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Upcoming Events

December 15 - 19, 2014

Intentional Peer Support Core Training

For over ten years, we have been training folks working in human services all over the world on why and how to build mutual relationships that are energizing, co-creative, and explorative. We are a trauma-informed approach that focuses on staying connected, paying attention to worldview, shifting from helping to learning, and above all, creating relationships that open up new ways of seeing, thinking, and doing. IPS is for people with lived experience using mental health services, for people practicing peer support, and for anyone working in human service roles who want to create more mutuality in their relationships.

You can explore more about IPS on our website: www.intentionalpeersupport.org and read testimonials from our trainings at www.intentionalpeersupport.org/testimonials.

Click here for the flyer

If you have any questions, please be in touch. We hope to see you and/or some of your staff soon!

October 14, 2014

STAR Center Community of Practice on Collaborative Leadership:
Featuring an Interview with Lauren Spiro

Time: 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET

Every day we are faced with opportunities to make a real difference in our communities. Do we offer our unique contribution or just keep it to ourselves?

Lauren’s Dialogues of Discovery model is a testament to the power of dialogue to transform consciousness and an invitation to explore topics such as: How to redefine who you are, how to fill the emptiness in your soul, and how to learn to forgive - ourselves as well as others who have harmed us. Lauren will discuss how to discover your vision of how you want the community or the world to be and what specific steps you can begin taking towards that vision.

This month’s Community of Practice features an interview with Lauren Spiro. Fueled by a vision of an America where every individual is respected and included as a valued member of the community, Lauren’s work focuses on developing our capacity for compassion, appreciating the vast creativity of the human mind, and building pathways so everyone may come home. She consults on several Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s contracts and her memoir, Living for Two: A Daughter’s Journey From Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace was published in 2014 . She has an M.A. in Clinical/Community Psychology. For more information see www.Laurenspiro.com.

Join the STAR Center Community of Practice on Collaborative Leadership and Action for a featured interview with Lauren Spiro to hear more about Lauren’s view of her own leadership style, her personal standards for leadership and how we can best support and develop leadership with each other.

October 10, 2014 at 2:00pm Eastern Time

Hearing Voices Training Webinar - A webinar by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The Hearing Voices Network (HVN) USA is one of over 20 nationally based networks around the world joined by shared goals and values, incorporating a fundamental belief that there are many ways to understand the experience of hearing voices and other unusual or extreme experiences. This webinar will be available to SAMHSA’s state/community stakeholders.

Goals of the Hearing Voices Network USA Include:

Raising awareness about voice hearing, visions and other unusual or extreme experiences

Supporting anyone who has had these experiences by providing opportunities to talk about them freely and without judgment

Supporting anyone who has had these experiences to explore, understand, learn and grow from them in their own way

Supporting individuals providing support, family, friends and the general community to broaden their understanding and ability to support individuals who have had these experiences

Presenters: Oryx Cohen, M.P.A., Director of the National Empowerment Center’s (NEC’s) Technical Assistance Center and Marty Hadge, a trainer for The Hearing Voices Network USA and Peer Facilitator for the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community.

Instructions for joining the October 10th webinar go to http://nasmhpd.adobeconnect.com/hearingvoices, and enter your name as a guest.

October 9-12, 2014

Mad in America's International Film Festival

Regent Theatre in Arlington, Massachusetts, USA. 

The Festival’s Mission

Our Film Festival’s mission is to foster the pursuit of social justice and human rights by bringing together an international collective of voices, perspectives, and artistic presentations that challenge the current mental health system and explore alternative understandings of “mental illness.”  We have confirmed speakers coming from across the United States, England, Iceland, Sweden, and Canada, all of whom share a commitment to rethinking psychiatry and the current mental health system, and to cultivating effective alternatives.  Film submissions have been coming in steadily, and we are growing a fantastic list of short, feature, foreign, and student films to be screened, as well as building a lineup of speakers and panels that will explore themes and ideas relevant to our mission.  Our event will be rooted in education and consciousness-raising, community building, and, of course, recreation and fun!

Program Highlights

In addition to films, we are pleased to be bringing Elizabeth Kenny’s highly acclaimed one-woman play, SICK, to our Festival, and we are hoping to secure a musical performance by an up-and-coming singer-songwriter who’s taking Ireland by storm with a new album he’s written in response to his discontent with conventional psychiatric care.  We’ll be welcoming everyone to the Festival on Thursday evening with an opening night cocktail party with fantastic food and a cash bar, and drawing our Festival to a close with a celebratory Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, with, again, fantastic food, a cash bar, live music, awards, and other festivities.

Tickets Now on Sale! Please visit www.madinamericainternationalfilmfestival.com

October 5-7, 2014


Seaside Civic & Convention Center
Seaside, Oregon

More information coming soon!

September 3 – 6, 2014

NARPA Seattle 2014

For more than 30 years, the National Association for Rights Protection & Advocacy (NARPA) has provided an educational conference with inspiring keynoters and outstanding workshops. We learn from each other and come together as a community committed to social justice for people with psychiatric labels & developmental disabilities.

DoubleTree Hotel - SeaTac Airport, Seattle, WA

Click here to view the call for proposals(PDF, 201KB, 2 pages).

Check www.narpa.org or e-mail narpa@aol.com for updates.

July 24 - 27, 2014

MindFreedom Conference Retreat on Choice in Mental Health

The Choice in Mental Health committee of MindFreedom International recognizes the need for alternatives and to build intentional communities. The conference invites people who are interested and have developed alternatives to the mental health system. The goal of the conference is to inspire and encourage more people to develop alternatives to the mental health system. The conference will focus on four themed groups: Drug-withdrawal programs, Peer-run respite programs, Open- Dialogue Based programs, and Soteria- like programs.

The goals for each workgroup are to help facilitate the creation and development of those alternatives—in particular allowing time for a rich dialogue to unfold among participants about the concrete details of opening and running each alternative. After the workgroup meetings conference participants will be invited to take part in a healing modality such as yoga, acupuncture, reiki, etc. Our Keynote Speakers will be Robert Whitaker and Mary Ellen Copeland.

MindFreedom Conference Retreat on Choice in Mental Health , 24 to 27 July 2014, at Wisdom House in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA. Registration includes everything: Conference fee, lodging and meals. Once slots are full, we will announce a waiting list.

Click here for details/registration form (PDF, 612KB, 4 pages)

June 13, 2014

Psychosis 2.0

New understandings and effective ways of working with and healing from psychosis. Features talks by Eleanor Longden, John Read, Will Hall, Keris Myrick, Michael Cornwall, and Rufus May.

Hart House
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Click here for a flyer

June 4, 2014

Webinar: Using Emotional CPR (eCPR) to Implement Systems Transformation

Person-centered planning requires a system-wide shift in communication, as well as adaptation of recovery-oriented, trauma-informed values. This webinar will provide administrators, managers, and providers of mental health services with essential communication tools needed to transform their systems to being recovery-based and empowerment focused. Presenters will share about the components of Emotional CPR (eCPR), a public health education program developed by people with lived experience of mental health recovery.

An understanding of eCPR skills and values can help stakeholders to develop and implement recovery supports for people who receive mental health services. eCPR skills can also be used to more effectively collaborate with service recipients and other stakeholders. Decision-makers will learn to embody the dialogical approach needed to transform behavioral healthcare systems from maintenance to recovery. Presenters will share how eCPR has impacted and improved community mental health systems.

Click here for instructions for joining the June 4th Webinar at 1:30 pm ET
No advance registration is needed.

Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD
Dan's life's purpose comes from his lived experience of recovery from schizophrenia, which inspired him to dedicate himself to helping others find their voice and recover. He earned an MD, and completed his residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has practiced as a board-certified, community psychiatrist for 30 years. In 1992, he co-founded the federally-funded National Empowerment Center and serves as its executive director. He was a commissioner on the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2002-03.

W. Reid Smithdeal, MSW, LCSW
Reid is the Recovery Services Manager for Meridian Behavioral Health Services where
he coordinates clinical services and serves on the Leadership Team providing oversight and support to a number of programs. He believes that services should be focused on “human need” rather than medical necessity and that “the system” often gets in the way of people recovering. These beliefs guide his advocacy efforts around systematic change. Reid Smithdeal received an AAS in Human Services Technology from Central Piedmont Community College, 2001; BSW from Appalachian State University, 2004; and MSW from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007.

Lauren Spiro, M.A.
Fueled by a vision of an America where every individual is respected and included as a valued member of the community, Lauren’s work focuses on developing our capacity for compassion, appreciating the vast creativity of the human mind, and building pathways so everyone may come home. A schizophrenia survivor, she is associate director of National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery and has an M.A. in clinical/community psychology. Her memoir, Living for Two: A Daughter’s Journey From Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace was just published. For more information see www.Laurenspiro.com.

June 2, 3, and 4, 2014

3-Day Hearing Voices Network Group Facilitator Training, sponsored by the Connecticut Hearing Voices Network

Spend three whole days with the experts from the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community learning to facilitate a Hearing Voices Network support Group. You do not have to be a Voice Hearer to be a Facilitator.

June 2, 3, and 4, 2014 - 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Connecticut Women's Consortium
2321 Whitney Ave., Hampden, CT

The Hearing Voices approach offers a non-pathologizing, open way of understanding and supporting people through the experience of hearing voices. It assumes that hearing voices (as well as seeing visions and other sensory experiences) can be a normal part of human experiences with a variety of meanings for people. Hearing Voices Support Groups are widely available throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Click here to view flyer for all events

May 29, 2014, 3:00 – 4:30 pm ET

Webinar - It Takes a Community: Learning Together about Tools and Strategies to Support People through Emotional Distress

There are many ways that community members can be equipped to provide an informed and compassionate approach to assist individuals facing mental health issues and to prevent potential crises. While most people want to be helpful, they often don't know how to offer effective assistance to others. We all struggle at times, whether due to depression, anxiety, and other mental health challenges, or simply the stresses and challenges of daily life. In these situations, the support of others can make a significant and meaningful difference. Having a supportive community and people to turn to can prevent unnecessary tragedies.

Presenters: Leah Harris, M.A., Lisbeth Riis Cooper, Tom Murray, Ph.D.

Click here for more information and to register.

May 22, 2014

Webinar: Emotional CPR (eCPR): A Trauma-Informed Approach

May 22, 2014, 1:00 – 2:30 pm EST
Click here to register: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/787636030

Trauma-informed approaches operate under the assumption that people who are experiencing emotional distress or emotional crisis have often experienced some form of trauma in their lives. The central question of a trauma-informed approach is not “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?” Sometimes individuals are not fully aware of the relationship between past traumas and their current struggles and eCPR provides an opportunity for asking such questions. As we develop a deeper understanding of the impact of trauma, we can work together to heal and move forward with our lives.

This webinar will examine the relationship between eCPR and trauma-informed approaches. Emotional CPR (eCPR) has fully incorporated trauma-informed approaches into every aspect of its mental health promotion efforts. eCPR may be used on both individual and community levels. When we incorporate the practice of eCPR into a community, we build resiliency, enhance the quality of all public health services, and at the same time help prevent the unnecessary use of costly services.

Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD: Dan’s life purpose comes from his lived experience of recovery from schizophrenia, which inspired him to dedicate himself to helping others find their voice and recover. He earned an MD, and completed his residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has practiced as a board-certified, community psychiatrist for 30 years. In 1992, he co-founded the federally-funded National Empowerment Center and serves as its executive director. He was a commissioner on the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, 2002-03.

Will Hall, MA, DiplPW, is a therapist, trainer, and community development worker whose recovery from a schizophrenia diagnosis has put him at the forefront of innovations in mental health care internationally. Host of the FM radio program Madness Radio and a longtime organizer with The Icarus Project, Will's writing has appeared in the Journal of Best Practices in Mental Health Care and in Oxford University Press's Modern Community Mental Health Work: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Will has been widely featured in the media, including the New York Times, Forbes, and Newsweek magazine. Will is co-founder of the training organization www.PracticeRecovery.com, and has a certificate in Open Dialogue from the Institute for Dialogic Practice. More info at www.willhall.net.

Lauren Spiro, MA: Fueled by a vision of an America where every individual is respected and included as a valued member of the community, Lauren’s work focuses on developing our capacity for compassion, appreciating the vast creativity of the human mind, and building pathways so everyone may come home. A schizophrenia survivor, Lauren currently consults on several Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s contracts and has been featured on two television shows. She is an artist and holds a M.A. in Clinical/Community Psychology. Her memoir, Living for Two:  A Daughter’s Journey From Grief and Madness to Forgiveness and Peace was published in March, 2014. For more information see www.LaurenSpiro.com.

May 19 & 20, 2014

30th Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability and Diversity

Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

For more information email prinfo@hawaii.edu, or call 808 956-7539. Please visit our website at www.pacrim.hawaii.edu for more information.

May 17, 2014

Pacific Rim International Forum on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii

For more information email prinfo@hawaii.edu, or call 808 956-7539. Please visit our website at www.pacrim.hawaii.edu for more information.

May 14, 15, and 16, 2014 - Two Locations (see also June 2, 3, and 4, 2014)

3-Day Hearing Voices Network Group Facilitator Training, sponsored by the Connecticut Hearing Voices Network

Spend three whole days with the experts from the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community learning to facilitate a Hearing Voices Network support Group. You do not have to be a Voice Hearer to be a Facilitator.

