NYAPRS Note: For over 2 decades, SAMHSA’s Alternatives Conference has informed and inspired people diagnosed with serious mental health conditions who have received and/or provided wellness, recovery and peer supports, creating a strong, transformative national network that has raised the bar for what people can expect for each other and from their service providers. The following alert from the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse indicates that the Alternatives Conference is threatened with loss of federal funding and urges recovery and peer support proponents to call on the Administration to maintain its commitment to this critically important annual event.
To get a sense of the great value of Alternatives and to register for this year’s August 18-21 conference in Boston, see below.
Action Alert: The Federal Government Will Not Fund Future Alternatives Conferences
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has announced that the federal government will no longer provide any funding for the annual Alternatives conferences, beginning in 2018. (Alternatives 2017 will not be affected.)
“Those of us who have been diagnosed with serious mental health conditions are often told that our situation is hopeless—but the Alternatives conferences celebrate hope and success!,” according to a letter from the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery to the Department of Health and Human Services, which handed down the decision.
“These annual recovery-oriented gatherings have brought together thousands of people with serious mental health conditions…to share skills relating to recovery, advocacy, peer support services, and holistic wellness practices…Please help us move forward by continuing to fund the Alternatives conferences!
The federal contribution to these conferences is relatively minuscule, especially when compared to the enormous rewards reaped by those who are fortunate enough to participate.”
If you believe that the Alternatives conferences are important, you can add your voice by writing to Secretary Thomas E. Price, MD, US Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201 or emailing him at Secretary@HHS.gov .
Alternatives 2017 Announces Many of the Exciting Workshops on Its Schedule
Alternatives 2017 has announced many of the important workshops that will be presented at the conference, to be held August 18-21 at the Boston Park Plaza! Among the topics to be covered are peer respites, conflict resolution, alternatives to incarceration, trauma-informed peer support, mentoring young adults, mental health human rights initiatives, grants and fundraising to sustain peer-run organizations, peer support to prevent suicide, Intentional Peer Support, and using social media to foster peer support and social change. The theme of the conference, organized by the National Empowerment Center, is Building Healing Communities Together. To learn more, click here.