Alternatives is the national mental health conference organized by and for mental health peers. The conference is aimed at offering assistance on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods in a rich social, artistic, and healing environment. VOCAL participates annually. The 2010 conference was held in Anaheim, California. For more on Alternatives, visit http://www.power2u.org/alternatives2010.

2010 Workshops offered by VOCAL at Alternatives:

Funding Our Movement: Fundraising for Peer-Run Mental Health Programs

Ellen Osborne, Heather Peck
Many peer-run program leaders are beginning to think about diversifying our funding base. This institute will cover how to “make the case” for why your organization deserves funding by creating a compelling case statement for your fundraising and marketing materials. This institute will also cover how to “make the ask” of potential donors in our communities. In addition, we will cover the nuts, bolts, and tools to make a fundraising program successful and fun.
Click here to download the Workshop Booklet, "Funding the Movement." (5mb file)

Psychiatric Advance Directives and WRAP Crisis Plans
Bonnie Neighbour, Ann Bohr Benner
Explore the process of getting Psychiatric Advance Directive language into state law and our role as peers in making that change happen, how a WRAP Crisis Plan can inform a Psychiatric Advance Directive and why both documents are important. Discuss mental health crisis and how we can be prepared, so that treatment given during a crisis is in line with our values and desires; and how we can, as citizens, make a difference in our own states’ laws.


Heather Peck at the "Funding the Movement" Institute


Robert Whittaker delivered a keynote speech, "Rethinking Psychiatric Care: If We Follow the Scientific Evidence, What Must We Do to Better Promote Long-term Recovery?"


Pamela S. Hyde, SAMHSA Administrator presented challenges and opportunities for Behavioral Health and answered all the crowd's questions.

Many voices commented on Alternatives 2010 ...

2009 Alternatives, Omaha Nebraska

FW at Alt 2009 large

Lauren Spiro and Ann Benner signed books at the Firewalkers workshop.

Judy and Friends 2009

Above: Judy Chamberlain and friends.

Left: Michael Pendrak helps with book sales at the Firewalkers workshop.