Hendry)

Recovery’s New Wave: Self-Direction in NY for Independence and Well-Being (B. Gilmore)

Erme Maula, MHA of Southeastern PA, Philadelphia, PA

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Briana Gilmore, Community Access, New York, NY

The most innovative program promoting community independence is self-direction for people with behavioral health needs. Learn more about how this program will be piloted in New York, best practices for implementation, and how it has promise to change the peer workforce. Leaders in the field of self-direction, Erme Maula and Patrick Hendry, join us to share national experiences and opportunities.


Introduction to Trauma Informed Peer Support

Bill Gamble and Beth Mangiarcina, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Mike Skinner, Goffstown, NH

This workshop will introduce the basic concepts, values and principles of genuine trauma-informed peer support. The presenters will define trauma and discuss its impact on individuals and communities, as well as, the prevalence of trauma histories among people who use services. This session will conclude with a discussion of applying trauma-informed approaches to peer support through the development of mutual, reciprocal relationships. The discussion will be illustrated with examples of issues that may arise in trauma-informed peer support, such as understanding self-injury as a coping strategy, and the effective use of personal narrative in healing from trauma.


Strategies for Health Care Organizations to Improve Treatment Engagement

Shari Hutchison, Community Care Behavioral Health, Pittsburgh, PA

Steve Miccio, PEOPLe, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY

The presentation will describe and demonstrate multiple strategies designed to improve engagement in ongoing healthcare. Strategies will utilize the psychiatric rehabilitation recovery-based approach, in which a partnership focused on person centered care, strengths, and individual choice help to drive change. Outcomes associated with this approach will be presented. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about and practice these strategies and discuss how these strategies can be integrated at their organizations.


Hearing Voices: Building Understanding and Access

Marty Hadge and Caroline White, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, Holyoke, MA

Jeremy Reuling, MHA of Westchester, Sterling Community Center, Tarrytown, NY

Adam Black, Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, White Plains, NY

Daniela Perna, CHOICE of NY, New Rochelle, NY

Colleen Sheehan, NYAPRS, Woodstock, NY

Several presenters, including Hearing Voices USA national trainers, group facilitators, voice hearers, and other stake holders will describe the grassroots process that led to the creation and implementation of new Hearing Voices Networks including one in lower Hudson Valley. We will look at the Hearing Voices approach, discuss questions and challenges we faced, and examine how groups can be formed and how those groups from other areas can form their own networks.


Mental Health, Family and Addiction Recovery Movements: Learning from Each Other

Paige Pierce, Families Together in NYS, Albany, NY

Amy Colesante, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Suzanne Hall Westcott, Beyond MARS, Bronx, NY

SAMHSA has funded a project calling for the collaboration of three statewide networks, Mental Health, Addiction and Family Networks. This workshop will show how the three New York networks interact.


Successful Parenting in Diverse Families: Challenges and Successes!

Lorraine McMullin, McMullin Trainers, Delmar, NY

Tracey Puglisi, Association for Mental Health & Wellness, Ronkonkoma, NY

Kelly Lane, Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, West Brentwood, NY

George Badillo, Sound Beach, NY

Helena Smith, St. James, NY

A panel of parents from New York State will share their diverse parenting roles and experience, with emphasis on how healthy families can and do look different. People attending this workshop will have the opportunity to learn about support, resources and tools for use in healthy parenting.


The Fight for True Behavioral Health Parity Across the Nation

Alyssa Goodin and Adam Nester, MHA of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The groundbreaking 2008 Parity Law requires that insurance plans offering behavioral health benefits provide coverage that is equitable to physical health benefits. Unfortunately, this law has not been fully enforced nationwide. Participants will learn how service providers can advocate and educate to realize true behavioral health parity in America.


CTI Housing: A Person-Centered, Harm Reduction Approach to Living Independently

Stacey Schmid and Jason Hans, Restoration Society, Inc., Buffalo, NY

Brian Pagkos, Community Connections of New York, Inc., Buffalo, NY

CTI Housing is an innovative model that is person-centered and uses harm reduction approaches to emphasize recovery, empowerment and promote living independence. This workshop will provide a description of how Restoration Society, Inc. implemented CTI, share experiences of an individual that went from CTI customer to RSI employee, and provide evaluation results.