May 14, 15, and 16, 2014 - 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Greater Bridgeport Community Mental Health Center
1635 Central Ave., Bridgeport, CT

The Hearing Voices approach offers a non-pathologizing, open way of understanding and supporting people through the experience of hearing voices. It assumes that hearing voices (as well as seeing visions and other sensory experiences) can be a normal part of human experiences with a variety of meanings for people. Hearing Voices Support Groups are widely available throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Click here to view flyer for all events

May 9, 2014

Webinar: Peer Supports: What Exactly Does That Mean?

May 9, 2:00 to 3:30 PM EST

The world of Peer Support continues to expand. This webinar will provide consumers, administrators, managers and providers with an historical look at Peer Supports, examples of successful Peer Support implementation, and the latest communication from CMS regarding Medicaid reimbursement of these important supports. Presenters will cover the topics of Adult Peer Supports, Youth Peer Supports, and Family Peer Supports.

Participants will gain a greater understanding of the role Peer Support providers can play in addressing the growing need for an expanded mental health workforce. By tapping into this emerging, non-traditional pool, organizations can greatly enhance both the quality and volume of services and supports that are provided within their community. Presenters will share indicators that demonstrate that individuals often cite a greater level of comfort and higher satisfaction when Peer Support providers are involved in the supports and services received.

Presenters: Mental Health America, Youth Move, National Federation of Families

Click here for instructions for joining the May 9th webinar

May 7 Through July 7, 2014

Expanding Behavioral Health Community-Based Crisis Response Systems: A Webinar Series

SAMHSA is pleased to announce the upcoming series of 6 webinars on how to expand community-based crisis response services and systems beginning May 7, 2014 and running every two weeks through July 15. These webinars will describe new and emerging crisis response practices across a continuum of need that includes pre-crisis planning, early intervention, crisis stabilization, and post-crisis support. In addition, the webinar series will explore the types of outcomes sought for different approaches, how these approaches are financed, and provide State and local examples. Registration is free. Click here for detailed information.

May 6, 2014

Developing Your Personal Story of Mental Health Recovery

This 1-hour webinar focuses on crafting an engaging well-balanced personal narrative about mental health challenges through demonstration of essential elements with examples from recorded presentations. For additional information on this presentation, click here.

When - Tuesday, May 6th, 2014, From 10:00-11:00am PDT

Patrick Michaels: Assistant Research Director for Resource Development, The Center for Dignity, Recovery, and Empowerment

Malia Javier Fontecchio: Stigma Discrimination Reduction Program Coordinator at Project Return Peer Support Network

David Castro: Central Valley Stigma Discrimination Reduction Consultant

For more information on our presenters, click here.
Click here to register

May 4, 2014

National Mental Health & Dignity Day

We at the National Empowerment Center endorse National Mental Health & Dignity Day, a peaceful social justice movement that is the culmination of decades of fighting for an end to prejudice and discrimination against people who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. By proclaiming May 4th National Mental Health & Dignity Day, the goal of this movement is to achieve equality under the law, the right of all individuals to choose their own paths to wellness and recovery, and the right to be the architects of their own destinies. We stand with this movement for social justice, on the shoulders of giants, in the struggle to end all civil rights violations. We join with them in their efforts to help create a different future for individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses, and pay homage to the millions who have gone before. On May 4th, groups in California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Washington DC, will hold events in their communities to celebrate wellness and recovery, and to raise their voices and demand that all individuals are treated as equal members of society. Together, we are strong.

To learn more about this effort visit their website: www.mentalhealthdignityday.org where you will find links to their social media, promotional video, national press release and fundraising campaign.

May 1, 2014

Expanding Your Social Media Presence

Brought to you FREE by the National Empowerment Center's Technical Assistance Center
DATE: Thursday, May 1, 1:00 - 2:30 PM EST (10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PST)
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/951210686

Description: Are you already blogging or using tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, but wonder how you can use social media more efficiently to reach more people? What are some ways to develop a social media strategy, and how do you measure your effectiveness over time? These and other questions will be addressed in this webinar featuring the award-winning PEERS media team. Whether you're looking to expand your own social media presence or that of your peer-run organization or project, this webinar is for you. At 2:15 PM EST/11:15 AM PST we will conclude the presentations/Q&A, and invite you to join a real-time Tweet chat to practice skills to increase your effectiveness on Twitter. We invite you in advance of the webinar to create a Twitter account if you do not already have one. You can use the hashtag #peerschat on Twitter at 2:15 PM EST/11:15 AM PST to participate in the chat.

Note: This is not an "introduction to social media" webinar, but all skills and experience levels are welcome. To access NEC's 2012 introductory webinar on social media, visit www.power2u.org/information-technology.html

Presenters from the PEERS Media Team:

Jenee Darden, Web Content and PR Specialist
Shannon Eliot, Communications Manager
Sherman Park, Video Production Specialist
Kelechi Ubozoh, Statewide Project Coordinator

Visit www.peersnet.org/staff to see their full biographies.

April 29, 2014

STAR Center Community of Practice on Facilitative Leadership and Collaborative Action

April 29, 2014, 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET
Register Now!

Facilitator: Chacku Mathai, CPRP, STAR Center Director

Description: The STAR Center Community of Practice on Facilitative Leadership and Collaboration is for you, if you are involved in mental health systems transformation at any level and you are interested in taking your community organizing and leadership skills to the next level.

Learning objectives:

  • Define principles and factors that make collaboration work
  • Discuss facilitative leadership skills and approaches
  • Determine opportunities and challenges for collaborative action across communities

What is a Community of Practice? Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly. ~ Etienne Wenger-Trayner

The STAR Center Community of Practice involves:

  • Open monthly web-conference presentation
  • Dialogue and experience sharing between participants
  • Optional homework and practical application exercises
  • Mentoring and network development

Join the STAR Center Community of Practice on Facilitative Leadership and Collaborative Action!

April 24, 2014

Successful Crowdfunding: Tips, Tricks and Lessons Learned

Brought to you FREE by the National Empowerment Center's Technical Assistance Center
Thursday, April 24, 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST (12:00 - 1:30 PM PST)
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/532584974

The Crowdfunding Industry Report by Massolution put out data showing the overall crowdfunding industry raised $2.7 billion in 2012, across more than 1 million individual campaigns globally. How can persons with lived experience and peer-run organizations leverage crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and GoFundMe to raise funds for a variety of peer support, arts, and social change projects? Representatives from three successfully funded Kickstarter campaigns will share their lessons learned as to how to get the most out of crowdfunding efforts. These include: crafting an effective fundraising video, leveraging social media and other linkages to raise awareness of the campaign, and crafting a sustainable and achievable rewards program for campaign backers.


Oryx Cohen, NEC's Technical Assistance Center Director, was involved in a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $22,000 to produce a film about the Hearing Voices movement entitled "Healing Voices."

Leah Harris, NEC's Director of Communications and Development, was involved in a Kickstarter campaign for Madness Radio, a monthly podcast featuring alternative views on mental health, that successfully raised over $23,000.

Dese’Rae Stage is a photographer, writer, and suicide awareness advocate who created a Kickstarter campaign for Live Through This, a series of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors, raising nearly $23,000.

April 24, 2014


All day April 24th

It's easy. To get started, send a text to "start" at 89800. Talk in groups of 4-5 people about the issues presented. Then Act - Be part of the change!

What is this? Across the country, people will get together for one-hour, small conversations on mental health. Each group will have polling questions, discussion topics & facilitation suggestions delivered to them via text message.

Why do it? Mental health is one of the most critical and misunderstood public issues we face. Let's have a candid dialogue to think about actions we can each take to strengthen mental health on our campuses & our communities.


Sign up now! www.bit.ly/texttalkact

APRIL 23, 2014

Accepting, Liberating and Sharing the Voice Hearing Experience

WEDNESDAY APRIL 23, 2014, 10 AM- 4 PM

Association for Research and Enlightenment of New York (ARE)
241 West 30th Street (Between 7th & 8th Ave) 2nd Floor
New York, NY

This workshop, led by Ron Coleman and Karen Taylor of Working to Recovery, looks at the practice of working with and talking to voices, using the techniques developed in self help hearing voices groups by pioneers like Ron Coleman, Prof. Marius Romme, Rufus May, Eleanor Longden and Dr. Dirk Corstens, who used the Stones theory of voice dialoguing as an explanation and theory behind the techniques.

Click here to view flyer (PDF, 22KB, 2 pages)

Dan FisherApril 4, 2014

First Fridays with BRSS TACS

On-Call Technical Assistance Office Hours with Leaders in the Recovery Field

First Fridays with BRSS TACS is an opportunity for participants to meet with nationally recognized leaders to discuss specific recovery related topics each month. Participants join by calling the phone number provided and entering the "Adobe Connect Room" online by clicking the link provided.

Questions and comments will be moderated by a BRSS TACS team member.

Join us on Friday April 4, 2014 to speak with Dan Fisher from the National Empowerment Center

Topic: Hiring Persons with Lived Experience within the Behavioral Healthcare System
Who: Dan Fisher
Date: Friday April 4, 2014
Time: Noon-1 p.m. ET
Call-in #: 888-407-5039 (PIN 556-82-342)
About Dan Fisher: www.power2u.org/who.html#DanielFisher

April 1, 2, and 3, 2014 - Three locations

Introduction to the Hearing Voices Approach, sponsored by the Conneticut Hearing Voices Network

Spend 3 hours with the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community to find out how the support group works and why.

April 1, Noon - 3:00 PM
Southeastern Mental Health Authority
401 W. Thames St. Norwich, CT

April 2, Noon - 3:00 PM
F.S. DuBois Center
780 Summer St., Stamford, CT

April 3, 1:00 - 4:00 PM
Prime Time House
836 Main St., Torrington, CT

The Hearing Voices approach offers a non-pathologizing, open way of understanding and supporting people through the experience of hearing voices. It assumes that hearing voices (as well as seeing visions and other sensory experiences) can be a normal part of human experiences with a variety of meanings for people. Hearing Voices Support Groups are widely available throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Click here to view flyer for all events

March 25, 2014

Conneticut Hearing Voices Network Kick Off Event

The Hearing Voices approach offers a non-pathologizing, open way of understanding and supporting people through the experience of hearing voices. It assumes that hearing voices (as well as seeing visions and other sensory experiences) can be a normal part of human experiences with a variety of meanings for people. Hearing Voices Support Groups are widely available throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.

Reception starts at 5:30 with refreshments, videos and lots of networking, followed by a
presentation at 7:30 by Peter Bullimore, an internationally recognized speaker and trainer from Great Britain.

Location: Real Art Ways, 56 Arbour St., Hartford, CT - March 25, 2014, 5:30 - 9:00 PM
No registration is required

Who is invited? Voice Hearers, Clinicians, the Public, and definitely Family Members.

Details for the following related events are listed by date below:

Introduction to the Hearing Voices Approach

April 1 at Norwich CT,
April 2 at Stamford CT,
April 11th at Trorrington CT.

3-Day Hearing Voices Network Group Facilitator Training

May 14, 15, and 16 at Bridgeport CT,
June 2, 3, and 4 at Hamden CT.

Click here to view flyer for all events

March 7-8, 2014

Second Annual Tools for Change Conference

Don’t miss the 2nd annual Tools for Change conference March 7-8 in beautiful San Francisco! This year, Tools For Change brings stigma changing strategies related to mental health challenges, and will feature former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher as the keynote speaker.

To register, click here - http://dignityandrecoverycenter.org/toolsforchange2014/tools-for-change-2014-conference-2

February 25, 2014

Girls Matter! Webinar Series on Teen Girl Behavioral Health

On Tuesday, February 25, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) kicks off Girls Matter! a webinar series addressing adolescent girls’ behavioral health. The six-part series features national experts discussing research, best practices, and critical thinking on the topics that professionals working with girls and young women must know. Join us on February 25 for Growing Up Girl: Adolescent Development and the Unique Issues Facing Girls for a special look at adolescent girls—risks they face, emerging opportunities, and ways to support their healthy development. Get full details, sign up for updates, and register at http://tinyurl.com/girlsmatter2014.

February 21, 2014

4th Annual Consumer/Survivor Visionary Leadership Teleconference

Friday, February 21, 2014
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST/11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST

Call-in information: 866-554-6142, pin 803-6957977#

Click here for speaker information (PDF, 93KB, 1 page)

January 14-17, 2014

PA Adult Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plan - Regional Webinar Listening Forums

The Pennsylvania Adult and Older Adult Suicide Prevention Coalition, through funding from the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is revising the PA Adult and Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plans. A statewide advisory committee is being formed to rewrite the plans. To insure broad stakeholder input from across the state, 4 (four) regional listening forums will be held in January of 2014 to solicit input into the plans. The forums will be conducted by webinar and will include a brief overview of the current PA suicide prevention goals as well as an overview of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Structured questions will then be provided to the audience for input and discussion. The current Pa Adult and Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plans are available on www.parecovery.org under the state initiatives drop down box. Individuals that wish to comment on the plans should be familiar with these documents.

The Coalition strongly encourages representation from the following groups:

  • Community Support Program Committees
  • County Suicide Prevention Taskforces
  • Veterans and military personnel
  • Area Agencies on Aging, and older adults
  • Mental health and drug and alcohol providers
  • Suicide attempters and suicide survivors
  • Persons in recovery
  • LGBTQI representatives
  • Health professionals
  • State and local police
  • Correctional facilities/jails
  • Emergency services, crisis hotlines, etc.
  • Coroners
  • All others interested in the issue of suicide prevention

The four regional listening forums were scheduled as follows:

    Central Region - January 14, 2014 10:00 am-12:00 pm
    Northeast Region - January 15, 2014 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
    Western Region - January 16, 2014 10:00 am-12:00 pm
    Southeast Region - January 17, 2014 10:00 am-12:00 pm

December 4 - 7, 2013

Alternatives 2013 - Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice

Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas
Wednesday, December 4, to Saturday, December 7, 2013

November 1-3, 2013 - Greensboro, North Carolina

16th Annual Conference of the International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry, Inc. (IAEPP)

Rethinking Mental Health Care For Children & Adolescents:
Evidence-Based and Expericece-Based Alternatives to the Medical Model

Embassy Suites Greensboro Airport - 1-800-362-2779. Special Rate $115/Night, Includes full breakfast.
Call for Papers and Early Registration Discounts
Visit www.psychintegrity.org | Download our 2013 Conference Flyer

In Partnership with The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care
An Exploration of Hope, Healing, and Human Spirit

November 20 + 21, 2013
NEW FILM: Beyond the Medical Model

Beyond the Medical Model is a 67-minute film by the Western Mass RLC (in collaboration with Digital Eyes Film) examining the impact of a one-model system that has been written so inextricably into our law and language that it has become difficult for many to hear the evidence supporting a much broader take on what we so often call ‘mental illness.’

The film features many voices from our own community sharing parts of their stories, as well as those who share from a worldview perspective including: Jacqui Dillon, Ruta Mazelis, Will Hall, Maria Tarajano Rodman, Gail Hornstein, Richard Shulman, Daniel Mackler, Robert Whitaker.

Wednesday, November 20th, 4pm to 6:30pm

Springfield Technical Community College, Scibelli Hall (Building 2), Room 701/702

Thursday, November 21st, 2pm to 4:30pm

Advocates: 1881 Worcester Road, Framingham
(American Sign Language Interpreters scheduled for this screening)

Each of the two screenings included a dialogue led by Robert Whitaker and others featured in the film. Click here for more information.

November 20, 2013

Confronting Stigma - A public lecture by Dr. Otto Wahl

People with mental illness often bear a double burden—the illness itself and the judgments other people make about them because of their disorder. Otto Wahl, a national authority on mental illness stigma, will lead an “Open Mind Forum”

Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 pm Hooker Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College

Free and open to the public

Wahl will discuss the nature and consequences of the misunderstandings, disrespect, and discrimination people with psychiatric disorders often encounter, focusing on how they cope with and challenge those attitudes. He will also describe current efforts by mental-health professionals and advocates to reduce the stigma of mental illness.

His talk will be followed by a panel comprising Erica DeBlase, clinician and outreach coordinator for the MHC Counseling Service; Marty Hadge, community bridger, Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community; Allison Jacobs ’14, president of Active Minds; and Carol Magrone of the family and friends support group of NAMI of Western Massachusetts.

An open community dialogue will conclude the event.

More info at www.mtholyoke.edu/media/forum-address-stigma-mental-illness

October 4-6, 2013 - New Brunswick, NJ

ISPS-US Fourteenth Annual Meeting:

What’s in a Name? Emerging Perspectives on the Intersection of “Schizophrenia” and “Recovery”

At the Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick, NJ
Jointly sponsored by the Lifespan Learning Institute; Hosted by ISPS-US New Jersey Branch
Pre-Conference Training Institute: September 30 - October 3, 2013
Pre-Conference Intensive Workshop: October 4, 2013

Keynote Speaker: Debra Lampshire
Experience-based expert, Senior Tutor at the University of Auckland,and Project Manager for Auckland District Health Board in New Zealand

Honorees: Marius Romme, MD, PhD and Sandra Escher, MPhil, PhD
Researchers, authors, founders of the international Hearing Voices Movement

Website - http://isps-us.org/isps-us_events.html

September 26-28, 2013 - Hartford, CT

The National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

For more information, visit the website at http://www.narpa.org
Contact NARPA at narpa@aol.com or (256) 650-6311.

September 19-20, 2013 - Freeport, Maine

The Rx Generation: Alternatives to the Use of Psychiatric Medications with Children

Join this two-day event as we explore the skyrocketing trend of prescribing psychotropic drugs for children and adolescents. We'll hear about viable alternatives and the skills and resources needed to support these alternatives.

National speakers include:

  • Robert Whitaker - Author of Anatomy of an Epidemic
  • Jacqueline Sparks, PhD - Associate Professor of Family Therapy University of Rhode Island
  • Steve Balt, MD - Editor-in-Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report
  • John Abramson, MD - Author of Overdosed in America
  • Giovan Bazan - National Speaker and Youth Advocate
  • Barry Duncan, PsyD - Director, Heart and Soul of Change Project

Save the Date! Thursday and Friday, September 19-20, 2013 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport, Maine

July 7-14, 2013 ... Wordwide!


MindFreedom's newest Mad Pride initiative, CREATIVE MALADJUSTMENT WEEK is scheduled for July 7-July 14, we'll be celebrating the folks Martin Luther King Jr. called "the salvation of the world" -- the critical thinkers, the disciplined non-conformists, the CREATIVELY MALADJUSTED. Whether you're an individual, a small group of nonconformists, or a large organization, we've got tons of materials and ideas for ways you show your MALADJUSTMENT in our new booklet, "How YOU Can Celebrate Creative Maladjustment Week!" (PDF) Download it on the Creative Maladjustment website, and start planning your July events now!

(And be sure to let us know what you've got planned! Remember, WE ARE OUR OWN MEDIA! It's up to US to tell the world about our maladjustment!) | Read more...

As part of the preparations for Creative Maladjustment Week...
We hope you'll visit the Facebook Causes page we've created and pledge whatever you can to make this once-in-a-lifetime celebration happen in cities across the globe! | Read more...

June 20 and June 21, 2013 - Free Workshop(s)

Withdrawing from Medication - Two Workshops
Facilitated by David Cohen, PhD

On Thursday, June 20th 12:00 to 2:00 pm

An abbreviated (two-hour) version of the Withdrawing from Medication workshop (see below)

Advocates, Inc., 1881 Worcester Road, Framingham
Co-sponsored with Advocates, Inc.
ASL interpreters will be available for the Framingham workshop

On Friday, June 21st, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Withdrawing from Medication workshop

Presented by the Western Mass RLC for Clinicians, Peer Supporters & Community

Holyoke Community College
Kittredge Center, 303 Homestead Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040

This three-hour workshop will cover a number of topics related to supporting people who are choosing to withdraw from psychiatric medication. It will include discussion of relative lack of information available on the process of withdrawal, common experiences for people who are stopping their medications, and steps for supporting someone through this process.

About David Cohen: David is the Principal Investigator on the Critical Skills Curriculum on Psychotropic Medications Project (www.criticalthinkrx.org) and a Professor of Social Work at Florida International University where he teaches courses on psychopathology, psychopharmacology, and research methods. He is also co-author of Your Drug May Be Your Problem (2nd revised edition, 2007) and co-editor of Critical New Perspectives on ADHD (2006), as well as many articles and book chapters on a variety of related topics in both English and French languages.

We are in the process of applying for Continuing Education Credits for LCSW, LMFT and LMHCs. Registration is not required, but is encouraged. Call (413) 539-5941 x 301 or e-mailing info@westernmassrlc.org.

June 8, 2013

From Powerlessness To Engagement

With Will Hall, MA, Dipl. PW

Process Work Institute
2049 NW Hoyt St., Portland Oregon

CEU’s available for this class through the NASW

For additional info, contact: pwi@processwork.org or call (503) 223-8188

Click here to download flier (PDF)

Suicidal feelings are more common than we realize. Not a symptom of disease, the urge to die is often a desperate need for change conflicting with an overwhelming sense of powerlessness. How can we support others – and respond to these feelings in ourselves?

Discover latest research, hear about innovative practices, and learn useful tools. Clinicians, students, people who have struggled with suicidal feelings, and family/friends are welcome. Co-sponsored by Portland Hearing Voices.

Will Hall MA, DiplPW, is an internationally recognized therapist and mental diversity trainer who has himself recovered from a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Host of Madness Radio and founder of Portland Hearing Voices, Will’s writing has appeared in the Journal of Best Practices in Mental Health and Modern Community Mental Health Work: An Interdisciplinary Approach(Oxford Press). www.willhall.net

May 23, 2013 - FREE WEBINAR

Building Blocks of Peers & Employment:
Individuals with a History of Criminal Justice System Engagement

First in a Three-Part Series

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013, 11:00am-12:30pm PST., 2:00pm-3:30pm EST

Peers with a background of criminal justice system engagement generally deal with challenges even greater than the challenges that often confront all peers when seeking employment. PeerLink's first in a series of three webinars dealing with employment-related issues for peers will focus on peers who have a criminal justice system engagement history.

The webinar will cover three primary topic areas:

  • A realistic assessment of the barriers and challenges which individuals who have a criminal justice system engagement history confront when attempting to, post-incarceration, enter the workforce either for the first time or to reenter it following incarceration;
  • Useful real-world strategies and approaches to effectively address the unique barriers and challenges faced by individuals with a criminal justice system history, including the considerations associated with the question of disclosure of that history; and
  • Details of different resources, including reference and information materials available on-line as well as community-based agencies or organizations having a nationwide presence, to access for further information on the webinar topic including a detailing of the specific types of information or services available from each.

    Additional info at www.peerlinktac.org/events

April 20-27, 2013 - New York City, NY

Beyond the Medical Model... New Visions of Psychosis

With Will Hall, Krista Mackinnon, Dr. Nazlim Hagmann, and Rebecca Ross

Transform extreme states using relationships and communication. A training series for professionals, families, people with experience of extreme states, and advocates.

  • Working With Hope: From Despair To Engagement
    Will Hall & Krista Mackinnon April 20th: 9:30 - 4:30
  • Families, Professionals, and Psychosis: Overcoming Power Struggles
    Will Hall & Krista Mackinnon April 21st: 9:30 - 4:30
  • Withdrawing from Psychiatric Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach
    Will Hall, Dr. Nazlim Hagmann, & Rebecca Ross April 27th: 9:30 - 4:30

More info: www.willhall.net/classes

April 9, 2013 - Free Webinar

Emotional CPR: Saving Lives, Healing Communities (Free Webinar)

Emotional CPR (eCPR) is a public health education program designed to teach people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, and R = Revitalizing. People who have been through the training consistently report that the skills they learned have helped them communicate better in all their relationships. They tell us that eCPR is a way of life. Presenters will use real life stories to explore how eCPR is healing communities, including:

  • How eCPR is being incorporated into diverse cultures and communities across the U.S. and overseas
  • How eCPR is being used to heal trauma and intergenerational violence
  • How eCPR is an effective suicide prevention approach
  • How eCPR is useful for law enforcement/public safety personnel

Click here for a flyer with presenter information (PDF, 83KB, 2 pages)
Click here to watch this informative webinar from 2012 which describes the fundamental concepts of Emotional CPR.

March 15, 2013

The 3rd Annual Consumer/Survivor Visionary Leadership Teleconference

March 15, 2013 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET / 12:30pm – 1:30pm PT
Hosted by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery
Click here for presenter information (PDF, 91K, 1 page)

March 6, 2013

The Open Mind Forum Presents:

Do I Need a Pill for This? Growing up in the Age of Psychiatric Medications

A public lecture by Katherine Sharpe followed by a panel discussion and open community dialogue.

To a degree unimaginable just 20 years ago, many American children, teens, and young adults use antidepressants, ADHD medications, or other psychiatric drugs as a routine part of their lives. What does it feel like to "come of age" on psychiatric medication? How have these medications changed the ways we understand ourselves and the world—whether we take them or not? What new challenges does the culture of medication pose to our collective search for mental health? How does it affect our lives on campus?

Katherine Sharpe is the author of the highly-praised Coming of Age on Zoloft (Harper Perennial, 2012). Sharpe has degrees in English literature from Reed College and Cornell University. A freelance journalist, she lives in Berkeley, CA.

Wednesday, March 6, 7:30 PM
Hooker Auditorium
Mount Holyoke College

Sponsored by the Office of the President and the Department of Psychology & Education, Mount Holyoke College and the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, Holyoke, MA

October 21, 2012

Understanding Psychiatric Medications: A Harm Reduction Approach
With Will Hall MA, Dipl PW

Process Work Institute
2049 NW Hoyt St. Portland, OR 97209
Sunday, October 21, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

How can anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, and other drugs be used wisely? What are the risks and benefits? How can we collaborate effectively with prescribers? What about reducing and withdrawing from medications? Come learn a pragmatic harm reduction approach that is neither pro- nor anti- medication, but instead is based on mental diversity. Everyone is welcome: professionals, survivors, students, family, and anyone taking or not taking medications.

Will Hall, MA, DiplPW, is a therapist who has himself recovered from a diagnosis of schizophrenia and now teaches internationally. Director of Portland Hearing Voices and host of KBOO’s Madness Radio, Will has written in the Journal of Best Practices in Mental Healthand in the upcoming Oxford University Press Modern Community Mental Health Work. He is author of the Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs, used widely in the peer recovery movement. http://www.willhall.net.

