The 2020 Digital Conference, “SPOTLIGHT: Stories of Hope and Healing”

September 22-23, 2020.

“This conference helped me to have a more open mind and have more empathy and compassion for others. Thank you guys for a wonderful conference, you all get an A+ from me.” – 2020 Attendee

A warm “thank you” to every participant, panelist, facilitator, and VOCAL member who joined us for the two days of collective learning and discussion. VOCAL staff are pleased with the energy and support we received from our friends across the behavioral health community. Without each of you, this event would not have been possible.


You can find the September 2020 Conference’s full workshop schedule here and view the workshop descriptions below.

“The Power of Storytelling: Why Having a Positive Recovery Story Matters” with Lauren Hope

Learn the power of storytelling to empower, heal, and free people from shame, and how to reframe recovery stories to highlight the positive.

“Lauren was an amazing, inspirational speaker. I love her message and positive outlook.” – 2020 Attendee

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Behavioral Health Peers” with Elizabeth Bouldin-Clopton

Discuss the many faces and characteristics of diversity while learning how diversity, equity, and inclusion impact our relationships and work with peers who differ from us.

“Wow! There were so many things in this presentation that I never considered before. Thank you.” – 2020 Attendee

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” Panel 

The diversity, equity, and inclusion discussion panel included a variety of peer voices that brought their lived experience into the discussion to further explore what it means to be diverse in today’s society.

“Beyond Possible” Film Screening and Panel with the Hearing Voices Network-USA with Moderator Caroline Mazel-Carlton

This 22-minute film explores what the Hearing Voices Network (HVN) approach looks like, how it began, and the ways in which it is expanding our view of what is possible in the lives of people who hear voices, see visions, and/or have other similarly non-consensus-reality-based experiences.

View the Beyond Possible film here.

“The Hearing Voices Network panel was extremely well-done and very enlightening for me in my peer support work.” – 2020 Attendee

“Ethics for the PRS Practitioner” with Mary McQuown

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS) have a Code of Ethics that they agree to abide by. This workshop will introduce participants to the Code of Ethics for Peer Recovery Specialists.

“Mary was so professional, and made the material easy to understand.” – 2020 Attendee

A Veterans View: Soldier to Civilian” with Don Johnson

When the service member separates from the military and that structure and discipline are gone, what happens to them then? This workshop will be useful to those who work with and care for veterans, or anyone who would like to better understand some specific challenges faced by veterans.

“Don’s story was compelling, and he spoke from the heart.” – 2020 Attendee

We are grateful to Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Office of Recovery Services for their sponsorship of this event. Thank you for continuing to lead the way in promoting recovery-oriented services across the Commonwealth.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the next conference, which (spoiler alert!) we hope to offer in May 2021! 

If you have any questions regarding the 2020 conference or future conferences, please contact VOCAL staff at 804-343-1777 or email: