September 29th – October 3rd I attended the Alternatives Conference in Anaheim, California. The conference was about promoting wellness through social justice, was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and organized by the National Empowerment Center. I was afforded the opportunity to attend on scholarship, for which I am very grateful to Next Steps NFP.
So instead of giving you a rundown on the sessions I attended, I thought I would share with you my favorite quotes from the conference. Enjoy!
“Five days can pass before you know it, but the gifts you give can change a life…” -Gentleman who gave opening benediction
“We don’t want to get trapped only in peer support. People should have employment positions at all levels of administration.” -Dan Fisher, National Empowerment Center
“When budget cuts have to come, let’s re-examine our priorities.” -Lou Correa, California Senator
“People recover. It’s not about systems and services. It’s about people’s lives.” -Pam Hyde, SAMHSA
“Relationships are built on trust and knowledge.” -Fred Friedman, Next Steps NFP
“Any time you speak with a federal agent, you are giving input.” -Shawn Terrell, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Disability
“Policymakers and providers both need a better understanding of medicaid reimbursement for consumer-driven care.” -John O’Brien, SAMHSA
“Medicaid is the largest payer for behavioral health services in America, yet it is not designed specifically for mental health/substance abuse.” -Barbara Coulter Edwards, Center for Medicaid Services
“Storytelling causes us to shift from negative circumstances to person-hood…when we tell our story, it opens the door for others to do so…storytelling is connected to leadership.” Leah Harris, National Empowerment Center
“You cannot heal me without my cooperation.” -Carol Patterson, Attendee
“We must evolve emotionally and disregard our old unhealthy habits as we would old clothes that no longer fit.” -Alexander Bingham, Presenter
“…transparency is not about telling everybody everything.” -Brenda Vezina-Jodaitis, Central Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community
“Don’t die with your rights on.” -Sheryle Stafford, California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies Sheryl may have been quoting someone else…I’m not quite sure, but decided to post these words because they have value.
“Before you speak, make sure it is kind, true, helpful and necessary.” -Attendee
“Community organizing is all about building people power.” -David Oaks, MindFreedom International
“Stop writing people a blank check because they have a disability.” -David Oaks
“I was recording the story so I could come back and do something about it.” -Sally Zinman, Alameda County (California) Behavioral Health Care Services
“Talk to people. They are our greatest natural resource.” -Vanessa Jean Landau, HEROES Project
Let me leave you with one pearl that was prompted by Presenter Alexandar Bingham. He said that ”anyone is capable of breaking down” and as he said those words, I couldn’t help but think that if anyone is capable of breaking down, then anyone is capable of being restored…and you can quote me on that!