Workshops Round 2 - 2:30pm-3:45pm

Managing Care: Innovations for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services

Managing Care: Innovations for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services (T. Lane)

Managing Care: Innovations for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services (K. Lauletta)

Managing Care: Innovations for Behavioral Health and Substance Use Services (J. Wale)

Alan Boardman, Beacon Health Strategies, LLC, Tarrytown, NY

Tom Lane, Magellan Healthcare, Urbana, IL

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

Joyce B. Wale, Behavioral Health, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan NY, New York, NY

Moderator: Jackie Negri, Negri Management Resources, LLC, Albany, NY

Leaders of behavioral health organizations will discuss innovations in peer services, rehabilitation, employment, and crisis alternatives that have been created within managed systems of care. Hear about the opportunities providing these innovations offer to peers and consumers and how these new service models will be beneficial in a managed care environment.


How Culture Identity Shapes our World View and our Interaction with Life

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

Angela Hebner, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

Jennifer Hernandez and Adriana Joseph, Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research – Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health, Orangeburg, NY

In this workshop, we will expand the common definition of culture to include shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, and understanding that are learned by various socialization. By taking culture into account when peers interact, the people we serve will be better equipped to share their cultural values with their various treatment teams. Personal cultural views need to be incorporated into behavioral health care.


Data Driven Decision Making and the Importance of Outcomes for a Valued-Based System

Andy Cleek and Dan Ferris, McSilver Institute for Poverty, Policy, & Research, New York University, New York, NY

What are outcomes and why do they matter both to agencies and the greater health system at large? This session will review the basics of outcomes, including identifying the populations that your agency serves, selecting the appropriate assessment measures to track progress over time, and working collaboratively to identify opportunities to increase the quality of care and lower the cost of services.


Supervision to Promote Integration and Inclusion

Dori Hutchinson, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University, Boston, MA

As our workplaces become more diversified, the opportunity for inclusion and integration of all workers increase. Supervision is a critical activity that can promote inclusion and empower our work environments. This workshop will discuss the role supervision can play in dismantling inequities and promoting inclusion.


Wage and Salary Challenges and Opportunities for Peer Support Services

Peter Ashenden, OptumHealth, Berwyn, IL

Allen S. Daniels, Consultant, Cincinnati, OH

This session examines the current issues of wages and salaries for Peer Support Specialists. Based on a recent survey of both Peer Specialists and organizations that employ them, issues including rates of compensations, benefits, and requirements for training and certification are covered. This session will also discuss implications for the employment of Peer Specialists in a rapidly evolving healthcare market.


Let's Talk About Suicide

Ellen Pendegar and Denise Ranaghan, MHA in Ulster County, Kingston, NY

Carrie Ruby-Geiger, PEOPLe, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY

MHA in Ulster County and PEOPLe, Inc. have collaborated to offer a support group for persons struggling with thoughts of suicide. We will share the steps we took to develop a peer-run support group on the topic of suicide and the difficult challenges we have faced since it began over a year ago. We will share the flexible guidelines we have established based on our experience.


Wellness Based Leadership

Matthew Federici, Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, West Chester, PA

Whether you’re the leader of a Fortune 500 company, a million dollar non-profit or a small group of concerned and committed people, leadership approaches either help or hinder the wellness of those involved. Simple, clear and focused concepts work consistently for any size or scale of leadership responsibility. Learn about these simple concepts and begin to develop a lifestyle as a wellness based leader. This workshop will build on personal, professional and researched examples from business and social cause leaders as a guide to your own engagement on the path of leadership.


Healing Trauma through Building Resiliency

Patricia Blum and Janet Vlavianos, Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., Stockton, CA

Resiliency building skills in concert with trauma-informed approaches used in mental health recovery can heal trauma, mitigate the effects of trauma and reduce the likelihood of trauma. We are introducing the use of resiliency building skills and trauma-informed care approaches to implement in recovery-based services. We are also infusing resiliency building skills and trauma-informed care approaches in a variety of and community education efforts to reduce secondary trauma in providers.

Mission vs. Money: Person-Centered Care in an Outcome-Oriented World

Luis O. Lopez, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Len Statham, NYAPRS, Rochester, NY

As all systems and delivery of care models move to performance based payment methods, organizations that meet and demonstrate solid outcomes will survive through these vast system changes. At the same time, and in this new outcome oriented system of care, it is essential to build a culture that supports person-centered standards, recovery and a trauma informed care environment. The two philosophies are not mutually exclusive. This workshop will offer strategies for creating a culture that produces strong results and great outcomes without sacrificing quality and person-centered care.


Rhythms for Wellness, Recovery & Connection: Community Drumming

 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 percussion 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.

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

Chacku Mathai, NAMI STAR Center, Arlington, VA

Luis O. Lopez, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Matthew Pettite, MHA Rochester, Rochester, NY

Celia Brown, NYS Office of Mental Health, New York, NY

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

Jerald Jenkins, Services for the UnderServed, New York, NY

Come hear a dynamic group of presenters share their passion, personal stories, insight, and thought provoking ideas 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.

                        Thursday, September 17, 2015

Activation: The ‘Secret Sauce’ to Promote Recovery and Wellness

Sue Bergeson, OptumHealth, Geneva, IL

How do we support a consumer’s movement from just “coming to an appointment” to being actively engaged in their own recovery between visits? The art and science of activation gives us practical insights. We’ll look at research, consider two different frame works and share a series of free resources and tools that can be put to use immediately.


Ensuring Justice and Treatment for All: Criminal Justice and Mental Health Policy Implications

Dan Abreu, Policy Research Associates - Gain Center, Delmar, NY

Don Kamin, Institute for Police, Mental Health & Community Collaboration, Rochester, NY

Moderator: Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

The time has come for the criminal justice and behavioral health systems to join to maximize our efforts in the areas of prison and jail diversion, treatment and support, discharge planning and re-entry! Among the issues discussed will be the state’s new Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) initiatives, implementation of trauma-informed Sequential Intercept Model approaches and the unique role that peer support is playing in the criminal justice area.


Applying Cultural Competence in a Culturally Diverse World

Jeffrey McQueen, MHA Nassau County - Consumer Link, Hempstead, NY

This workshop is designed to raise the awareness of cultural barriers and foster a more culturally competent environment. It will demonstrate how holistic methods and practices in a way that bridges the gap of socio-economic, racial and gender discrepancies.


Shared Decision Making in OnTrackNY

Liza Watkins and Iruma Bello, OnTrackNY, New York, NY

Lisa Dixon, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

In this workshop, you will learn how to engage in shared decision making with youth and young adults experiencing early psychosis. Learning will be enhanced by examples from OnTrackNY teams. Outcomes related to shared decision making will also be shared.


Sustaining a Culture of Recovery through Agency Orientation

Alison Carroll, Putnam Family & Community Services, Carmel, NY

This workshop will provide attendees with information on how one agency, Putnam Family & Community Services, sustains a belief in the culture of recovery. Culture change does not happen overnight, and must be nurtured and monitored in order to be sustained. An orientation presentation for all new staff will be shared with attendees, including a discussion of telltale signs of programs that are not recovery oriented.


National Peer Certification and NYS Certified Peer Specialist: Peers Working in Private Practice Settings

Patrick Hendry, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

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

This workshop will discuss both Mental Health America's new National Peer Support Certification and New York State’s Peer Specialist Certification and the opportunities they bring for peers to work in the private sector as an insurance reimburseable service.


Protecting What’s Precious: Making the Transition to Managed Medicaid Behavioral Health

Joshua Rubin and Meggan Schilkie, Health Management Associates, New York, NY

As programs convert to 1915(i) Home and Community Based Services, the changes will be massive. As this happens, the question for peer-run, recovery-oriented agencies is how to safeguard their recipe for success in the new funding environment.


Creating a Recovery-Based Care Plan in the Era of Managed Care

David Bucciferro, Foothold Technology, New York, NY

Steve Duke, Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

The new environment of Managed Care requires an extra level of accountability and a new way of managing data. The session will provide guidance on developing person-centered service plans that meet all the quality assurance standards posed by CMS, with focus on the use of an agency’s data management system as a tool for compliance and assessment of services provided. Attendees will construct a hypothetical plan of care and come away with a list of strategies about how providers can meet and demonstrate quality assurance, monitoring and improvement standards.


Recovery Centers: No Site Required

Recovery Centers: No Site Required (J.Woodward)

Joseph Woodward, Housing Options Made Easy, Gowanda, NY

Steve Miccio, PEOPLe, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY

Amy Colesante, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

This workshop will discuss how Recovery Center peer staff can provide targeted wellness education and tools for people living in our community without walls. Recovery Centers offer a variety of peer-to-peer services that focus on overall health and wellness, employment, self-help, direct access to traditional and non-traditional services and are done in one's community instead of a permanent facility. Learn about the difference that a Recovery Center can contribute to your community!


