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. To submit a workshop proposal to Peerpocalypse, click here.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a workshop proposal for 2019. The workshops for this year are on the Workshop Page. Please consider submitting a proposal next year.

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Presentation Categories

•  Diversity, Inclusion, and Intersectionality: Creating diverse, culturally responsive communities inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, size, disability, culture, and/or socioeconomic status; intersectionality; inclusion of disadvantaged and/or underrepresented groups.

•  Bridging the Gap Between Mental Health and Substance Use: Integrative programs, holistic approaches, funding opportunities, program development, and/or peer support for people with substance use and mental health challenges. 

•  Innovative PerspectivesApproaches that provide a radical shift in cultural paradigms and challenge fundamental assumptions and social norms, including mad pride, neurodiversity, prison abolition, harm reduction, safely reducing use of psychiatric medications, drug users’ rights, social models of disability, and/or others.

•  Promising Practices in Peer-Run Programs and Services: Peer-run alternatives to hospitalization; programs involving specific populations (e.g., veterans, Latinx, LGBTQ+); evidence-based peer practices, research, and outcomes; strategies to promote peer support, peer specialists, or other peer workforce initiatives, including trauma-informed programs and practices.

•  Economic Health and Leadership Development: Employment, housing, financial literacy, financial self-sufficiency, overcoming poverty and income inequality; non-profit management, leadership development, board of directors’ development; building and sustaining a 501(c)(3); and organizational and leadership sustainability,

•  Healing Through the Arts, Holistic Health, Wellness, and Spirituality: Healing approaches and celebrating our gifts through art, music, dance, spoken word, or other forms of creative expression; improving physical, emotional, and/or spiritual health through wellness practices, including nutrition, mindfulness, meditation, massage, exercise, yoga, or other holistic approaches.

•  Social Justice and Rights Protection: Addressing social/legal/rights issues affecting the peer community; history of peer, civic, or human rights movements; effective advocacy training and practices to build and raise our collective voice; grassroots organizing, cross-disability alliances and organizing.

•  Using Technology in Support of Recovery: Using technology (e.g., social media, internet, web design, etc.) to inform, educate, and promote peer recovery and wellness.

•  Youth/Young Adult; Family; and Multigenerational Strategies: Learning from cross-generational practices; age-related discrimination; multigenerational mental health challenges; promotion of family supports; innovative programs for youth, transitioning youth, and young adults; promotion and inclusion of young adults in leadership capacities.

Alternatives 2019 Workshop Selection Criteria

Peer reviewers from the Alternatives Advisory Committee will evaluate all workshop proposals.  

Proposal must meet these requirements:

A)  The lead presenter must identify as having lived experience of a mental health and/or substance use condition.

B)  Proposals must include a clear description of the presentation, including an outline and learning objectives.

C)  Applicants must complete all sections of the application.


Proposal will be measured by the following:

  • Relevance of the presentation to the conference theme: Standing Together, Celebrating Our Gifts, Raising Our Voices.

  • Relevance to one of the suggested categories for Alternatives 2019 (above).

  • Expertise and experience of presenters. (First-time presenters are welcome to apply.)

  • Attention to cultural diversity and inclusion.

  • Active engagement of participants.

  • Opportunities to develop new skills and/or to replicate a successful program.

  • Indication of partnerships with providers, peers, family members and/or others.