Get involved with one of the most influential recovery-based mental health conferences in the country. Alternatives 2018 will be held in Washington DC and local help is needed to assist conference planning by generating ideas and helping to make the conference meaningful to local consumers and diverse people who may attend. Committee members will help with outreach to encourage people to present and to attend Alternatives and other important tasks.


Local Committee for Alternatives 2017 

Purpose of committee: Assist conference planning by generating ideas and helping to make the conference meaningful to local consumers and diverse people who may attend. Outreach to encourage people to present and to attend Alternatives 2017. Seek volunteers to assist during the conference.

Members: Calls held monthly. Anyone who is interested is welcome to join the committee. The diverse members were able to give many ideas.

The latest information is always available at the Alternatives website:

Possible tasks of the local committee: (The group may add ideas to this list as the planning progresses. Your participation is always voluntary.)

Encourage people to apply to present workshops, especially inviting diverse people. If you are part of an organization, please spread the word to your members, colleagues, etc. Specify topics and programs that are good local models, including workshops in native languages (Spanish, other?)

Brainstorm ideas for getting out the word about the conference locally and in the greater area. Send fliers, email information, or send through social media to your contacts, friends, and colleagues. Share ideas about how to outreach to specific organizations (DMH, peer support employers, etc.) to get them to support people to attend the conference.

Bring cultural awareness to planning and implementation of conference by informing of local needs and increasing access to the conference. Help with outreach to everyone, and particular outreach to underserved, under-represented people. Please help us brainstorm how to outreach to youth, veterans, and other communities underrepresented at Alternatives. We welcome your ideas and are happy to do follow up, etc. A letter was developed and sent by committee members to colleges in the area inviting students to attend Alternatives.

Assist in distributing registration information and encourage people to attend. Invite consumers as well as social workers and other providers who may be interested.  Please spread the word to your networks and give NEC ideas of who you think we should contact.

Help identify possible sources of scholarship money for locals, particularly for culturally under-represented people.

Possibly assist in obtaining interpreters — Spanish and ASL (American sign language), and other languages if requested

Help locate possible local talent-band or DJ for dance, local performers?

Serve as volunteer hosts, welcoming and helping at the conference for those who are interested.

Organize and staff a “Help Desk” at conference registration with information about the local area (where to eat, how to get around, public transit, etc.)

Generate ideas through discussion during meetings and email about local needs or logistics that may be sent to attendees through website or email announcements

Encourage local people who may be able to volunteer at the conference.

Recruit volunteers for the conference; possible volunteer person or organization to coordinate local volunteers for different tasks:

  1. Mentor first time participants or people new to the area
  2. Help create registration bags
  3. Assist at registration
  4. Greet people arriving at hotel/registration area-give directions as needed.
  5. Staff info/help desk during conference-a place where people can get local information about getting around the area as well as help finding workshops and other conference events.
  6. Help staff the art/drop-in room. Possibly find local organization that may help staff the room during the conference.
  7. Help staff the youth room
  8. Room assistants-who assist presenters, hand out and collect evaluation forms, CEU sign in, etc.
  9. assistance-delivering handouts to rooms; help registration desk with any tasks needed during the conference

If interested, please contact Dr. Daniel Fisher at 800-POWER2U or





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