Keynote: Leadership to Promote Recovery, Rights, System Transformation and Peer Support

Khatera Aslami-Tamplen, Alameda County Behavioral Health, Oakland, CA

Khatera will describe grassroots efforts to transform local, state and national mental health systems and policies, drawing on her nationally acclaimed experience in supporting a culturally and ethnically diverse group of consumer champions in California.


The Dimensions of Wellness: Strategies for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Peggy Swarbrick, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Freehold, NJ

This interactive workshop gives an overview of common health issues for individuals with mental health conditions and introduces a multi-dimensional model of wellness. Using a curriculum designed by Peggy Swarbrick of the Wellness Institute, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, the workshop provides tips and strategies for assisting people who use mental health services to develop and sustain a wellness lifestyle. To learn more, visit http://www.cspnj.org and click on Our Services and then Wellness Institute.


Cultural Activation: Expanding the Concept of Health Literacy and Consumer Activism

Lenora Reid-Rose, Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health Care, NKI, Cultural Competence & Diversity

Initiatives, Coordinated Care Services Inc., Rochester, NY

Sandra Mitchell, National Action Network, New York, NY

Onaje Muid, Reality House, Inc., Astoria, NY

The Cultural Activation Prompts (CAPS) tool is a set of cues on information the consumer might benefit from communicating to a caregiver, including: what he/she would like to be called, what name they give to mental health challenges, their perceived causes, and consequences. It also provides prompts on stresses, coping strategies and views on treatment. Research indicates better health outcomes are achieved with greater participation of care recipients in their health care encounters. This tool supports that effort to achieve greater consumer participation.


Supervision Institute: A Dialogue on Promising Practices for Supporting Peers in the Workplace

Gita Enders, NYC Health and Hospitals Corp, Office of Behavioral Health, New York, NY

Mat Costanzo, Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, W. Brentwood, NY

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

Moderator: Jonathan P. Edwards, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY

This workshop features diverse, practical perspectives concerning the relationship, interplay, and synergy between supervisors and supervisees—taking into consideration additional concerns related to the inherent challenges peers encounter in the world of work regarding integration, professional growth and role ambiguity.


Fostering Collaboration Homes and Clinical Providers

Valentine Cruz, Queens Coordinated Care Partners, LLC, New York, NY

Dyana Morrow and Eric Stone, St. Joseph’s Care Coordination Network Health, Syracuse, NY

Moderator: Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Health Homes: Where are they? This workshop will provide clinical providers an overview of the actual scope of services and current administrative structure of Health Homes. The majority of the workshop will be a facilitated small and large discussion allowing providers and health homes to talk about current barriers to collaboration and possible solutions.


Beginning the Dialogue about Implementing a Recovery-Oriented Practice

Lisa Dixon, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Edye Schwartz, NYAPRS, Mahopac, NY

Shifting practice to recovery orientation presents some barriers that must be identified before we can fully adopt it. For example, shared decision making presents new issues around power sharing, medication and possible liability. Recognition of the need to honor the dignity of risk and recognize the duty to care may be uncomfortable concepts. Providers need to navigate the middle ground between “neglect” and “overprotect.” Many providers have little supervision and support in implementing these concepts. This workshop will allow participants to begin a dialogue about moving towards a recovery based practice model and what personally and professionally it might take to get them there.


 “I Did it My Way” Personalizing Dual Recovery: The Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) Launches a New Interactive Module for Consumers and Families on Dual Recovery

Forrest P. "Rusty" FosterLuis O. Lopez, and Nancy Covell, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Elizabeth Patience, NYS Office of Mental Health, Syracuse, NY

CPI is launching a new interactive module for consumers and families interested in finding out more about dual recovery, that is recovery from both mental/emotional and alcohol and drug issues. The module includes information delivered in an interactive way, personal recovery story video clips and an “action planner”. The action planner allows consumers and family members to complete a personalized plan that includes goals around dual recovery and identified community resources. We will describe the various parts of the module and demonstrate this resource for participants.


Education Pays: Strategies for Peer Career Development

Jessica Wolf, Decision Solutions, Fairfield, CT

Elizabeth Breier, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Freehold, NY

Erme Maula, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Educational credentials are essential for career progress. We will describe educational options and key current issues for certified peer workers, brainstorming as a group about specific individual and systems strategies to promote peer career development. Workshop faculty members have direct experience of the impact of educational credentials on peer careers.

Alternatives to Suicide: A Peer-to-Peer Approach

Caroline White and Marty Hadge, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, Holyoke, MA

This workshop will include a mix of presentation and interactive discussion designed to build understanding of the ‘Alternatives to Suicide’ approach and the power of peer-to-peer support for people who are struggling with thoughts of killing themselves as presented by people who have 'been there.'


Madness: Heroes Returning from the Front Line

Isaac Brown, Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

Joanne Forbes, St. Paul's School of Nursing, Staten Island, NY

This workshop lays out the framework for storytelling and publishing as a means of healing, reducing stigma and promoting self-understanding. The panel represents a few of the people who participated in the producing of the book, Madness: Returning from the Front Lines.


Removing the Invisibility Cloak: Finding Allies when You Feel Unseen

Andrea A Kwamya, NBTY, INC, Ronkonkoma, NY

It is normal for individuals in recovery to feel alone or misunderstood, especially when integrating back into the community.This seminar will present the tools needed to find allies when you are afraid and how to empower yourself when you are not comfortable reaching out.

Keynote - 2:00pm-3:30pm

Keynote: What Really Matters

Keynote: What Really Matters (M. Kelley)

Keynote: What Really Matters (E. Maula)

Peggy Swarbrick, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Freehold, NJ

Chris Hansen, Intentional Peer Support, West Chesterfield, NH

Maura Kelley, Mental Health Peer Connection, WNY Independent Living, Buffalo, NY

Chacku Mathai, NAMI STAR Center, Alexandria, VA

Erme Maula, MHA of Southeastern Pennsylania, Philadelphia, PA

Teena Brooks, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY

Our extraordinary panel has helped lead the way in forging cherished values and advances that have guided the development of our movement and our field...and that must play fundamental roles in the new systems and services that lie ahead. Our presenters will join with our audience to examine how to best position key themes like wellness, intentional peer support, dual recovery, human rights, employment, cultural competence, self-directed care and trauma based recovery.


Medicaid Redesign and Healthcare Reform Initiatives

Medicaid Redesign and Healthcare Reform Initiatives (R. Myers)

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

Pat Lincourt, NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, Albany, NY

Moderator: Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

Join our state officials as they provide information and insights about the status of policy changes in the behavioral health, substance use and greater healthcare systems. Learn about opportunities for peer services and updates on HARP, DSRIP, HCBS, Community First Choice and OMH Community Reinvestment initiatives. There will be time for discussion and questions around changes and opportunities for consumers, providers and family members as Medicaid redesign is implemented and we move toward an integrated care delivery system.


Walking the Fine Line: Exploring the Perspective of Behavioral Health Professionals with Lived Experience

Elizabeth Breier, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Freehold, NY

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

Jeremy Reuling, MHA of Westchester, Sterling Community Center, White Plains, NY

Lived experience of recovery from mental health conditions is prevalent among people working in a variety of roles throughout the mental health system. Regrettably, the presence of stigma leads to an on going "us vs. them" mentality and creates fear on multiple levels for workers who may be considering disclosing and/or using their own histories. This workshop, led by three peer-professionals, will encourage an open dialogue around the issues of disclosure, roles and internal stigma, while looking at how providers' disclosures of their own lived experiences may help to break down barriers throughout the mental health system.


Flirting Works: Be a People Magnet, Network with Ease and Energize Your Life

Fran Greene, Commack, NY

Would you like to: transform meeting new people into instant adventure, friendship, fun and romance? Radiate poise and confidence? Master the art of small talk? Make an unforgettable first impression? Join Fran Greene, author of The Flirting Bible and former director of match.com as she shows you the way. Don't miss it!


Collaborative Conversations about Directing and Managing Peer-Run Programs

Dori Hutchinson, Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University, Boston MA

Jody Silver, Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey, Freehold, NJ

This workshop will engage collaboratively with participants around the puzzles, paradoxes, lessons and opportunities which arise in these kinds of hybrid work environments. The goal of this workshop is to be open to the challenges of the intersection of the formal helping and work world and the power of and potential of peer support and peer-run programs.


Intentional Peer Support as a Framework for Human Rights, Activism and Social Change

Chris Hansen, Intentional Peer Support, South Starksboro, VT

Human rights activism and social change require delivery of information in ways which can be heard. How do we create the discomfort that leads to change, as well as the relationships to make change happen? In this workshop, the principles and tasks of IPS will be used to examine how to build conversations and relationships to sustain change.


The Emerging Use of Historical Trauma to Treat Chemical Dependency

Onaje Muid, Reality House, Inc., Astoria, NY

The field of substance abuse had come a long way from the moral model to understand addiction. Most recent to the evolving contribution is the application of “understanding human behavior in the social environment”. This presentation will examine the background of these approaches, how they are being used to understand and treat people who are attempting to heal themselves from historical trauma and how it is being used in treatment programs today.


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

Bert Coffman, Zappalorti Society, New York, NY

Alfredo Wilson, New York, NY

Lorraine Nunez, Fountain House, Bronx, NY

Phillip Williams, Rainbow Heights Club, Brooklyn, NY

Michael Livote, NAMI GLBT NYS, Bronx, NY

This presentation will encompass the history and legacy of the modern LGBTQI 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 todays LGBTQI mental health activists who advocate for progress and reform in the mental health systems towards the empowerment and enfranchisement of LGBTQI mental health recipients.


Successful Strategies for Fully Integrating Peers in Systems and Services Transformation

Terri Hay and Ashley Mehallow, Policy Research Associates, Delmar, NY

This workshop will identify some of the successful strategies, as well as some of the barriers encountered, for integrating

peers in systems and services transformation initiatives through the experiences and outcomes of SAMHSA’s Mental Health

Transformation Grant program.


Transforming Trauma into Triumph

Sadine RichardsonDawn Batson, and Vincent Mancini, Federation of Organizations, Patchogue, NY

Many people who receive mental health services have experienced trauma. This presentation will be an overview defining trauma, signs and symptoms, treatment options and strategies for wellness. This powerful presentation will be delivered by people who have been touched by trauma in their lives and have successfully overcome it.


Depression Screening as the 6th Vital Sign

Manish Jha and Charlotte Carito, (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

VitalSigns6 is a University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center DSRIP project aimed to identify and treat Depression in Primary Care Clinics using a web based application. Come listen to successes, challenges and lessons learned as we transform how depression is identified and treated in our community.


                              Friday, September 18, 2015

Getting Ahead of Stage 4: Changing the Conversation

Debbie Plotnick, Mental Health America, Alexandria, VA

Behavioral health conditions are the only health issues that are more likely than not to go unaddressed until crisis: i.e. Stage 4. Worse yet, in too many locations, issues are addressed only by way of the criminal justice system: by police officers, and in detention facilities, such as county and state jails. Come and learn about communities that do better than most, what we know about effectively intervening earlier, addressing the effects of toxic stress and trauma, and breaking inter-generational cycles. We will explore how to advocate for policy changes that will result in prevention for those at risk, integrated community-based treatment for those who need it, and achieving the goal of recovery.


Managed Care and Self-Care: HARPs, Health Homes, and Prioritizing Well-Being through the Changes

Managed Care and Self-Care: HARPs, Health Homes, and Prioritizing Well-Being through the Changes (C. Whitmore, B. Gilmore)

Barbara Tedesco, UnitedHealtcare Community Plan, New York, NY

Carlton Whitmore, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, NY

Briana Gilmore, Community Access, New York, NY

This workshop will discuss the dramatic upcoming changes to behavioral health service delivery in New York State. Learn more about how managed care, specialty HARP plans, and health homes can impact what services are available to you and how to navigate the changes. We will also discuss self-care as an ongoing priority during this time, and have an open dialogue about how to uphold well-being, self-advocacy, and self-determination in times of systems change.


Supporting and Promoting Recovery through the Philosophy and Practice of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

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

Veronica Carey, Drexel University, Policy Research Associates, McLean, GA

Edye Schwartz, NYAPRS, Mahopac, NY

Providers and participants know that psychiatric rehabilitation practice works in supporting and promoting recovery. As a practice, it can be challenging to explain its efficacy. This presentation provides a framework for defining psychiatric rehabilitation practice and principles. The goal of the presentation is to cultivate and strengthen the training participants' capacity to accurately and succinctly describe pscyhiatric rehabilitation practice and principles.


