July 6, 2011

National Conference Organized by and for Individuals with Psychiatric Histories to Be Held in Orlando

PHILADELPHIA, July 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Registration is open for the 25th annual Alternatives conference http://www.alternatives2011.org, the oldest national mental health conference organized by and for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, to be held October 26-30, 2011, at the Caribe Royale Orlando in Orlando, Florida.

"The theme - 'Coming Home: Creating Our Own Communities of Wellness and Recovery' - reflects the desire for community by individuals with psychiatric histories, whatever their age, background, and walk of life - that is, we who have been disenfranchised and marginalized by a society that discriminates against those whom it defines as 'other,' " 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 speakers will include Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., administrator, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Kinike Bermudez, a founding member of the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association; Timothy Ranney-Blake, a performance artist who describes himself as "a gay African-American Viet Nam-era military veteran in recovery from insomnia, depression and suicidal ideation"; and representatives of several national organizations of youth with psychiatric disabilities - including MY LIFE, Youth 'N Action!, Youth MOVE National, Active Minds, and YOUTH POWER! - who will use personal stories, videos, music and performances to highlight the work of the nation's leading youth advocates to improve systems, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and help other young people experiencing mental health challenges. There will be a pre-conference Carnival of the Arts on Oct. 26, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

To register, go to the Alternatives 2011 website at http://www.alternatives2011.org and click on "Registration" in the left-hand navigation bar, or go directly to: http://www.alternatives2011.org/announcements/category/registration-july.

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, which is also helping sponsor the conference.

Contact: Susan Rogers, National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, [email protected], 267-507-3844,.

SOURCE National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse