The Alternatives National Conference has decided not to hold an independent conference this year. Instead, Alternatives is collaborating with Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon to host elements of Alternatives in its Peerpocalypse conference, April 20-23, 2020 conference in Seaside, Oregon. We welcome Alternatives to Peerpocalypse 2020 and encourage prospective participants to learn more or submit a workshop proposal at The deadline to submit workshop proposals is November 15, 2019.

Alternatives 2019
Standing Together, Celebrating Our Gifts, Raising Our Voices

Thank you to all who attended Alternatives 2019, hosted by the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC, July 7 - 11, 2019! 

VENHOLISTIC Alternatives logo.jpg

We invite you to join the Alternatives Conference Announcements Facebook group to stay connected and get information when future conferences are planned. At this time, there have been no decisions regarding next year. The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) board will meet and decide on a course of action for next year, and you will be notified when a plan is in place.

Many of you took part in the Public Policy and Education Academy training and Hill Day, speaking to legislators about your mental health priorities and recommendations. Many of you presented or participated in keynote sessions, workshops, caucuses, and/or special sessions sponsored by the Diversity Committee. Many of you created art in the arts drop-in center, and/or displayed in or visited the exhibit area. Many of you shared your talent, or enjoyed the offerings, at the open mic, or had fun at the dance. Many of you took the opportunity to make new friends and create new networks. However you participated, your presence contributed to the success of Alternatives 2019.

Please complete this evaluation if you attended the conference. Your feedback and ideas are important to planning future conferences:

We have asked presenters to share their handouts, PowerPoints, and websites with us. You can see them here.

If you have questions or concerns about Alternatives, please contact us at or 202-642-4480.

CE’s (Continuing Education Units):

If you would like Continuing Education credit for Alternatives conference attendance, take your record of all the sessions you attended, attach the Certificate of Attendance from the conference, and send both to your certifying organization. If you need a Certificate of Attendance, please reply to this email and we will email you one. (We have the record of who attended the conference.) The conference workshops were approved by NASW (National Association of Social Workers), and many other certifying organizations will accept them also.

Recordings Available: 

Thanks to Melinda Hasbrouck, we have recordings of 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

Prices and lists of sessions available for purchase are listed.

Questions about recordings? Contact Melinda at or 202-538-0006.

What is the Alternatives Conference? Watch this video.

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 2019 has returned to our roots when the conference was organized by the early pioneers of Peer Recovery/Liberation Movement and was held at college campuses. Returning to our core values of being a “People’s Alternatives,” funded entirely through registrations and sponsorships, we are exited about the freedom we have to create this conference our way, “On Our Own.”

Click here for a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the consumer/survivor movement.

Click here for an article describing one attendee’s perspective on this year’s Alternatives Conference in the Albany Herald.

Social Media

Follow @AltCon_2019 on Twitter; the hashtag is #Alternatives2019.

Follow alernativescon on Instagram.

For the Alternatives Facebook group:


Additional Information

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

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.


All photography provided by Jared Chambers


Schedule At A Glance

 Learn More →


Workshop Proposals

Would you like to present at Alternatives? Keep watching for the call for workshop proposals for Alternatives 2019

 Find Out How →