Technology Uses to Improve Wellness and Communication with Health Care Providers

Ellen Pendegar, MHA in Ulster, Kingston, NY

Virna Little, The Institute for Family Health, New York, NY

This workshop will demonstrate how the use of technology can be critical to providing comprehensive patient centered care through the involvement of community based organizations and electronic portals, patient portals and field based documentation Participants will see some of the latest advances in technology and electronic health records and understand how these tools advance care and services.


Being With": Stories from Soteria-Alaska

Susan Musante, State of Alaska, Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, Anchorage, AK

The Soteria Approach of the 1970’s had demonstrated recovery outcomes with people experiencing extreme states. A recent replication in Alaska has had many challenges, but also many successes consistent with the original Soteria. The approach, successes and challenges will be illuminated through history, stories and participant discussion.


Transformational Crisis Services: Peers Bring Unique Mix of New Approaches

Tom Lane, Magellan Healthcare, Urbana, IL

Sera Davidow, Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, Holyoke, MA

Moira Dwyer, PEOPLe, Inc., Poughkeepsie, NY

There are a growing number of peer-run and peer-operated alternatives that support self-determination, empowerment, and the power of turning challenges into opportunities. These alternatives not only serve to help some individuals avoid hospitalization, but can also support people to learn from their experiences, build more meaningful lives and move beyond

a cycle of moving in and out of ‘crisis’ altogether. This workshop will offer insight into an array of these peer-to-peer approaches, including respite houses, warm lines, resource centers, and community bridging as they relate to topics such as financing strategies, training, and the role of peer approaches in a comprehensive crisis service system.


NAMI-NYS Peer-to-Peer, Shaping our Recovery

Shaniqua Jackson, National Alliance on Mental Illness-NYS, Albany, NY

Alexis Hill, NAMI-Mid Hudson, Poughkeepsie, NY

The Journey of Recovery: Accessing practical resources and relationships to maintain your journey to recovery. Shaping our recovery through NAMI Signature Programs that offer hope to everyone by providing effective tools and peer support to assist in navigating the mental health system.


The Historical Roots of Our Movement

Bill Gamble, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

From the outcry of alleged lunatics in the 1800s to the birth of the Mental Patients Liberation Movement in the 1970’s. From the call for self-help and alternatives in the 1980s to the birth of an industry in the 1990s “The Historical Roots of Our Movement” chronologies 100 years of historical roots that have led to the opportunity for Certified Peer Specialists. Participants will have information necessary to pass similarly named Academy of Peer Services course.


Ha Ha and Soul

Steve Holmes, Self-Advocacy Association of NY, Schenectady, NY

Ok, these are challenging, uncertain and stressful times. Many of us feel the pressure in our work, in our advocacy, and in our personal lives. So the question is: How do we live our lives in these times with a sense of hope and joy? In this workshop, we’ll have some fun, sing some songs, move around a bit and talk together about what our purpose is and what we can do to bring a sense of fulfillment in our work and advocacy.


Spirituality, Hope and Healing: Community Conversations on Trauma, Justice and Resilience

Spirituality, Hope and Healing: Community Conversations on Trauma, Justice and Resilience (P. Dougherty)

Richard H. Dougherty, DMA Strategies and BasicNeeds US, Lexington, MA

Rev. C. Perry Dougherty, Institute for Spiritual Formation & Society at Still Harbor, South Boston, MA

What do we know about the factors that influence community resilience and health? Opening up spaces in community to talk about health in ways that allow for connection, shared narrative, and spirituality is the only way to build a foundation for resilience, healing, justice and change. Community-based, facilitated dialogues provide a forum to connect people to themselves, others, and the broader community resources. Learn methods of promoting health literacy and building community by helping people heal together through reflection, story-telling, learning, dialogue and planning.

Workshops Round 7 - 11:45am-1:00pm

NYC Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT): Progress, Advocacy, and the Future of Diversion

Carla Rabinowitz, Community Access, New York, NY

John Volpe, Special Advisor on Criminal Justice, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY

Theresa Tobin, Deputy Chief, Collaborative Policing, NYPD

Join New York City leaders and the NYAPRS public policy team in a timely update about the progress of CIT teams in New York City. Learn how stakeholders have come together to initiate training and systems changes that hold great promise for the future of jail diversion in New York City and beyond.


