Alert: Urge HHS' Sebelius to Release Alternatives Conference Funding Support

NYAPRS Note: The following comes to us from Joseph Rogers, Chief Advocacy Officer of the Mental Health Association of SE PA and Executive Director of the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse. Please act today!

We need your help!

Since 1985, the annual Alternatives conferences have offered in-depth technical assistance on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods. Beyond the exchange of knowledge and networking, the Alternatives conferences offer a rich social, artistic, and healing environment. When asked “one thing I learned that I will incorporate into my life and/or my work,” one Alternatives attendee responded, “We can influence the direction of the future.”

Now I’m asking YOU to influence the direction of the future! We have recently heard that, although the money for the conference has been allocated and the application submitted long ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) apparently does not understand the importance of this national gathering and is dragging its feet on letting the conference move forward.

HHS seems not to understand that the federal allocation for the Alternatives conference is only a portion - albeit a necessary one - of the cost of the conference. The rest is made up by allocations from the states and from nonprofit agencies, as well as from the individuals who attend the conference.

We need you help to have Alternatives 2013 take place, please contact HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius atKathleen.Sebelius@hhs.govor call202-690-7000or write U.S. Dept. of HHS, Attn: Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, 2000 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20201, and explain the vital importance of the Alternatives conferences to our movement.

There may not be an Alternatives 2013, unless we work to make it happen! I urge you to contact Secretary Sebelius and make it happen!