Co-Sponsored by: Process Work Institute, Portland Hearing Voices, and Mental Health Association of Portland.
For more information: www.processwork.org and www.portlandhearingvoices.net. (503) 223-8188

October 10-14, 2012

Alternatives 2012 - Honoring Our History, Building Our Future

Peerlink National Technical Assistance Center announces the 26th annual Alternatives Conference, the oldest national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors, was held at:

Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
1401 SW Naito Parkway
Portland, OR 97201

October 6, 2012, 12:00 PM

Human Rights In Mental Health Rally at the UN Headquarters

On October 6th, 2012, in New York City, supporters of human rights in psychiatry will gather for a human rights in mental health systems rally and a protest against forced and coercive treatment. This rally involves some of the most influential voices in the psychiatric survivor’s movement and those working to enact protective legislation. Additionally, activists from the Mad Pride and mental diversity movements will be celebrating the humanity and potential of those frequently labeled and mistreated in the psychiatric industry. For general information on this event, or to discuss scheduling an interview with speakers, please contact: Daniel Hazen, danhazeus@yahoo.com. For more information, see: Occupy Psychiatry: http://www.occupypsychiatry.net/OccupyAPANYC2012/OccupyAPANewYorkCity2012.htm
Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/417279764959510/

September 25-27, 2012 - Glens Falls, NY

Hearing Voices Facilitator Training with Jacqui Dillon

Voices of the Heart is excited to announce the opportunity to become a participant of the upcoming “Starting Hearing Voices Groups” Training. Hearing Voices Groups originated in Europe and now there are over 160 chartered groups in England alone. Hearing Voices Groups do not pathologize hearing voices or other altered experiences, instead, group members explore these phenomena in an environment of mutual support and curiosity. There is an emerging body of evidence to support the effectiveness of Hearing Voices Groups. They offer people who hear voices the opportunity to share their experience and find ways of coping with this experience, which can be complementary to other support methods. Please join Trainer Jacqui Dillon, a voice hearer and the chair of the Hearing Voices Network in England.

Click here for more information (PDF, 126KB, 2 pages)

September 19-21, 2012

25th Anniversary Intervoice & World Hearing Voices Congress

Working to Recovery, Asylum Associates and Hearing Voices Network Cymru in conjunction with Intervoice Presents

The Hearing Voices Network 25 Years On:
Learning from the PAST, Practicing in the PRESENT, Visioning the FUTURE

19th, 20th & 21st September 2012 in Cardiff, Wales, UK
For more information please visit www.intervoiceonline.org

September 6-8, 2012

National Peer Specialist Conference, Sept., 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia, PA.
Recovery Revolution Part II

The 6th Annual National Peer Specialist Conference has some unique benefits for those involved in providing peer support services. In addition to extraordinary keynote presentations, workshops, and awards, two forums of national significance to those who provide peer support services are planned about establishing professional standards and the national certification of peer specialists....

6 Keynote/plenary presentations
5 Special awards honor leaders promoting the peer specialist profession
24 Interactive workshops
8 Previews of Recovery to Practice curriculum
2 Forums about professional practice standards / national certification

Keynote Presenters:

Joseph Rogers, Executive Director, National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and Chief Advocacy Officer, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania will give a historical perspective and overview of Peer Support.

Wilma Townsend, Acting Director of Consumer Affairs for SAMHSA, will give an overview of the Recovery to Practice project and what it means to the peer specialist profession.

Daniel O’Brien-Mazza, National Director of Peer Support Services will talk about Peer Support in the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Click here for more information

September 6-8, 2012

National Peer Specialist Conference, Sept., 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia, PA.
Recovery Revolution Part II

The 6th Annual National Peer Specialist Conference has some unique benefits for those involved in providing peer support services. In addition to extraordinary keynote presentations, workshops, and awards, two forums of national significance to those who provide peer support services are planned about establishing professional standards and the national certification of peer specialists....

6 Keynote/plenary presentations
5 Special awards honor leaders promoting the peer specialist profession
24 Interactive workshops
8 Previews of Recovery to Practice curriculum
2 Forums about professional practice standards / national certification

Keynote Presenters:

Joseph Rogers, Executive Director, National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and Chief Advocacy Officer, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania will give a historical perspective and overview of Peer Support.

Wilma Townsend, Acting Director of Consumer Affairs for SAMHSA, will give an overview of the Recovery to Practice project and what it means to the peer specialist profession.

Daniel O’Brien-Mazza, National Director of Peer Support Services will talk about Peer Support in the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Click here for more information

July 19, 2012

"Peer Specialists in NY City" Conference

New York University – Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South - New York, NY 10012

Please join us at the Sixth Annual New York City Peer Specialist Conference, to hear from your colleagues who
have been part of the Redesign and others who are re-defining recovery in their work and in their lives. It will be a day to look at where we are now and what the future might hold for Peer Specialists working in New York City.

Click here for more information.

July 12, 2012

The National Empowerment Center's Twentieth Anniversary!

Thanks to the many people that joined us to help celebrate two decades of the National Empowerment Center spreading the message of recovery, empowerment and hope.

Place: Boston University, Photonics Building, Room 206

5:00 pm - Opening reception/refreshments
6:15 – Welcome, short talks on NEC history and celebration
7:00 Sick, a play written and performed by Elizabeth Kenny
8:15 -8:45 pm Socializing and conclusion

Whether or not you can attend, your donations are welcome.
Click here to contribute to the work of NEC.

About “Sick”:

Elizabeth Kenny was a healthy thirty-two year-old woman who went to the doctor for a common ailment. A year and a half later, she was being escorted by hospital orderlies to a coffee shop along with the rest of the level 5 patients from the psych ward. “Sick” explores a patient’s two-year odyssey inside the most advanced healthcare system in the world — an odyssey that almost killed her. It investigates how treatment by well-meaning practitioners for a common gynecological issue plunged her into a downward spiral through the complex medical and mental health establishments.


June 13, 2012

Hospital Diversion Services: Developing a Peer-Respite/Diversion Service in Your Area

Join us for free a Webinar on Wednesday, June 13, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/424066310
Registration will close at 5 pm on Tuesday, June 12.

Peer-operated hospital diversion services are designed to alleviate one’s emotional distress in a home-like safe and secure environment. Guests may freely share their distress and discuss their “story” in a judgment-free environment. These programs offer a rich choice of activities that attract personal interest and support opportunities to learn about tools that will assist in alleviating crisis. 

Are you interested in starting a hospital-diversion service or peer-run respite in your area? Based on the experience of Rose House, the work of PEOPLe, Inc., and the support of Optum Health, a new manual is now available for people interested in starting peer-run hospital diversion services. 

Steve Miccio, author of this manual, will present the key concepts in the manual, followed by an opportunity for questions and discussion. 

The manual is available here: 
http://www.power2u.org/downloads/OH-Hospital-Diversion-Manual.pdf (PDF, 1.11MB, 56 pages)

About the presenter: Steve Miccio is the Executive Director of PEOPLe, Inc., a peer-run organization in NY. Steve is considered an expert in peer operated diversion services and emergency service design. PEOPLe, Inc. has been delivering diversion services for the past 12 years and advocacy services for over 22 years.

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

June 6-8, 2012

Coming off Psychiatric Drugs: A Harm Reduction Approach

Facilitated by Will Hall & Oryx Cohen
To be filmed by Daniel Mackler
Hosted by Voices of the Heart
June 6-8, 2012, Glens Falls NY - from 9:00 am- 4:30 pm

Please join VOH for this three day training
Training Covers:

  • Going off and reducing meds, and developing medication alternatives.
  • Using a Harm Reduction Perspective.
  • Recovery and Person Centered education framework for understanding medications, risks and benefits.
  • Collaborative Education Approaches
  • Skill Building for medication empowerment and optimization in peer support and clinical settings.
  • How can we learn to reduce and come off medications safely?
  • What do we do about the lack of support from doctors and mental health providers.
  • Based on more than 10 years of peer and professional experience, the training will prepare people to support people reducing and coming off medications responsibly and safely.
  • This training is not medical advice but offers education to make informed medication decisions.

There has already been a high degree of interest in the training and spaces are limited. As a result, we are asking people to apply to do the training and we have set areas of priority, which we will use when selecting participants.

Please download the flyer which includes an application. Applicatioins due by Tuesday May 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Flyer/Application (PDF, 2.25MB, 3 pages)

May 11, 2012

NEC Technical Assistance Center Presents a Webinar

So You Want to Start a Peer-run Warmline? Ideas, Information, and Inspiration

With Julio Brionez, Trinity Guayante, and Angel Moore

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 1 pm - 2:30 pm EST (10 am - 11:30 am PST)

Click here to register (Registration will close at 5 pm on Thursday, May 10)

Peer-run warmlines are designed by and for people who have experience with mental health crisis, healing, and recovery. 

They are based on the principles of mutual support, healing through relationships, and the wisdom of lived experience. Peer-run warmlines represent important crisis alternatives in that they view crisis as a gateway to learning and growth. They can help reduce costly and often re-traumatizing psychiatric hospitalization, and help people to recover a sense of hope and purpose in their lives. Speakers from the David Romprey Oregon Warmline and the Montana Warmline will share their firsthand experience on the elements of a successful peer-run warmline, including the start-up phase, recruitment, outreach/promotion, and ongoing support of warmline workers. In addition, useful tips on using technology and social media to create a more cost-effective and efficient warmline will be provided.

About the presenters:

Julio Brionez works with Mental Health America (MHA) of Montana http://www.montanamentalhealth.org. Julio heads up social media for MHA, which includes podcasting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and video-based peer support groups. Julio also runs the MHA website, and puts out their weekly e-blast mental health news updates.

Trinity Guayante works for Community Counseling Solutions as the coordinator of the David Romprey Warmline. Trinity believes that everyone deserves a chance and that we are all on this path together and that our world will be a better place if we practice building each other up. Having personally been a survivor of trauma on many levels, she has dedicated her life to those who may need kindness and support.

Angel Moore works for Community Counseling Solutions as manager of the David Romprey Oregon Warmline and is a Certified National IPS Trainer.  Angel says, “Recovery became a new way of life, living without the use of drugs and now a life of mental wellness and stability." For the past 16 years Angel has shared her experience strength and hope without shame or guilt so that maybe it may inspire someone else to share theirs and help others. 

May 3-4, 2012

eCPR Training - Austin, Texas

Via Hope is sponsoring a 2-day training in emotionalCPR (or eCPR) conducted by the National Empowerment Center (NEC) with trainers Daniel Fisher, MD, Executive Director of NEC; Eileen Rosen, Texas eCPR; Bill Gilstrap, Texas eCPR

WHERE: Hogg Foundation Bldg., 3001 Lake Austin Blvd., 4th Floor, Austin, TX 78703

WHAT: This training enables one person to help another through an emotional crisis in a mutual fashion using skills of Connecting, emPowering, and Revitalizing.

COST: NO registration fee. However, class size is limited. 

INCLUDED: Breakfast and lunch, both days. (Participants will be responsible for their own overnight accommodations, dinner, and transportation. A limited number of scholarships for financial assistance are available from Via Hope. Call 1-877-482-8550 or email info@viahope.org for a scholarship application.) 

HOW TO APPLY: Visit http://www.viahope.org/events/ecpr-training for additional info, and to download the eCPR Application for Certification Training. Any questions call 1-800-POWER2U

April 26-27, 2012

Expanding our Vision:
Positive Outcomes from around the World

One-day conference in Denver, Colorado (with other adjunct activities)
Location: The Colorado Institute of Mental Health


Elizabeth Kenny, actor, writer and teacher, who has been working in professional theater since 1993. She will perform her play, Sick, which uses her masterful storytelling skills to translate her lived experience of misdiagnosis and over medication. She teaches acting and storytelling workshops that that help participants transform, elevate, and clarify their own stories. (www.shadylaneproductions.org)

Joanne Greenberg, author of 18 books including I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, a fictionalized depiction of Joanne Greenberg's treatment experience at Chestnut Lodge Hospital in Rockville, Maryland, during which she was in psychoanalytic treatment with Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. ( (www.mountaintopauthor.com)

Robert Whitaker, an award-winning science journalist and the author, most recently, of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (2010). (www.madinamerica.com)

Daniel Mackler, documentary filmmaker of Open Dialogue Approach in Finland and Swedish Healing Homes, has visited innovative programs throughout the world. (www.iraresoul.com/dvd.html)

Ron Bassman, author, clinician and policy-maker. In his book, A Fight to Be, Ron shares insights from his recovery as a patient and tells how he uses that experience in his later work as a psychologist and advocate. (www.ronaldbassman.com)

Adjunct Activities

The Living Stories Workshop - April 26, 2012

A powerful one day workshop facilitated by Elizabeth Kenny, a Seattle actor and writer who has been working in the professional theater for 24 years. The workshop is based on the techniques Elizabeth used to create her critically acclaimed and award winning solo play Sick.  The Living Stories workshop will introduce and explore tools and techniques for uncovering, crafting and telling stories that open dialogues and change perspectives.  In this all day workshop participants will experience practical exercises that explore what story is, who is the audience, what is the responsibility of the speaker or storyteller and most importantly are we saying what we mean. In the afternoon participants will put their new skills into practice by using the morning exercises to start crafting and constructing stories of their own. 

Download flyer for Living Stories Workshop

The play, Sick, was performed on Thursday, April 26th

Drama Fest 2012: Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25

See flyer for more information

Additional Event Information

Event Program (PDF, 531KB, 1 page)
Event Flyer
(PDF, 597KB, 1 page)

For more information, please call 303-751-7511

Sponsored by the National Empowerment Center
Local Organizer: Amy Smith

Local organizations welcoming the National Empowerment Center Conference to Colorado: Advocates for Recovery, BrainStorm Career Services, CHARG Resource Center, ClearMind, Inc., Colorado Association of Alcohol and Drug Service Providers, Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council, Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence, Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, Colorado Depression Bipolar Support Alliance, Colorado Division of Behavioral Health, Colorado Mental Wellness Network, Colorado Youth Voice, The Legal Center for People with Disabilities and Older People, Mindfreedom International, and People House.

April 24-26, 2012

Human Rights Advocacy & Organizing - presented by International Human Rights Expert Tina Minkowitz

Please join VOH and MHEP for this two and a half-day training.

At the end of the training all participants will have:

  • An Understanding of International Human Rights.
  • An Understanding of how we can use Human Rights in our Advocacy.
  • An Understanding of how Human Rights Principles are practiced in Peer Support & Organizing.
  • An Understanding of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Developed Advocacy skills for state & federal governments to comply with Human Rights.

The Training will take a hands-on approach using exercises to explore what it means to "do human rights". Thematic issues will be addressed according to the interests of participants:
(Prison & Mental Systems, legal capacity, reparations for psychiatric torture, poverty, right to work, and/or implications of the CRPD for mental health policy.)

Facilitated by: Tina Minkowitz - International Human Rights Expert
Please contact Daniel Hazen @ voicesdirector@gmail.com or call 518-798-1100 with any questions.
Application and registration visit www.voicesoftheheart.net or click here for pdf (262KB, 2 pages)

April 18, 2012

I Never Promised You a Rose Garden sponsored by Volunteers in Psychotherapy

Wednesday, April 18 from 7-9 PM
University of Hartford, Gengras Student Union

Joanne Greenberg initially published her book, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden under a pseudonym, since it was a semi-autobiographical depiction of her recovery from "schizophrenia" through psychotherapy with Dr. Frieda Fromm Reichmann, while an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital.

Dr. Greenberg is now a college professor, author of 17 published books, wife and mother.

She is an advocate for humane, egalitarian help for people who are emotionally confused, overwhelmed or distraught... the people we now misleadingly refer to as "mentally ill."

When Dr. Greenberg heard of greater Hartford's Volunteers In Psychotherapy — she was so enthusiastic for VIP's unique offering — free therapy that people earn through community volunteer work — that she immediately offered to assist VIP.

This April 18 presentation, which is free and open to the public, is Dr. Greenberg's effort to benefit VIP's program.

The evening presentation is co-sponsored by Volunteers In Psychotherapy and the Department of Psychology at University of Hartford, its Psi Chi Honors Society and Active Minds.

March 2, 2012

Webinar: Get Social! Using Social Media to Advance Your Mission, Raise Awareness, and Provide Peer Support 

Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Podcasting, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus. In an ever-growing social media landscape, it is easy to feel lost and not know where to begin. Our presenters will help you find your place on the social media map and head out on your personal or organizational journey. Using real-life stories and anecdotes, each presenter will discuss how their organization developed a social media strategy, the tools they use and how they use them, and the benefits and challenges they have experienced along the way. This webinar is geared towards peers, peer-run organizations, mental health service providers, family members, policymakers, administrators, and all other stakeholders.


Julio Brionez heads up social media for Mental Health America (MHA) of Montana.
Jeneé Darden is the media and marketing coordinator for PEERS, Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services, in Oakland, CA.
Eric Jensen is executive assistant/communications coordinator with the Project Return Peer Support Network.

Sponsored by the National Empowerment Center's Technical Assistance Center
Click here for more information (PDF, 151KB, 2 pages)

January 25, 2012

National Empowerment Center's Peer-Run Respite Webinar Series

Building the Foundation for a Successful Peer-Run Respite: Creating Connections with the Local Community

Peer-Run respites/hospital diversion programs are increasing in numbers and having positive results across the country. Peer-run respites offer an alternative to traditional mental health hospitalization, are operated by peers, and are cost-effective. 

The presenters will discuss their first-hand experience with building connections with the community while opening and running a peer-run respite, including how to:

  • Lay the groundwork, educate the community, and establish relationships;
  • Address common community misconceptions and avoid the “Not in My Backyard (NIMBY)” phenomenon; and
  • Maintain positive connections in the local community while operating a peer-run respite. 

Building the Foundation for a Successful Peer-Run Respite is the second in a webinar series on peer-run crisis alternatives sponsored by the National Empowerment Center’s Technical Assistance Center. To watch the archive of the first webinar, So You Want to Start a Peer-Run Respite, click here.


Rigel Flaherty
Rigel was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA, and became familiar with the mental health system during a difficult time when she was 20. She started working as a peer counselor in Mental Health Supported Housing in 2003. Rigel became Program Manager for the SAMSHA funded 2nd Story Peer Run Respite House in January 2011.

Alan Green, M.P.A.
Alan is the Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Nebraska, Nebraska’s first and only peer-run mental health service provider.  Programming includes the HOPE Program (evidence-based practice supported employment), the Keya House (crisis aversion services), statewide wellness/recovery education and advocacy.  Mr. Green is a member of the NCMHR Steering Committee.

Clint Taylor
Clint Taylor is the Assistant Director of the Peer Support and Wellness Center in Decatur, Georgia. He is on the steering committee of the Community Health Interfaith Partnership, a coalition working to improve the lives of Georgians with mental health diagnoses. He became a certified peer specialist in August, 2008.

Training Sponsor

This training and the Technical Assistance Center of the National Empowerment Center are funded by:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Center for Mental Health Services

December 8, 2011

Robert Whitaker - MAD IN AMERICA UP TO NOW

Award winning journalist, Robert Whitaker will be discussing the state of contemporary mental health in a free presentation and discussion on Thursday, December 8th from 2-4pm at 1881 Worcester Road, Framingham.

Downloadable Flyer (PDF, 256KB,1 page)

Special Event - November 3, 2011

Open Dialogue Approach: Alternative Care for Psychosis Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D. and Mary Olson, Ph.D.

Is a ‘psychotic crisis’ inside one person’s mind– or does it happen between people in their relationships? Can helping a person find their voice with important others help resolve such crises and alter their course and severity?

Smith College professor and Fulbright scholar Mary Olson, Ph.D., will present with Jaakko Seikkula, Ph.D., one of the main developers of the Open Dialogue Approach in Western Lapland, Finland. Open Dialogue has achieved remarkable success helping people through extreme states labeled ‘psychosis’ and ‘schizophrenia’ while relying much less on medication and hospitalization.

Sponsored by UMassMemorial, The National Empowerment Center, and University of Massachusetts Medical School. Co-sponsored by: The Transformation Center and the Massachusetts Recovery Learning Communities (RLCs).

Further Resources on Open Dialogue

Trailer for "OPEN DIALOGUE," an alternative Finnish approach to healing psychosis - http://www.youtube.com/user/dmackler58#p/a/u/1/aBjIvnRFja4
An interview with Jaakko Seikkula - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywtPedxhC3U
Madness Radio Interview with Mary Olson - http://www.madnessradio.net/madness-radio-mary-olson-open-dialog

November 3-4, 2011

INTAR (International Network Toward Alternatives for Recovery)

Challenging Our Understanding of Psychosis and Exploring Alternatives for Recovery
University of Toronto, Hart House
For more information: Call Brian McKinnon at 416-285-7996, Ext. 227 or email bmckinnon@alternativestoronto.org

October 28-29, 2011 — Los Angeles, CA

Alternatives to Biological Psychiatry: If We Don't Medicate, What Do We Do?

The annual conference of the International Society for the Study of Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry.

Topics Included: Safe, humane, life-enhancing methods of treating adults, children, families and couples in psychological distress without reliance on psychotropic drugs; Consumer-centered interventions that help people move towards full recovery; What parents and families can do to help children without reliance on psychotropic drugs. [Click to download brochure]

October 26 - 30, 2011

Alternatives 2011 Was Held in Orlando, FL

Alternatives 2011, the annual national conference organized by and for individuals with psychiatric histories, was held from Oct. 26, 2011, through Oct. 30, 2011, at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Fla. Alternatives 2011 was organized by the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, a peer-run national technical assistance center funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services. www.alternatives2011.org

October 20, 2011

Gail Hornstein Spoke about the Hearing Voices Network USA in NYC

This was one of the first opportunities in New York City to hear about the exciting work of the Hearing Voices Network, an international collaboration between professionals, people with lived experience of voices, visions, or other unusual or extreme experiences, and their families to develop an alternative approach to coping with emotional distress that is empowering and useful to people, and does not start from the assumption that they have a chronic illness.

550 First Avenue
New York, NY

Click here for the flyer (PDF, 108KB, 1 page)

September 28, 2011, 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST

National Empowerment Center’s Peer-Run Respite Webinar Series: So You Want to Start a Peer-Run Respite? Options and Important Considerations

With Steve Miccio, Daniel Hazen, Dan Fisher, and Rigel Flaherty

Archived presentation and audio-video available now!
The purpose of this webinar was to address specific issues around starting up, maintaining, and sustaining quality peer-run respites. Topics covered included practical tips and suggestions on advocacy, funding, core values and principles, and staffing issues, among others. Click here to view video.

Also available as PowerPoint Presentation and a PDF version:

PowerPoint Presentation (47.2MB)
PowerPoint Presentation as a PDF file (4MB, 48 pages)

September 21, 2011, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm EST

September 18-21, 2011

  • The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities has now opened online registration for its Second International Research Conference on Community Inclusion Of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities

    This conference is a must for persons in recovery, researchers, administrators, policymakers, funders, providers, family members, students, advocates and others who are interested in cutting edge research and innovative practices that promote community integration and broaden community participation.  A series of plenary presentations, 90- minute workshops, and half-day institutes provide an unparalleled opportunity for participants to connect with others in the field, explore emerging research findings, and discover unique policy, program, and practice strategies for promoting community inclusion.  Join us!

    This year’s conference spans a wide range of topics:  accessing mainstream employment, education, and recreational opportunities in our communities; regaining key social roles of parenting and partnering; promoting citizenship, civic engagement, voting and volunteering; using peer support to strengthen community participation and self-directed services; and developing inclusion-focused services for veterans, rural consumers, LGBTQI groups, and those returning to community life from jails and prisons. Click here for more information on consumer scholarships (PDF, 92KB, 3 pages).

September 7-11, 2011

  • NARPA - National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    More info on the website at: www.narpa.org

August 22-24, 2011

  • National Association of Peer Specialists 2011 Conference
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    More info on the website at: http://www.naops.org/

August 17 - 19, 2011

Speaking of Hope events featuring Young Adults:

Tuesday, August 16
Statewide Young Adult Councel (SYAC)
Tatnuck Bookseller
18 Lyman St, Westboro

Thursday, August 18
STEPS Young Adult Resource Center
12 Prescott St, Arlington

Friday, August 19
Roxbury Community College
Media Arts Building I
1234 Columbus Ave, Roxbury

For more information, please click here for a flyer for the 8/19 event. (PDF, 95KB, 2 pages)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

  • SAMHSA 10x10 Wellness Campaign Town Hall Meeting: Joining Together for Wellness & Recovery: Launching the First National Wellness Week - September 19-25, 2011

    Join consumer/survivor/peer leaders, advocates, and people in recovery as they share their experiences about incorporating the Eight Dimensions of Wellness into their recovery, work, and lives.  These dimensions include: physical, emotional, financial, social, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, and environmental. Learn ways to celebrate and help to promote these Dimensions during the first National Wellness Week held from September 19 to 25, 2011. Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions for National Wellness Week, as well as ask the presenters questions.  This Webinar is free and open to everyone.

    Presenters: Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery (Tentative); Larry Fricks, Director, Appalachian Consulting Group and Deputy Director, SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions; Angélica García, Senior Program Manager, Project Return Peer Support Network; Joe Powell, LCDC, CAS, Executive Director, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction; Peggy Swarbrick, Ph.D., OTR, CPRP, Director, Institute for Wellness and Recovery Initiatives at Collaborative Support Programs of New Jersey

June 28-29, 2011

  • Voices of the Heart 2nd Annual Conference: Honoring Rights, Sharing Alternatives - Glen Falls, NY

    The conference focus is to bring our communities together to share in the strategy to honor rights, sharing alternative healing supports and further education around mental diversity. Today, more than ever the paradigm of "mental health" is radically changing. The necessary actions needed are honoring a person's rights and supporting healing alternatives and practices. Speakers include Will Hall, Oryx Cohen, Daniel B. Fisher, and Debbie Louise Trueheart. Click here for complete details.

June 20-21, 2011

  • The Second Annual PsychOut Conference
    New York City
    Speakers included Bob Whitaker, Darby Penney, Jim Gottstein.

June 18, 2011

  • Trauma–Informed Care: An Essential Element of Recovery
    Saturday, June 18, 2011
    Presented by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    A special full-day training session preceding the 73rd Annual Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence

    This 1-day training session will provide clinicians, clinical supervisors, and administrators with the most up-to-date information and treatment practices on trauma and trauma-informed services, including: an overview of the impact of trauma on behavioral health disorders; a respective description of the elements of trauma-informed care; and interventions for specific populations. Participants will have the opportunity to assess their organizations' readiness to deliver trauma-informed services.

    More information - http://conferences.jbsinternational.com/cpdd2011/index.htm

June 15, 2011

  • What does health reform mean for people in recovery from addiction, consumers of mental health services, and their families?

    The second Webinar in the series will cover state and local advocacy approaches to health reform implementation. It will take place on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Please look for registration information for the June Webinar soon. This Webinar series is coordinated by Affirma Solutions, Inc., under a contract with SAMHSA. Click here for more information.

June 13-17, 2011

  • USPRA (U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association)
    36th Annual Conference

    Boston, Massachusetts
    Registration deadline: May 31, 2011
    Scholarship deadline is past
    More info on the website at: http://bit.ly/lugCE2

Special Event - June 10-12, 2011

June 9-11,2011

  • MHA (Mental Health America) Annual Conference
    Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
    Scholarships no longer available
    More info on the website at: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net

May 21, 2011

  • Laughter is the Best Medicine

    The National Asian American Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA) and Asian Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) hosted the first annual "Laughter is the Best Medicine" benefit program.

    Laughter is the Best Medicine brought together people who are passionate about improving the quality of life for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.For more information, visit www.naapimha.org/Node/41 or contact jrkuo@naapimha.org, (626)848-4189.

May 20-22, 2011

  • DBSA - Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Conference
    Houston, Texas
    More info on the website at: http://www.dbsalliance.org

May 20-21, 2011

  • NADA Conference: Communities of Recovery and Psychological First Aid
    May 20-21, Kansas City, MO
    Interested in bringing NADA ear acupuncture protocol into your community?
    Want to become more involved in NADA policy making and legislative advocacy?
    Meet and network with NADA advocates, recovery activists, and community health practitioners from around the world... See the premiere showing of Brian Lindstrom's new documentary on NADA in psychiatric hospitals and social psychiatric clinics in Europe...Click here for the full conference overview, registration and more.

May 9, 2011

  • SAMHSA ADS Center FREE Training Teleconference
    Social Inclusion in Action: Innovative Community Programs

    Monday, May 9, 2011 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET)

    The SAMHSA ADS Center invites you to a free teleconference training to learn about three innovative community programs that are improving lives, changing communities, and transforming systems through social inclusion. The training — "Social Inclusion in Action: Innovative Community Programs" — will highlight the promising practices of the 2010 Campaign for Social Inclusion Award recipients, including SC SHARE's Dream Team, Heartland Consumer Network's Poetry for Personal Power, and Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. All three programs are focused on reaching young adults aged 18-25. "Each of our presenters has a wonderful, inspiring story to tell of how they are changing lives, communities, and systems within their states," said ADS Center manager Ruth Montag. "We believe these program presentations can serve as a touchstone to inspire other organizations to bring projects like these to their states." Participants will also learn how they can apply for the 2011 Campaign for Social Inclusion Awards. Registration will close on May 8. Information about the presenters and their projects and a link to register can be found on the SAMHSA ADS Center website at http://promoteacceptance.samhsa.gov/teleconferences/default.aspx.

May 5, 2011

  • The National Empowerment Center and The Metro Suburban RLC present:

    Bruce E. Levine, author of Get Up, Stand Up!

    Wednesday, May 5, 2011, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
    Arlington Town Hall, 730 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA
    American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided.

    Bruce E. Levine is the author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic and Commonsense Rebellion. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, CounterPunch, AlterNet, and Z Magazine, and his articles and interviews have been published in Adbusters, The Ecologist, High Times, and numerous other magazines. Dr. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, also gives talks and workshops.[Websitewww.brucelevine.net] [Download Flyer (PDF, 121KB, 1 page)] [Download Press Release (PDF, 109KB, 1 page]

    Why have Americans stopped fighting back against government-corporate policies that polls show they clearly oppose?

    We’ve simply been so beaten down by decades of abuse at the hands of the corporatocracy that many of us no longer have the energy to fight back. We have lost confidence that genuine democracy is possible.

    While other books will leave you wringing your hands about the state of the world, Levine offers fresh insight into the ways in which we can take back control of our lives.

    With this book, Bruce Levine reinvents the old saw ‘the personal is political’ . . . Get Up, Stand Up is full of both hope and practical solutions.
    —Anya Kamenetz, author of DIY U and Generation Debt

    The talk is free and open to the public. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided. To RSVP or for more information, call or email the National Empowerment Center, 800-POWER2U (800-769-3728), info4@power2u.org

May 4, 2011

  • NAMI STAR Center - Teleconference on Spirituality
    Wednesday, May 4, 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

    The NAMI STAR Center will offer a teleconference on "Diverse Religious and Spiritual Perspectives on Mental Distress/Illness, Mental Wellness, and Healing." The session will cover the following questions: How is the experience of mental or emotional distress, commonly called "mental illness," understood from diverse religious and spiritual perspectives? What can we learn from these perspectives about mental wellness and the healing process? How may cultural competence, social inclusion, diversity, and self-help and program/service practices be enhanced for greater effectiveness? Presenters will include a Tibetan Buddhist assisting mental health consumers in community and inpatient settings to connect with their spirituality, an indigenous Shaman from Ecuador, and a Christian Pastor leading a ministry to serve people living on the streets of Oakland, California.

    To register, write to star@nami.org with your name, e-mail address and phone number, or call 866-537-7827 and leave a message with your name and phone number. After you register, you will be provided with call-in information. Source: www.consumerstar.org

April 19, 2011

  • Recovering Sanity: Together Even the “Hopeless” Can Heal

    Featuring Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D. Executive Director, National Empowerment Center

    With introductions by Jennifer Constantine, President of South Dakota United and Oryx Cohen of the National Empowerment Center

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011 at 7:30 pm Dakota Wesleyan University East Main Dining Room 1200 West University Ave. Mitchell, SD

    Dan Fisher is a person who has recovered from the once thought hopeless diagnosis of schizophrenia. He was hospitalized several times prior to becoming the well-known psychiatrist he is today. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who publicly discusses his recovery from "mental illness." He is a role model for others who are struggling to recover, and his life dispels the myth that people cannot recover, even from the most severe diagnoses. His recovery and work in the field were recognized by his selection as a member of the White House Commission on Mental Health.
    Sponsored by the National Empowerment Center and South Dakota United

March 30, 2011

  • Peer Support Wellness Respite Centers
    Free Webinar, Wednesday, March 30, 2011 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm eastern

    CLICK HERE TO REGISTER *Space is Limited

    Eight states currently fund Peer Support Wellness Respite Centers promoting mind-body wellness, whole health, and resiliency. Join us for this free webinar that will address how these innovative Centers are supporting wellness and demonstrating outcomes that include reduced hospitalization for people in recovery from addiction and mental illness.

    This webinar will help Health Centers understand what Peer Support Centers are and how they support meeting the behavioral health care needs of their patients/consumers. Peer Support Centers also offer collaborative care for patients with behavioral health concerns and the resources and links to help primary care providers learn more about these Centers.

    • Better understand core components and key outcomes of peer respite centers
    • Gain insight into the day to day operations of centers in Georgia and New York
    • Understand core operational features including start up, funding, training, and operational elements

    Peer leaders, program and administration staff of community behavioral health organizations will especially benefit from this webinar. In addition, this webinar will help community health centers understand what Peer Support Centers are and how they can help meet the behavioral health care needs of their patients/consumers.

    George H. Brice, Jr., MSW
    Margaret Swarbrick, Ph.D., OTR, CPRP
    Steve Miccio
    Sharon Jenkins Tucker

    The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions, run by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare under a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded jointly by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Health Resources Services Administration. The CIHS promotes the development of integrated primary and behavioral health services to better address the needs of individuals with mental health and substance use conditions, whether seen in specialty behavioral health or primary care provider settings.

March 22, 2011

  • Bad Things That Happen To You Can Drive You Crazy! Understanding Abuse, Trauma, and Madness and Working Toward Recovery

    The medicall model of human suffering sees experiences like voices and visions as symptoms of serious mental illness requiring treatment and eradication. But a growing body of evidence reframes experiences like these as meaningful responses to overwehelming events, capable of being understood and integrated into a person's life. Learning how voices and visions function as techniques of survival can be crucial to developing coping strategies and aiding full recovery.

    Jacqui Dillon is a writer, campaigner, speaker and trainer specializing in hearing voices, psychosis, trauma and dissociation. She is a leading figure in the Hearing Voices Network -- an international collaborative organization of patients and professionals -- and a Director of Intervoice: The International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices. Along with Professor Marius Romme and Dr. Sandra Escher, she is co-editor of Living with Voices, an anthology of 50 voice hearers' stories of recovery, and of the forthcoming Demedicalizing Misery: Psychiatry, Psychology and the Human Condition. She is also a voice hearer.

    Free and Open to the Public. Accessible parking and entrance at rear of building, with elevator to venue. Co-sponsored by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Psychology and Education, the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community, and Freedom Center. [Click to download flyer (PDF, 110KB, 1 page)]

February 16, 2011

  • The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery sponsored a teleconference: "Visionary C/S/X Leadership: Leaders who are Committed to Building Consensus, Community and Collaborations"

    The speakers were asked to focus on an aspect of leadership that that they believe is essential for current and developing leaders. The National Coalition recognizes that C/S/X organizations and movements face some special challenges, but there are issues that are universal in developing as a leader. Click here for complete details, including speakers and call-in information.

February 9, 2011

  • Consumers Mental Health Legislative Panel - at the Boston Public Library, Boston Room

    Moderator: Representative Ruth Balser
    Representative Liz Malia
    Senator James B. Eldgrige
    Representative James O'Day

    Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD. and Howard D. Trachtman, BS, CPS

    Presented by: NAMI GB CAN (www.namigbcan.org), National Empowerment Center (www.power2u.org) & M-Power (www.m-power.org )  

January 25, 2011

  • Teleconference to Commemorate the First Anniversary of Judi Chamberlin's Passing, and to Celebrate her Legacy

    Judi ChamberlinJanuary 16, 2011, marked the first anniversary of the passing of Judi Chamberlin, psychiatric survivor leader, author and international disability rights activist. This special teleconference offered a way to share our thoughts and memories of her, and to discuss the ways in which we are working to keep her vision alive. Marty Federman, Judi's partner, also participated.

    We also invite you to view the short film "Her Life, Our Movement," which was created to honor Judi's life and work. You may view the film, read a selection of her articles, and also add comments at her Virtual Memorial website: http://tinyurl.com/4rd24zs. The teleconference was co-sponsored by the: National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, www.mhselfhelp.org, and the National Empowerment Center, www.power2u.org

    P.S. Judi's Book, On Our Own (links to the NEC Store), is now available in Braille. Please call the National Empowerment Center to obtain the book on loan. 800-POWER2U, 800-769-2728

January 20, 2011

  • Spiritual Emergency with Tim Ness - As part of the Inner Working Series. Sponsored by the Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community at the Recovery Annex, Greenfield MA.

    Tim Ness recounted the 2009 events which he refers to as his Spiritual Emergency. These experiences have also been called psychic opening, shaktipat, unitive consciousness, and religious conversions.

January 12, 2011

  • Lessons Learned from Improving Emergency Care – Larry Phillips, DCSW, Program Manager, SSM Oklahoma City, OK, and Stuart Buttlaire, PhD, MBA, Regional Director of Inpatient Psychiatry & Continuing Care, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Northern California, Oakland, CA - Shared learning from the results of IHI’s initial learning collaborative on Improving Care for Behavioral Health Clients in Emergency Departments. The collaborative, stimulated by concern raised by hospital EDs, reviews flow, triage and assessment and other approaches that reduce overall time in the ED and improve staff morale and effectiveness. [For more info visit the IBHI web site at iswww.ibhi.net]


January 11, 2011

  • The Next Step to Sustainability: Expanding Our Family/Consumer Run Organization’s Impact By Joining A Managed Care Organization Network was a full day pre-conference institute geared for administrators of consumer and family run organizations. This institute offered participants an explanation of how managed care works, it helped assist participants to identify what programs they currently offer that might be funded through a managed care contract, clarified the pros and cons of working within a managed care network, and taught the necessary steps to take to move forward in seeking a contract. The Pre-conference Institute was held in Austin TX and was sponsored by the State of Texas Chapter of USPRA.


December 8, 2010

  • New Hope of Recovery from Mental Illness - Personal experiences as well as history show that recovery is possible AND probable

    Presented by the National Empowerment Center and The Metro Suburban RLC

    Rediscovering an Optimistic Vision of What Is Possible: Innovative Programs in Europe and the US that are producing good long-term outcomes - Robert Whitaker and Daniel Mackler, Moderator: Debbie Whittle 

    Recovery is Possible AND Probable - Daniel Fisher and Suzanne Beachy

    Flyer (PDF, 48KB, 1 page), Large Print Version of Flyer (PDF, 47KB, 2 pages)


November 3-4, 2010

  • Raising Our Voices Speaking Our Truths: 2nd World Hearing Voices Congress & Festival. Center Parcs Holiday Village, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire.

