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Alternatives Conference 2014

Creating the Future: Change, Challenge, Opportunity

The National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse announces that Alternatives 2014, the 28th national mental health conference organized by and for mental health consumers/ survivors, will be held in Orlando, Florida, at the Caribe Royale, October 22-26, 2014.

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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is providing limited financial support to behavioral health consumer experts with lived experience to participate in the Alternatives 2014 Annual Conference. SAMHSA reserves the right to cancel financial support at any time.

The purpose of this support is to foster the transformation of behavioral health care to focus on recovery. Please Note: To be eligible for this financial support, a completed application must be received by U.S. Mail, postmarked on or before the deadline of September 19, 2014. Applications will not be accepted past the deadline. SAMHSA reserves the right to decline incomplete applications.NO FAXED OR E-MAILED SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED."

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Please note: The applications are due by September 19, the date at the top of the form. Please ignore the September 12 date on page 2 of the form.

About Us

The STAR Center is one of the five National Technical Assistance Centers funded by SAMHSA to support mental health systems transformation. The purpose of the overall program is to provide technical assistance that facilitates the restructuring of the mental health system by promoting recovery and consumer directed approaches.

Each NTAC is organized by SAMHSA to focus on specific topic areas of concentration that can be offered through virtual training and technical assistance or product development for the whole country while also offering direct training and technical assistance to specific states, territories or tribal governments. The STAR Center is charged with supporting four target states/territories Rhode Island, New Mexico, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. read more...

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The STAR Center is funded by a grant from the Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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STAR Center News

STAR Center Webinars:

The Life Changing Power of Self Directed Care and Peer Support

Date: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET

Self-Direction is a well-recognized practice, and was recently highlighted as a key initiative in a landmark guidance letter by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The opportunity to design, implement and offer self-directed care and peer support to people with mental health conditions in our communities has never been greater. The presenters in this webinar will offer an overview of self-directed care, offer personal and professional experience with implementing self-directed care and peer support, identify the lessons learned for implementation and systems advocacy as well as important strategies for moving forward and improving the impact of self-directed care in underserved communities.


Erme C. Maula, RN, MSN, CPS, WRAP Facilitator, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania (MHASP)

Julie Schnepp and John Hamm, Consumer Recovery Investment Funds (CRIF) Self Directed Care (SDC) Program Participants
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Lessons of Lived Experience with Recovery: Engaging Asian and South Asian American Communities

Date: Wednesday, August 27th
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m.

There are 15.5 million people with origins in the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent living in the United States. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death for Asian Americans. Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over age 65 in the United States and Southeast Asian refugees are at significant risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with trauma experienced before and after immigration to the U.S. Despite what we know about recovery-oriented, person-centered and culturally competent services that engage and empower people to live their lives, not their diagnoses, the message of recovery has yet to reach the majority of the Asian and South Asian American community. In this webinar, presenters from Asian and South Asian communities will offer their personal lived experience with recovery, lessons learned about the barriers they had to overcome and suggestions for improving engagement of the Asian and South Asian American Community in mental health recovery.


Gayathri Ramprasad

Gayathri Ramprasad is the Founder and President of ASHA International a nonprofit organization promoting personal, organizational, and community wellness. And, the author of Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within. Her successful battle in overcoming life-threatening mental illness and her amazing recovery taught her the power of hope and holistic wellness. Now, she shares that message with others. Since the launch of ASHA International's wellness campaign, Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives in 2006, Gayathri's keynotes, wellness workshops, and cultural competence trainings have reached more than 32,000 people nationally and internationally, with a resounding message of hope and healing. Individuals and organizations alike applaud Gayathri as an agent of hope and transformational change.

Can Truong

Can Truong is a mental health recovery, psychosocial rehabilitation, wellness, and spirituality educator, advocate, trainer, speaker, and consultant. He does consulting and collaborative work for various nonprofit organizations and have conducted trainings throughout America.

He currently is the executive director of the Center for Education Empowerment, and is the founding director of NAAPIEN, the National Asian American Pacific Islander Empowerment Network. He is also in a documentary called "Can" at www.amongourkin.org

View Webinar Recording
Download Gayathri's Presentation
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Additional Resources from Gayathri Ramprasad:
Cultural Competency in mental Health Peer-run Programs & Self-Help Groups: A Tool to Assess & Enhance Your Services
USPRA's Principles of Multicultural Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services
NAMI Multicultural Action Center
ASHA International

Additional Resources from Can Truong:
AAPI Behavioral Health Care Organizations

Engaging People in Services that Support Recovery

Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Time: 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET

People vote with their feet and often walk away from services that do not meet their needs. In this webinar, Pat Deegan will draw on her experience in building services that engage and empower people to to live their lives, not their diagnosis. Pat will use examples from her work with OnTrackNY first episode psychosis teams, shared decision making and recovery learning collaboratives, to illustrate principles of successful engagement strategies.


Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D

Patricia E. Deegan, Ph.D, is a principal with Pat Deegan & Associates, LLC. For over 30 years she has been a thought leader and disruptive innovator in the field of behavioral health recovery. Pat founded a health information technology company run by and for people in recovery. We build web applications that help individuals recover after a diagnosis of mental illness. Our flagship products are an online Recovery Library and a web application that helps individuals, families and psychiatrists engage in shared decision making to find the best treatment for recovery. Pat is an activist in the disability rights movement and has lived her own journey of recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager. She is an Adjunct Professor at Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine and received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Duquesne University.

Learning objectives:

  • To understand why people choose to walk away from services
  • To understand how very high rates of engagement have been achieved in the OnTrackNY programs serving young folks with first episode psychosis
  • To understand how technology can help engage people in recovery-oriented services

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Additional Resources

Additional Resources:

Building Bridges, LGBT Populations: A Dialogue on Advancing Opportunities for Recovery from Addictions and Mental Health Problems

Community Conversations About Mental Health Toolkit

Hogg Foundation Report on Eliminating Disparities through Integrated Health

HHS Plan to Reduce Disparities

Institute of Medicine on Eliminating Disparities

Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy

Behavioral Health United States 2012

The Dynamic System of Power, Privelege and Oppression

Gender: Power and Privelege

Five Faces of Oppression

Oppression and Privilege Framework

Difference, Power, and Privelege

A Structural Analysis of Oppression

Community of Practice:

STAR Center Community of Practice on Collaborative Leadership:
Featuring an Interview with Khatera Aslami

Date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
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?

This month's Community of Practice features a new webinar based interview format with Khatera Aslami. Khatera is Consumer Empowerment Manager for Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services. Formerly Executive Director of Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (PEERS), she is a consumer, trauma survivor, and a representative of an underserved immigrant community (Afghan-American), as well as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator. Khatera specializes in forging community partnerships and alliances in an effort to spread WRAP and its values and ethics, end stigma and discrimination, promote wellness, recovery, resiliency, and social inclusion throughout the Oakland Bay Area and California.

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

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STAR Center Community of Practice on Collaborative Leadership:
Featuring an Interview with Leah Harris

Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Time: 1 - 2:30 p.m. ET

This month's Community of Practice features a new webinar based interview format with Leah Harris, M.A., Director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. Leah is a mother, storyteller, and activist. She has been a nationally-recognized leader in the mental health consumer/survivor movement for over a decade. Leah is the daughter of two parents who were diagnosed with mental illness, both of whom died young as a result of their disabilities. This depth of her personal experience fuels Leah's commitment to ensuring human rights and recovery for all people who experience emotional distress and crisis.

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

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Additional Resources from Leah Harris
8 Differences between Traditional and Collaborative Leaders
Traits of True Leaders
Mindful Leadership

Community of Practice Resources:

Presentation from June 17, 2014
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Presentation from May 25, 2014
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Presentation from April 29, 2014
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Additional Resources:
Watch "Why Diversity is Upside Down"- Andres Tapia from Tedx Indianapolis
Watch "Adaptive vs. Technical" - Dr. Ronald Heifetz
Part 1 of the video series: Cultural Humility: People, Principles and Practices by Vivian Chavez
Tedx Talk on Adaptive Leadership-Leading Change by Marty Linsky
Situational Leadership Styles Questionnaire
Social Matrix
Expanding Our Social Justice Practices
Situational Leadership Self-Assessment

Archive of Webinars:

Hitting the Streets: Engaging People When and Where It's Needed the Most

Learning objectives:

  • Identify principles of effective outreach;
  • Describe effective outreach strategies;
  • List effective best practices for outreach;
  • Promote safety strategies for outreach work; and
  • Discuss steps in building trust.

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Cultural Activation Prompts (CAPs): A New Consumer Tool to Encourage Consumers to Let Providers Know About What Culturally Matters To Them

Learning objectives:

  • To understand the importance to providers of learning about a consumer's cultural identity and value system
  • To learn of a new notion of cultural activation intended to promote consumer's participation in the therapeutic process
  • To become familiar with a newly developed tool, CAPs, for use by consumers to present salient features of their culture that might influence care planning.
Webinar Audio Recording
Webinar video coming soon
Download Presentation
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Courageous Conversations: Being Allies to Individuals in Recovery Who Experience Prejudice, Discrimination and Oppression

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the unique aspects of courageous conversations
  • Deepen the awareness of how prejudice, discrimination and oppression operate at the intrapersonal, social, and systemic contexts
  • Learn how to be an ally through the development of cultural empathy
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Download Presentation
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Additional Resources

Additional Archive of Webinars

Star Center Resources:

Justice Materials link
Archive of Star Center Resources

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