National Conference Organized by and for People with Psychiatric Histories to Be Held in Omaha

October 22, 2009

OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 23rd annual Alternatives conference, the only national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/survivors, will be held October 28 to November 1, 2009, at the Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass Street, in Omaha, Nebraska.

The theme of Alternatives 2009 http://www.alternatives2009.org is “Uniting Our Movement for Change.” “Although our movement can encompass a wide array of philosophies, we can unite around common goals: to guarantee that individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses have all the opportunities, rights and responsibilities available to everyone else, including the right to pursue a meaningful life and, to echo Nebraska’s state motto, ‘equality before the law,’” said Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, which is organizing the conference.

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

Plenary session speakers will include A. Kathryn Power, director, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (10/28, 6:30-9 p.m.); David Granirer, a counselor, stand-up comic, author of “The Happy Neurotic: How Fear and Angst Can Lead to Happiness and Success,” and founder of “Stand Up for Mental Health,” who performs around North America (10/29, 8:30-9:30 a.m.); J. Rock Johnson, J.D., an internationally known consumer advocate who is also an activist in her home state of Nebraska (10/30, 8:30-9:30 a.m.); Andrew J. Imparato, Esq., president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country’s largest national disability membership organization (10/31, 8:30-9:30 a.m.); and U.S. Senator and former Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns (10/31, noon-1:15 p.m.). Judi Chamberlin, a pioneer in the mental health consumer/survivor movement, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award (10/31, noon-1:15 p.m.).

The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse http://www.mhselfhelp.org is a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded by the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is also helping to sponsor the conference.

Contact: Joseph Rogers, National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse, 800-553-4539 x273; jrogers@mhasp.org

SOURCE National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse

Source: newswire

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