On Our Own, Transforming the Future Together
The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is excited to announce that Alternatives 2019 will be held at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC, July 7 - 11, 2019.
Last year we returned to our roots: We held Alternatives 2018 at a university for the first time in decades, without relying on federal funding, the way our movement for social justice first began. The freedom of truly being “On Our Own Again” was felt as a palpable energy. The opportunity to do advocacy training and host a “Hill Day” was exciting and rewarding. We are eager to repeat this Pre-conference Action at Alternatives 2019.
The Alternatives conference is the oldest and largest conference of its kind, organized and hosted for more than three decades by peers for peers (people with lived experience of the behavioral health system, emotional distress/crisis, trauma, substance use, and/or addiction). The Alternatives conference is renowned for offering the latest and best information in the peer recovery movement, and provides an invaluable opportunity for peers to network with and learn from one another. This conference is funded entirely through registration fees and donations.
Alternatives 2019 will include a two-day pre-conference, July 8 and 9, with advocacy training on Monday and a “Hill Day” on Tuesday, when peer advocates will meet, by appointment, with the staff of their U.S. senators and congressional representatives. Now more than ever, it is important for us to participate in the national debate.
The conference will officially open with dinner and keynote presentations on Tuesday evening, July 9, followed by workshops and caucuses on Wednesday and Thursday. A call for workshop proposals will be announced soon.
Newer college dorm rooms with single beds and private or shared bathrooms will be available for an affordable price, and three buffet-style meals a day will be provided in the dining hall. All meeting rooms are ADA-accessible; some accessible dorm rooms can be reserved. There is a newly renovated Metro stop on campus; parking is also available. There are many hotels a few Metro stops away for those who wish to stay off campus.
NCMHR appreciates CUA’s mission statement for Alternatives 2019: Catholic University encourages “serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs, and promotes intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding. We embody this principle in the diversity of our students, faculty and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character.”The Alternatives conference strives to be a welcoming environment for all people, and we have been assured that all of our attendees will be treated with respect.
Alternatives 2019 is a great opportunity to learn new skills and share your passion for recovery, advocacy, the arts, multicultural and diversity awareness, youth involvement, and more! Come, find and raise your voice, share your expertise, meet old friends and make new ones!
We hope you will save the date, share it with others, and join us at Alternatives 2019!
Follow @AltCon_2019 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2019.
Follow alernativescon on Instagram.
For the Alternatives Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlternativesConference/
and the Alternatives Announcements Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlternativesAnnouncements/
We will update the Alternatives 2019 website and social media as new information becomes available.
Questions? Write firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alternatives conference will be held at the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.
We thank you for participating in Alternatives 2018.
We would like your feedback about your conference experience to help us in planning Alternatives 2019. Please take this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NDR3VB9
Alternatives 2018 Recordings Available:
Thanks to Melinda Hasbrouck, we have recordings of Alternatives 2018 conference sessions for purchase. We appreciate that Melinda did the recording without being paid and is charging a reasonable price to purchase recordings. Keynote/Plenary/Closing Sessions and Workshops were recorded when the presenter gave advance permission. CDs, MP3s, and DVDs (for some sessions) are available for purchase at https://www.royhas.com/alternatives2018
Prices and lists of sessions available for purchase are listed. Questions? Contact Melinda at email@example.com or 202-538-0006.
CE’s (Continuing Education Units): 2019 will again offer CE’s
Did you find the CE’s from National Associaton of Social Workers (NASW) helpful? We are considering whether to apply for their CEs again, or just offer our own certificate of completion. Please email us if you found the NASW CE’s helpful: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for more information on how to recommend keynote speakers for Alternatives 2019.
Check out the 2018 Conference program
This is the 2018 conference program to give you a sense of what to expect in 2019:
Workshops will be presented on Wednesday and Thursday. Keep watching for the Call for Proposals for Alternatives 2019.
Honor peer leaders in your community
At each Alternatives Conference, awards are given to people who have contributed to our community. We will soon update the page asking for your nominations.
Alternatives 2019 is relying totally on registrations and sponsors to have a successful conference. Please consider sponsoring the conference or giving scholarships to attendees from your area. Additional information about sponsorships on the "Sponsorship page."
At this time, we do not have funds available to provide scholarships for the Alternatives Conference. We recommend that conference attendees seek funding from local organizations and agencies. Potential funding sources include your employer, state- and city-wide mental health advocacy groups, peer-run and consumer-run groups, and disability rights advocacy organizations. The Funding for Alternatives section of this website has additional ideas.
Arts at Alternatives
Arts events at Alternatives include a number of workshops, the drop-in arts room, and an Open Mic on Wednesday evening.
Alternatives Conference Service Dog Policy
If you are bringing your certified service animal to the conference, the University would like to know in advance. They need a note from your doctor stating that the animal is necessary. Please email email@example.com and we’ll give you information about how to contact the University.
The behavior of service dogs is, at all times, the responsibility of the handler, as is any damage done by the dog. Handlers are expected to clean up every time their service dog eliminates. Service dogs are expected to be clean, healthy, well behaved, on a leash, and always under the handler’s control or the control of another responsible adult. If a dog is aggressive toward another dog or a human being, it will not be allowed near the conference. This is to protect the safety of both people and animals.
The Alternatives conference is the oldest and largest conference of its kind, organized and hosted for more than three decades by peers for peers (people with lived experience of the behavioral health system, emotional distress/crisis, trauma, substance use, and/or addiction). Alternatives is renowned for offering the latest and best information in the peer recovery movement, and provides an invaluable opportunity for peers to network with and learn from one another. This conference is funded entirely through registration fees and donations.
Learn More → Our Mission
Learn More → Our History
This is the PEOPLE's Alternatives: We are going back to our roots when we used to gather on college campuses.
Catholic University encourages “serious and sustained discourse among people of different faiths, cultures, and beliefs, and promotes intellectual, ethical and spiritual understanding. We embody this principle in the diversity of our students, faculty and staff, our commitment to justice and the common good, our intellectual openness, and our international character.” The Alternatives conference strives to be a welcoming environment for all people, and we have been assured that all of our attendees, whatever their faith or lack of faith, will be treated with respect.
Travel and Lodging Information
The Edward J Pryzbyla University Center is a searchable location on your GPS. However, if you are using an Uber/Lyft Service, cab, or driving by yourself, please place McMahon Parking Lot in your GPS as it will direct you to the front of the Pryzbyla Center.
Driving to park in the McMahon Parking Lot: From Michigan Avenue, turn by the Basilica. Go right on the roundabout to the Basilica, drive along the right side of the basilica. At the stop sign, turn right into McMahon Parking Lot. Walk down the ramp to the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, a glass, modern building.
We plan to rent vehicles and have volunteers to help drive people who need help around campus and from the metro stop Sunday-Friday. Just come to the Pryz information desk or call 385-251-4931 to ask to be picked up.
This link has directions for travel to Catholic University by car, train, or from airports. https://www.catholic.edu/resources/Maps%20and%20Directions/index.html
Additional information about travel and arrival information available on this page.
All photography provided by Jared Chambers