The Transforming Power of Collaborative Circles: Exploring Recovery to Practice Next Steps, Peace Work, and WRAP®

Recovery to Practice Next Steps is a collaborative learning circle where participants tap into and share deep beliefs about how recovery and transformation happen. It joins peers, family members, and providers in new ways of interacting and creating healing communities together. When integrated with the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) the beliefs shared within these communities are further united and transformed under a core set of values that inspire hope for the future.

Matthew Federici, Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery, West Chester, PA

Rita Cronise, Rutgers University/International Association of Peer Supporters, Victor, NY

Noelle Pollet, Heart Circle Consulting, West Camp, NY

Colleen Sheehan, NYAPRS, Woodstock, NY


Center for Practice Innovations (CPI) Brings Helpful Workbooks Directly to Consumers and Families

Paul Margolies, NY State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Anthony Salerno, CTAC, New York University, 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 CPI’s commitment to develop and bring helpful resources directly to consumers and families. The focus will be on three workbooks that are available as free electronic downloads:Employment Resource Book, Wellness Self-Management

(WSM) Workbook, and Wellness Self-Management Plus (WSM+) Workbook.


But Words Will Always Hurt Me

Helle Thorning, Center for Practice Innovation at Columbia University, New York, NY

Luis O. Lopez, NYS Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

Mike Dorr, NYAPRS, Phelps, NY

Many programs throughout New York State continue to transform their services by implementing recovery-based approaches. However, these programs continue to use language that could be perceived as stigmatizing, judgmental and sometimes re-traumatizing. This workshop (1) will review some of the common language used in behavioral health programs and (2) will introduce alternative language that remains clinically applicable, person-centered, and recovery-based.


There is No “Us” and “Them”: Combatting Organizational and Worker Stigma

Duysal Karakus and Therese Sonesson, Community Access, New York, NY

Community Access provides services for individuals who have experienced stigma and discrimination not only related to a psychiatric diagnosis, but also due to additional labels related to histories of incarceration, drug and alcohol use, homelessness, health concerns (e.g. HIV/AIDS, diabetes) and sexual activities. In this presentation, we will discuss insidious ways that stigma and discrimination play out in mainstream social services, sharing our agency strategies that fight

oppressive practices. We will explore challenges, and their solutions, when putting stigma-fighting strategies into practice. Although our main focus is on workforce and policies, we will also cover public stigma campaigns. Participants in this workshop will leave with concrete approaches they can infuse into their work, including in their agency's hiring practices, training, intake policies, language and health promotion activities.


Employment on the Road to Recovery: A Collaborative Approach

Alesia Simco, NYSED Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), Hauppauge, NY

Liam McNabb, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

Veronica Jones, Orange Works/One-Stop Employment & Training Center, Middletown, NY

Len Statham, NYAPRS, Rochester, NY

NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH), Adult Career and Continuing Education Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), Department of Labor (DOL) and NYAPRS representatives will describe what is needed for each agency: application process forms, procedures; Eligibility for the services provided by each agency; service options such as evaluation, job placement, training, and participant requirements; Opportunity for collaboration with New York State and private agencies. Examples will be shared of individuals in mental health recovery and services they may receive through each New York State agency.


Animal Assisted Therapy as Part of the Whole Person Treatment of Mental Health Disorders

Jeff Fink, Go Fetch Wellness, New York, NY

This workshop will discuss the therapeutic benefits of incorporating dogs into therapy. The presenter will share his story battling mental illness and how Earl (his service dog) helped him recover. The differences between service animals, the advantages of Animal Assisted Therapy, therapeutic applications and success stories will be discussed.


Beyond Visable: Challenges People with Physical Disabilities Face when Seeking Mental Health Care

Megan Diamond and Shannon Klos, Healthy Minds of Niagara, Niagara Falls, NY

People with mental health concerns come from all walks of life, and people with disabilities are just as, if not more, likely to face the challenges associated with mental health difficulties. Find out about some of the additional challenges they face beyond the ones that can be seen.


Bringing Holistic Practices into Recovery Settings Evidence-Based Yoga for Mood Regulation

Bringing Holistic Practices into Recovery Settings Evidence-Based Yoga for Mood Regulation

Allie Middelton, 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 holistic complementary mind-body practices for health and well-being, including meditation and yoga. The presenter will introduce you to evidence-based practices to integrate mind and body. She will demonstrate how pranayama, asana mudra, mantra, and bhavana practices are useful for meeting and managing predictable fluctuations in mood states -

no mat required!


Click here to see our Annual Conference program!