November 2, 2010

  • Intervoice Meeting (Organized and sponsored by Asylum Associates, HVN England and INTERVOICE)
  • Peer Employment Networking Event
    • The second Peer Employment Networking Event was held at the Worcester Public Library. This networking event was geared to support people with various cross disabilities and employment. There were many opportunities to meet new people and discuss the employment opportunities and options, including diversity and reasonable accommodations. A light meal was provided.
    • Guest Speakers from:
      • Central Mass Recovery Learning Community
      • Everyday Miracles
      • Center for Living & Working
    • Any questions please call Mike or Jen at the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community (508) 751-9600


October 1, 2010

  • National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) Annual Open Meeting - From Dreams to Reality: Implementing Our Vision on Both the Local and National Levels

September 30, 2010

  • National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery Annual Meeting and Informational Dialogue
    • Attendees learned of our accomplishments this past year & next steps to creating the system we want, were able to network and share our challenges and successes and find consensus on policy priorities.

    Click here for a flyer and more details [Both events (PDF, 106KB, 2 pages)]


September 29 – October 3, 20100

  • Alternatives 2010 | Promoting Wellness Through Social JusticeAlternatives 2010, the national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers and survivors, was a spectacular success, with over 1,100 attendees from across the US and around the world. The conference provided an invaluable opportunity for attendees to connect, share skills and ideas, express their creativity, and return to their communities brimming with strategies for implementing positive social change. We want to keep the momentum going, as well as to disseminate information from the conference from those who were not able to attend. Click here for updated content, including speaker presentations, handouts, and more!

September 8-11, 2010

  • 2010 Rights Conference: Choice, Not Force. Sponsored by the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA) -  Three Conference Tracks include: Guardianship/Forced Treatment/Restraint; Recovery and Peer Run Programs; Force and Coercion: Beyond the Institutional Setting. Featured Speakers include:

    Robert Whitaker
    , Science Journalist and Author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, & the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America
    Sue Jamieson, Attorney and Plaintiff Counsel, L.C. and E.W. v. Olmstead

    Held at the Hilton Atlanta. [Additional Information and Registration Form (Word doc., 302KB, 4 pages), or visit www.narpa.org]


August 13-14, 2010

  • Honoring Our Past, Building Our Future, the first Annual Conference of the Ohio Empowerment Coalition, a Statewide Consumer Advocacy and Recovery Education Organization.

June 14, 2010

  • VoiceAmerica Variety ChannelDan Fisher Discusses Self-Managed Health Care on VoiceAmerica Radio

    Dan Fisher was a guest on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel with host Clint Maun, CSP. The topic of the radio show was: How to Manage Your Own Health Care. Managed care is designed to reduce unnecessary healthcare costs through a variety of incentives, review programs and selective provider contracting. Whereas managed care plans may benefit many consumers, there are serious concerns that cost controls may be denying medically necessary services to some categories of patients or providing low quality care. Our guest, Dr. Daniel Fisher, is an advocate of empowering individuals to “self-manage their own care.” Dr. Fisher believes that consumers can participate in the implementation of their healthcare decisions and outcomes. He’s here to provide insight as to what steps we can take to assure we receive the timely quality care we need. [To listen, click here]


June 10, 2010

  • The STAR Center Teleconference Series presented: The New Health Care Law:  What Does It Mean for People Living with Mental Illness and Mental Health Challenges?  With Speaker Andrew Sperling, NAMI Director of Legislative Affairs.

    The new health care reform law creates enormous opportunities to expand access to insurance coverage and treatment for children and adults living with mental illness.

    In addition to expanding coverage with insurance and primary-care treatment, the new law also presents a range of specific provisions designed to improve coverage of mental illness treatment in both private health plans and publicly funded coverage.

    This session will help inform and clarify what this legislation is about, and provide an opportunity to learn in-depth details.


May 18, 2010

  • Debbie Whittle presented “Living Into Wholeness” as part of the Women Transforming Communities’ Tapping Spirit Series at the YWCA at 140 Clarendon St., Boston, MA.

    Living into Wholeness is an innovative non-pathological, wholeness-based approach, which proposes that at our very core is a state of wholeness that can be accessed in any moment. We will learn the skills and principles of wholeness as well as simple practices to look beyond appearances, access innate wisdom, learn to re-frame "mental illness," and learn to be with "what is" so as to transform habitual thought and behavior patterns to experience an intrinsic state of wholeness.

May 1, 2010

  • Dan Fisher was the keynote speaker at "A Celebration of Hope and Mental Health Recovery" sponsored by Recovery In Action International (RIA) in El Segundo, California which included a musical performance by Nathaniel Ayers.

April 21, 2010

March 25, 2010


March 23, 2010

  • STAR Center Teleconference Series - The Difference Between “Opposite” and “Backward” Medicine and its Application to Mental Health Treatment. Please join us for a discussion around “Forward Motion”, “Opposite Motion” and “Backward or Contrary Motion” as well as the psycho-social view of these models. This session will present some ideas, information, resources for consideration and discussion with the intention of supporting our learning together, encouraging self- and community-empowerment, and affirming or discovering helpful thoughts and practices. For more information and to register please click here.

December 17, 2009

  • Teleconference on History of Mental Health Consumer Movement - What does the mental health consumer movement have in common with other civil rights movements? How have mental health consumers and our society at large benefited from the pioneering advocacy of early mental health rights activists? What work remains to be done? This free teleconference explored the history of the self-help and advocacy movement organized by individuals with psychiatric histories. Hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s ADS Center (Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health). [Click for more information]


December 4, 2009

  • Dan Fisher and Cathy Levin presented on Hope and Recovery through Alternatives to Hospitalization at the Massachusetts Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (MassPRA) Conference in Worcester, MA. 

December 2, 2009

  • CMHS Regional Consumer/Survivor Meeting in Boston, MA
    The Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) leads national efforts to improve prevention and mental health services for all Americans. As part of its efforts, CMHS convened a Regional Consumer/Survivor Meeting on December 2, 2009, 9 am - 5 pm at the Omni Parker House, Boston, MA. The focus of the meeting was about the following states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


November 23, 2009

  • The International Network Toward Alternatives and Recovery (INTAR) Presented: Rethinking Psychiatric Crisis: Alternative Responses To "First Breaks". at The Kimmel Center at New York University.

    About the Conference:
    First-person accounts consistently show that treatment can compound the ordeal of early psychiatric crisis- especially those resulting in hospitalization. In addition to the disorientation of psychosis, or the bleak depths of depression, treatment itself can be an ordeal. Key Note Speakers: "Why do we need Alternatives?" -- Will Hall, Sue Estroff. "Alternatives, Capabilities and System Transformation" -- Robert Whittaker, Andy Blanch, Ron Bassman, Ken Thompson. [More info at: www.intar.org]


November 12, 2009

  • Introduction to Shared Decision Making in Mental Health Creating Dialogue, Promoting Choice, Supporting Recovery

    Featured: Patricia Deegan, Pat Deegan Ph.D. & Associates, LLC.; Laurie Curtis, Advocates for Human Potential, Inc.

    An informative and lively introduction to SAMHSA’s initiative to support Shared Decision Making in mental health services. Sponsored by
    The Office of the Associate Director for Consumer Affairs Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  An archive of the November 12 webinar and subsequent webinar held January 21, 2010 is available at http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/consumersurvivor/shared.asp


November 10, 2009

  • Free Webinar Series on Organizational Development
    and Business Management for Peer-Run Organizations.
    The National Consumer Supporter Technical Assistance Center (NCSTAC) is pleased to announce that registration for a new series of webinars on Organizational Development and Business Management for Peer-Run Organizations. This five part participatory series will begin in October of this year and will be broadcast every other month as part of ongoing technical assistance to consumer-run organizations and services. 

Leading authorities on:

• Consumer-Run Nonprofit Basics,
• Governance: The Role of the Board,
• Management: The Role of the Staff,
• Fundraising and Capacity Building
• Sustaining Your Consumer-Run Nonprofit Organization

will present live via teleconference and web interface. These 90 minute modules will provide ample time for questions and discussion. Participation will be available through registration. In order to register please email phendry@mentalhealthamerica.net and include your name, how many people will be attending, contact information, and please put Webinar Registration in the subject line. There is no cost for participation and copies of the course information will be available on our website. For detailed information on the first webinar please see below.

November 4-5, 2009


October 28 - November 1, 2009

October 28, 2009

  • Transforming Lives Through the Arts - A specially designed training institute for Peer Specialists/Peer Providers.  Omaha Nebraska

    Keynote Speakers:

    • Deb Whittle, National Empowerment Center
    • Steve Harrington, National Association of Peer Specialists

    Multi-dimensional arts activities training especially planned to provide arts training for Peer Specialists and Peer Providers. The activities were simple hands-on arts exercises including painting, poetry, performance, dance, humor, collage and fabric art—all practical for use in peer support work. No experience or special talent was required.

    For additional information contact Gayle Bluebird at gaylebluebird@aol.com or check the Altered States of the Arts web site at www.alteredstatesofthearts.com. [Click to view/download Flyer (PDF, 1 page, 85KB)


October 22, 2009

  • Teach-in with Dr. Dan Fisher - Hope and Recovery through Alternatives to Hospitalization

Daniel B. Fisher, MD, PhD is a role model for people with lived experience with mental health issues, extreme states, and/or trauma. His personal experience alone dispels the myth that people do not recover. Dr. Fisher described his own recovery from a diagnosis of schizophrenia and offer innovative ideas to help others do the same. The Peer Support Model he endorses includes community-based programs like peer-run respites, warm lines, and peer-run self-help groups like the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). This model works well in other states and is just beginning to gain momentum in Massachusetts. Held at Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, MA.

September 23-24, 2009

  • Debbie Whittleoffered a workshop - Living Into Wholeness, at the 2009 New Mexico Consumer Wellness Conference, Albuquerque, NM at First Presbyterian Church, 215 Locust NE by I-25 and Central (Click to view flyer - PDF)


September 21-22, 2009

September 16-18, 2009

  • 27th Annual Conference - NYAPRS (NY Association of Psychiatric Rehab. Services). "A Home, A Job and A Date on the Weekend".  Featured Speakers included:
    • Daniel Fisher, MD, PhD
    • Lauren Spiro
    • Debbie Whittle, Director
    • Patricia E. Deegan, PhD

    Click to view full announcement (PDF, 12 pages 936KB)


September 11, 2009

  • First Annual North Carolina Recovery Conference. North Carolina: One Community in Recovery. Keynote Speaker: Dan Fisher, National Empowerment Center "Revitalization Through Recovery Relationships". Click to view the conference brochure (PDF, 9 pages, 1.3MB).

September 9-12, 2009

  • NARPA's (National Association for Rights, Protections and Advocacy) Annual Conference, "Advocacy for Rights in a New Era" Phoenix, AZ - www.narpa.org


August 18, 2009

  • Debbie L. Whittle (The TAC at NEC) Co-facilitated the STAR Center Summer Teleconference Series: Mental Health and Wellness: Self-Help Tools and Practices to Support Your Personal Recovery and Growth with Kerrie Fallon and Marina Colonas (Transformation Center), Stephen Kiosk (STAR Center). Sponsored by the STAR Center and the National Empowerment Center

July 13, 200999

  • Dan Fisher led a Teach-In at the Central Mass Recovery Learning Community, a peer-run program at 91 Stafford Street in Worcester MA. Hope for Recovery Through Alternatives to Hospitalization. Dr. Fisher spoke of innovative, community-based programs that use the Mental Health Peer Support Model including peer-run respites, warm lines, and self-help groups to reduce hospitalizations and support people in their recovery.

May 18, 2009

  • Dan Fisher offered a Teach-In - Hope for Recovery Through Alternatives to Hospitalization. Dr. Fisher spoke of innovative, community-based programs that use the Mental Health Peer Support Model including peer-run respites, warm lines, and self-help groups to reduce hospitalizations and support people in their recovery.


May 3-5, 2009

  • Dan Fisher presented at the International Conference Center on Self- Determination at the Benton Convention Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina - www.centerforself-determination.com

April 20-24, 2009

  • Considering Outcomes for Peer-Run Crisis Alternatives by Shery Mead and Eri Kuno, The Inn at Essex, Burlington, VT - www.mentalhealthpeers.com

March 18-19, 2009

  • Dan Fisher presented at the Center for Self-Determination Training, "Inventing the Future: Implementing Self-Determination Across Disability and Aging" at the BWI Comfort Inn Conference Center, Baltimore, MD - www.centerforself-determination.com


October 29-November 2, 2008

  • National Alternatives Conference
    The National Empowerment Center sponsored Alternatives 2008, the national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers and survivors, in Buffalo, New York www.power2u.org/alternatives-2008

September 10, 2008


August 9, 2008

  • Saturday, August 9, 2008, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Dan Fisher presented on "Peer Services in Rural Mental Health" at the National Association for Rural Mental Health Conference, Changing Practices-Changing Rural Environment in Burlington, VT, August 6-9, 2008, www.narmh.org/conferences/2008

August 2, 2008

  • Dan Fisher presented on "Citizenship: The Pathway to Recovery," Saturday, August 2, 2008, at the American Sociological Association 103rd Annual Meeting in Boston. For more information go to www.asanet.org

June 15-19, 2008

  • US Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association's annual conference was held in Chicago, Illinois.  The conference's learning opportunities offered the newest innovations and the best of the “tried and true” practices of psychiatric rehabilitation training. Conference tracks featured: innovative services, system change, interventions, administration and management, assessment, planning and outcomes, research, and sessions for professional educators and trainers. For more information, visit www.uspra.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3571


June 4-7, 2008

  • 2008 Mental Health America Conference & National Mental Health Promotion & Prevention Summit - Each year, the Mental Health America Conference draws together hundreds of advocates from across the country in Washington, D.C. to learn about critical issues in the behavioral health field and strategies for collective action. Attendees primarily include executives, volunteer leaders, frontline staff, and members of our 320 state and local affiliates. Many of these people are also mental health consumers, family members and providers. The meeting also brings together other consumer advocates, policymakers and individuals who believe in our public health and social justice vision.

    The 2008 Conference included a full day of advocacy on Capitol Hill, skill-building sessions, an exhibit hall and other events.  Additional information available online at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/conference

     No Health without Mental Health


May 27-29, 2008

  • Conference LogoThe Center for Self Determination presented the International Conference on Self-Determination,  in Detroit, Michigan. Additional information available online at www.communitydrive.org/Conference.html

April 29, 2008

April 27-28, 2008


April 14-15, 2008

  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation Conference, Cambridge, MA.  An outstanding collection of leaders from the US and around the globe presented at the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation's State-of-the-Science Conference, "From Innovations to Practice: The Promise and Challenge of Recovery for All". Conference attendees were shown innovative and effective ways to move systems, programs and practices toward a recovery-orientation. Each track explores the challenges facing the field, such as "Moving Systems Forward", including a pre-conference institute, "Shifting to a Rehabilitation and Recovery Paradigm: Facilitating Change" and presentations such as:
  • Fostering Leadership in the Transformation of Systems: Perspectives on Directing Innovations
  • Moving the System: Sustaining the Change Process Moving Towards a Recovery Orientation
  • No Force First: A Comprehensive Approach to Eliminating Coercion
  • Global Perspectives on Rehabilitation and Recovery
  • Working as Peers: The Pearls and Perils of Shared Responsibility for Mental Health Programs
  • Effective Leadership in Consumer Advocacy Networks

Learn more about the depth of offerings each track provides and the 90+ presenters, all on the Conference website at www.bu.edu/cpr/conference/presentations/


November 14-17, 2007

  • NARPA: National Association of Rights, Protection and Advocacy, Annual Rights Conference, Los Angeles, California - www.narpa.org

October 10-14, 2007

  • National Alternatives Conference - Spanning the Recovery Movement: Consumer Control and Choice, St. Louis, Missouri - www.alternatives2007.org


October 3-5, 2007

July 12-14, 2007


July 11, 2007

  • Dan Fisher gave a public address in Santa Ana, California, on the topic of recovery, "Recovery: From Dream to Reality". Presented by the Orange County Behavioral Health Services, Delhi Center 505 East Central, Santa Ana, CA. Three continuing education credits for LCSWs, MFTs and psychologists were approved.

June 12-14, 2007

  • Debbie Whittle presented at the VOCAL Annual Statewide Consumer Conference - "Embracing Wellness", Richmond, Virginia. Workshop: Living Into Wholeness, Evening offering: Sacred Circle Dance, http://vocalnetwork.org/conference.htm


June 11th-13th, 2007

June 6-8, 2007

  • Judi Chamberlin was a keynote speaker at a conference called "Coercive Treatment in Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Review," sponsored by the World Psychiatric Association in Dresden, Germany.  Further information at www.wpa2007dresden.org/frs_index.asp


April 15, 2007

  • Judi Chamberlin appeared at a panel on "Women, Mental Health, and the Law" at the Syracuse University College of Law, Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies

February 23-25, 2007

  • Judi Chamberlin was the keynote speaker at the COMHCO Conference in Long Branch, NJ (NJ statewide organization)

February 7, 2007

  • Region IV (Richmond VA area) Recovery Workshop. Daylong workshop with key stakeholders (including consumers, clinicians, and policymakers) to develop a Virginia-based recovery definition and workplan. Richmond, VA Feb. 7. Judi Chamberlin - workshop leader.

November 16 - 17, 2006

  • Dr. Dan Fisher presented at The New Jersey Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (NJPRA) Annual Conference - "We see a future when everyone will recover from metal illness"


November 5-8 2006

  • 48th Annual Southern Regional Conference on Mental Health Statistics (SRCMHS) Conference - Mental Health Responses to Disasters: Problems Confronted, Lessons Learned - A Dialogue on Behavioral Healthcare.  Dr. Dan Fisher presented. 

October 25-29, 2006

  • Alternatives Conference, Blazing the Trail to Recovery through Transformation, Portland, Oregon. Information at: www.alternatives2006.org.

September 27-29, 2006

  • Judene Shelley presented at the 24th annual NYAPRS Conference: From Promise to Practice: Sharing the Tools for Transformation in Ellenville, New York. Judene also presented a workshop: "Choices in Recovery: Follow Your Bliss" and participated in a panel presentation: "Helping the Consumer Movement Grow and Prosper." More information is available at: www.nyaprs.org.


September 19, 2006

  • Dr. Dan Fisher presented at the Washington State DASA Conferences in Yakima, WA - Building Unified Service Systems if Not Now, When? Embracing Evidence Based Practices to Support Recovery. For more information, please visit http://casat.unr.edu/ dasa/.

September 14-19, 2006

  • Dr. Dan Fisher presented at the 11th International Conference on Violence, Abuse and Trauma, September 14-19, 2006 in San Diego, CA - the topic of the presentation was "Mental Health Transformations." For more information, please visit www.ivatcenters.org.

August 1, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin was the Plenary Speaker at the VOCAL (Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership) Statewide Conference. Richmond, Virginia

July 21-23, 2006

  • Dan Fisher spoke on How to Create a Culture & Practice of Recovery at the 2nd Annual Comprehensive Review of Psychiatry Conference, Niagara Falls, New York Conference Center.


July 11, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin spoke at the Book Launch program of Shunned: Discrimination Against People with Mental Illness, Kings College, London, England.

June 22 and 29, 2006

As part of the SAMHSA Summer Teleconference Series, Dr. Pat Deegan explored effective strategies for supporting consumer involvement at the systems/policy level and at the level of the psychopharmacology consultation.  [more details and a link to the archived version]

  • Part One: Overcoming Barriers to Effective Consumer/Survivor Participation in Policymaking
  • Part Two: Beyond Compliance: Shared Decision-Making About Psychiatric Medications

June 28, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin presented: “Understanding Consumer Initiatives” at the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Regional Conference, Philadelphia, PA, Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Education System.


June 14, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin participated in the Opening Cross Disability Plenary Panel at the Society for Disability Studies 19th Annual Conference, Bethesda, MD

June 5, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin offered a workshop, “People Encountering People Project,” and Judene Shelley led a workshop, “Overcoming Nicotine Addiction in the Recovery Process,” at the USPRA Annual Conference, Recovery: Reaching New Heights in Psychiatric Rehabilitation, in Phoenix, Arizona.

May 31, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin led a Workshop, “Measurement of Recovery,” at the Joint National Conference on Mental Health Block Grants and Mental Health Statistics, Washington DC.

May 17-18, 2006

  • Dan Fisher presented “Resiliency and Recovery" at the Spring Mental Health Conference, Park City, Utah.


May 8, 2006

  • Judi Chamberlin presented “Evaluation 101: The Whys and Hows of Evaluation Research for Non-Researchers” and “Drop-In Centers in the Era of Evidence-based Practices” at the “Faces of Recovery” annual drop-in center conference at Nittany Lion Inn, State College, PA.

December 12, 2005

November 17-20, 2005

  • Judi Chamberlin will be one of the keynote speakers for the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy (NARPA)’s 23rd Annual Rights Conference: Reclaiming Freedom: A Call To Action at the Sheraton Hartford Hotel, East Hartford, CT. For more information go to www.narpa.org

November 9, 2005

June 9-10, 2005

  • Daniel Fisher conducted a two-day training for 19 emerging leaders from California. The training was organized by Carol Ford, director of the office of Self-help for the California Network of Mental Health Clients. The Meeting was led off by Sally Zinman who described the need to pass the baton of leadership on to a new generation. Full story

June 7, 2005

  • The Olalla Center for Children and Families in Newport Oregon hosted a symposium where Dr. Fisher was the keynote speaker. The symposium was open to all mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, religious leaders, parents of children with mental health disorders, consumers of mental health services, physicians, child welfare workers, and anyone interested in Dr. Fisher's unique approach.

June 3, 2005

  • Consumers and families attended a workshop with Dr. Fisher on Recovery from a Psychiatrist's Perspective at Norristown State Hospital, Norristown, PA.


May 23, 24, 25, 2005

  • NEC Staff presentations at USPRA Conference, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania:
    • Judene Shelley and Daniel Fisher offered a workshop on: Recovery Through Peer Support
      • Which included a discussion of recovery principles and ways that community and peer support can facilitate recovery. Workshop participants explored common principles of recovery and practiced applying peer support in ways that promote achievement of desired roles in society.
    • Amy Long presented: If Services and Programs Don't Heal - What Does
      • Services and programs provide structure not healing. Recovery informed systems go beyond the "personal recovery" to include social action which involves a new language and views. Current research tools were presented. Participants explored necessary ingredients in establishing healthy communities.
    • Amy Long and Ken Schlosser offered an all-day Institute: Recovery-Oriented Practice.
      • There is growing appreciation for approaches that promote recovery for mental health consumers. This Institute focused on teaching new concepts and skills to effectively support client empowerment. It drew upon 'Recovery-Oriented Practice', a curriculum developed by Pat Deegan, a leading consumer advocate. The Institute offered skill teaching in two domains - Expanding Client Choice and Enhancing Respectful Communication with consumers. It utilized small group exercises, choice scenarios, participants' work experience, and role plays.

May 24, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher spoke about Schizophrenia & Recovery, hosted by the Mental Health Association in Jefferson County, Beaumont Texas, in partnership and underwritten by with Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospitals and Spindletop MHMR Services.  View flyer (jpg image)

May 5, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher lectured at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Ontario as part of Mental Health Week. "Creating Positive Change in Mental Health with Recovery". It was an opportunity for consumers, family members, clinicians, students, psychiatrists and policy makers alike to come together to explore their role in creating culture change and improving mental service.


April 26, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher gave a workshop entitled "RECOVERY: Transforming Mental Health Clinical Practices To Implement Recovery" at the North Chicago VA Medical Center. Hosted by the Day Treatment Center and Mental Health Intensive Case Management Programs.  Brochure (PFD)

April 24, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher spoke about “Recovery Through Education: Making Your Dreams Come True” at the NAMI, Michigan 2005 Conference, Kalamazoo MI.

April 14, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher spoke at Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero, CA on "How to Create a Culture of Recovery."

April 13, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher lectured about "The Principles of Recovery and how they can Improve Clinical Practice" at a conference called "The Individual with Psychosis: Evidence based Practices for Recovery" hosted by Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA.


April 12, 2005

  • Dr. Fisher spoke at the Highland Drive VA in Pittsburgh, PA on “How to Create a Culture of Recovery”.

April 6, 2005

  • Hartford’s No-fee “Volunteers in Psychotherapy” Program and University of Hartford Psychology Programs hosted Dr. Fisher who spoke on "How Human Connections Nourish Recovery from ‘Mental Illness." Co-sponsored by the University of Hartford’s Graduate Institute of Professional Psychology, Department of Psychology and Honors (Psi Chi) program.

March 16, 2005

  • At the SAMHSA Training series on Mental Health Self-Direction, presenters Tom Nemey, Judi Chamberlin and Jean Tuller presented information on the principles and tools of self-direction as well as what has been learned that supports self-direction in mental health.

October 16, 2004

  • Dr. Fisher gave a keynote address to the Fort Francis, Ontario, branch of Canadian Mental Health Association¹s 6th Annual Consumer and Family Conference.

October 14, 2004

  • Dr. Fisher spoke at Alternatives 2004, in Denver, CO, in a plenary session with Joseph Rogers on the topic of the New Freedom Commission and carried out a workshop, "You Too Can Recover from Mental Illness".

October 13, 2004

  • Dr. Fisher spoke at the University of New Mexico Wellness 2004 Consumer/Survivor Conference, at the University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico.


September 30, 2004

  • Dr. Fisher was part of a Keynote Panel at the 22nd Annual New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, entitled, "The Recovery Revolution: How Far Have We Come?" which took place at the Nevele Grand Resort, Ellenville, NY.

September 9, 2004

  • Dr. Fisher presented "Nothing about Us Without Us" in which he highlighted the importance of participation in planning one's own treatment and one's system's mental policies at the 20th Annual Fairweather Lodge Conference in Erie, PA, . The conference was sponsored by Stairways Behavioral Health.

August 19, 2004

July 6-7, 2004

  • The Vancouver/Richmond Mental Health Network and The Canadian Mental Health Association Vancouver-Burnaby Branch presented A Lecture & Workshops by Dr. Dan Fisher, MD , PhD, Psychiatrist.

November 11-13, 2003