On Our Own, Transforming the Future Together


The National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR) is proud to host the 2018 Alternatives Conference which will be held in Washington, D.C. from July 29 through August 3, 2018. The site of the conference is the Catholic University of America which is strategically placed in the nation’s capital, not far from Capitol Hill. A pre-conference Hill Day will offer a hands-on, grassroots opportunity for us to organize, raise our voices and be heard by our federal representatives. 

The Alternatives conference is the oldest and largest conference of its kind, organized and hosted for more than 3 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 will be a “people’s Alternatives,” funded entirely through registration fees and donations. We will be ‘on our own’ again, connecting to the roots of our movement. We look forward to seeing you there!


WORKSHOP PROPOSALS were Accepted through March 21, 2018

Thank you to everyone who applied to present a workshop at Alternatives 2018. The proposals are being reviewed and applicants will be notified by the end of April.



Alternatives 2018 is in need of sponsors for the 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.


Keynote Speakers

The Alternatives planning committee welcomes nominations of people to present keynote talks at the conference. Please complete this form by April 30, 2018 with information about the individual you would like to nominate.


Continuing Education Units (CEs)

The Alternatives Conference will apply for approval for CEs for workshop attendance through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).


Arts at Alternatives

The Arts Planning Committee is seeking volunteers to help with planning arts activities throughout the conference. Please complete this form if you would be interested in getting involved.


Additional Information

Additional information will be posted at this website as it becomes available.


All photography provided by Jared Chambers


Schedule At A Glance

Find out about our conference, mission, our events, and the results of our decades of advocacy.

Learn More →

Workshop Proposals

Would you like to present at Alternatives? 

Find Out How →

 Pryzbyla Conference Center Atrium

Pryzbyla Conference Center Atrium