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Save the Date! Alternatives 2012, the annual national conference organized by and for individuals with psychiatric histories, will be held from Wednesday Oct. 10, 2012, through Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, Portland, OR.

Alternatives 2012 is being organized by Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center, a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is also helping to sponsor the conference.

More information is available at:

Alternatives 2010 Annual Conference

“Promoting Wellness Through Social Justice”
         "Promoviendo Bienestar por medio de Justicia Social"

Alternatives 2010 was a fantastic success! Over 1,100 people from across the US and from several other countries (Iceland, England, Spain and Costa Rica) participated in over 100 interactive workshops and caucuses and shared skills and ideas. Through numerous arts activities, people had the opportunity to express themselves and to enjoy the extraordinary talents our community has to offer. Most importantly, the conference provided many opportunities for people to connect with one another and explore common successes and struggles. Now that the conference is over, this page will be devoted to keeping up the momentum generated in Anaheim. Please check back frequently for updated information on the conference speakers, audio and video of presentations, as well as conference handouts.

We invite all Alternatives presenters who have not already done so to send their handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and websites with more information to

Please post your thoughts about your experiences at Alternatives, and how you’ve been able to follow up with the new ideas and community you experienced there. You may do this at the facebook page: Visit our Facebook page

Conference Evaluation

Please return the conference evaluation if you have not done so already. The form may be completed online at:

Report on Alternatives

Harvey Rosenthal from NYAPRS (New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services), wrote about the Alternatives Conference:

I’ve just returned from Alternatives 2010, “a national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers and survivors” that is aimed at offering “in-depth technical assistance on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods” in “a rich social, artistic, and healing environment.” The conference is sponsored by SAMHSA and has a long tradition of offering inspiration and information to thousands of Americans who have been interested in exploring the latest innovations and advances in mental health recovery and peer support. This year’s conference was organized by the National Empowerment Center and was another extraordinary success. This year’s conference was also particularly notable for the important controversies it stimulated. [Click here to read the full text of Harvey's report]

Some information on where to see Alternatives presenters:

Alternatives presenters Gayle Bluebird and Janet Paleo will be receiving Voice Awards presented in Hollywood, California by SAMHSA on Wednesday, October 13, 2010. There is no charge for attendance. The event celebrates consumer advocates who work tirelessly to promote the social inclusion of people with behavioral health problems and the real possibility of recovery as well as writers and producers.

Kevin Hines was featured on CBS Sunday Morning on October 3, 2010. See the video here:;photovideoo

Robert Whitaker’s future talks and link to his Alternatives talk:

More information on presenters at:

Alternatives Recordings Available:

CDs of the Alternatives conference workshops and institutes may be ordered online at:

Dove Cassettes -

Videotapes or DVD's of the Alternatives conference keynote and plenary sessions may be ordered online at:

PRO International - 
(Click on link in navigation for "Empowermentware")

Conference Program Available

Click to download the Conference Program (PDF, 1.27MB, 52 pages)

Alternatives 2010 is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration