HOPE 2018 Brochure

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2018 HOPE Conference:
Our Roots, Our Community: Coming Together for Social Change
Sera Davidow, B.S. and Christopher Poulos, J.D.
May 30, 2018 | 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Augusta Civic Center | 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME
$15 by May 23 | $20 on or after May 24

8:00 – 8:30 Check-in & Breakfast
8:30 – 8:45 Opening Remarks
8:45 – 9:30 Keynote Speaker: Sera Davidow, B.S. From Chemical Imbalance to Power Imbalance: Social Change & Perception
9:30 – 9:45 Break
9:45 – 12:30 Sessions A and B
12:30 – 1:30 Lunch
1:30 – 2:15 Keynote Speaker: Christopher Poulos, J.D. My Journey from Federal Prison to Law, to Policy, and to the White House
2:15 – 2:30 Break
2:30 – 3:45 Session C
3:45 to 4:00 Closing

Contact Hours –You may collect your certificate of attendance as you depart.
Lodging is available to peers/consumers who travel more than 130 miles one way to attend.
Car pooling is recommended for organizations. Participants taking more than 2 passengers in their private vehicle may enter a $25 gas card raffle.
Mileage is reimbursed for peers/consumers using their own vehicle to travel 150+ miles round trip.
Food – A menu that accommodates shellfish, peanut, and treenut allergies and offers gluten and dairy free options will be provided.
Special Accommodations – We will do our best to respond to reasonable requests. Please contact Peggy Spencer | ccsme@www.ccsme.org by April 28, 2018
Book Table Kelly’s Books To Go will be available. Checks, Visa, MC or Discover are accepted.
Resource Tables HOPE Conference sponsors will showcase their organizations and resources.
Volunteers receive free registration. Please contact Melissa Caswell by 5/14 at mcaswell@maineccsm.org

Directions The Augusta Civic Center is located at 76 Community Drive in Augusta. From I-95, take exit 112 from the north or exit 112a from the south. Go south on Civic Center Drive (toward the shopping area) and turn right on Community Drive (at the traffic light near the Civic Center sign). Continue a short distance on Community Drive. You will see the Augusta Civic Center ahead. Look for the North Wing of the building (at the right end). The registration area will be on the second floor of the North Wing. Look for our conference signs. See you there?

Sera Davidow resides in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts with her family, including her two children, ages 15 and 6. She has been a part of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community (RLC) since its visioning process, and has served as Director since it became funded in 2007. She is also a founding member of the Hearing Voices USA Board of Directors, and blogs regularly on Mad in America http://www.madinamerica.com/author/sdavidow/).
Sera received her first psychiatric diagnosis as a teenager, accumulating a handful more by her early twenties. That, along with a lengthy history of self-injury and emotional distress, led to her first hospitalization against her will at the age of 22, and an array of prescriptions for psychotropic medications. However, it was her ‘non-compliant’ and rebellious nature that paved her way down another path and to a full life where she re-defined herself as a survivor and has found success without any diagnoses or psychiatric drugs.
Her journey first brought her to a position in a traditional role in the mental health system, but she soon found her way to peer-to-peer support communities, advocacy and social justice efforts. At present, she focuses much of her time on grant writing, oversight and project development. Through this work, she has gained a range of experiences including starting up a peer respite, opening resource centers, and producing educational materials (including co-authoring handbooks on peer respites and developing peer roles). She has also developed a passion for filmmaking, beginning with ‘Beyond the Medical Model’ in 2013. More about Sera’s story and work can be found in a full-length interview featured in Sun Magazine’s April, 2017 issue (https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/496/an-open-mind).

Christopher Poulos is an attorney currently serving as executive director of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council. Prior to his appointment, he served as executive director of Life of Purpose Treatment at the University of North Texas, where he was also an adjunct professor of criminal justice. During law school, he served at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, The Sentencing Project, and was selected as law student of the year by the National Jurist magazine. While at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, he helped redesign stigmatizing language previously used by the federal government regarding addiction and justice system involvement in order to reduce discrimination. Christopher was an advisor to U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) on addiction and justice policy, and served on several task forces related to criminal justice policy and reentry. He graduated cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law, where he was president of the American Constitution Society and, as a student attorney in the Juvenile Justice Clinic, represented children facing criminal charges.

Christopher openly identifies as a person in long-term recovery from addiction who has also been incarcerated. Over a decade ago, he made a decision to seek help and has maintained his recovery since. The U.S. Department of Justice selected him to consult as one of the Nation’s most successful people to have reentered society following incarceration. His work and story have been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Hill, and other outlets. He also gave a TED talk on reentry and his personal journey in 2015.

Morning Keynote – Sera Davidow | From Chemical Imbalance to Power Imbalance: Social Change & Perception In 2017, a special report from the United Nations was issued stating that “mental health policies should address “power imbalance” rather than “chemical imbalance.” This essential shift gets at the root of society’s need for social change, and the importance of understanding human distress and disruption within an environmental context. The address will examine these issues, interweaving storytelling with research and concluding with some promising practices for a future that incorporates this knowledge.

A1 – Gia Drew | Telling Your Story for Change This presentation and much of my work is about Personal Advocacy and Social Justice. The content in my presentation comes from a very personal place and I will share some of my story, specifically how I’ve dealt with fear, shame, and self-hate in the process of discovering myself, finding my voice and many reasons to live. The goals of the presentation are to provide folks examples of how using their personal story can be a powerful tool in advocating for themselves and for other members of their community and other marginalized people, improve self-worth and dignity by being vulnerable, without judgement or shame, and create social change. This 75 minute interactive presentation will make use of multiple teaching and presenting styles to reach people where they are at in terms of processing and learning, including the use of audio, visuals, large and small group work, and voluntary participation.

A2 – KEPRO Member Advisory Committee: Jeanne Mitchell, Stephanie Crystal – Wolfstone Francis, Kandie Cleaves, Kevin Cleaves, and Karen Gagne | Relationships and system change: What is my role as a consumer? Each member of the MAC will present a brief description of their biography. Each member will then talk about their role in becoming a member in the MAC as well as answering questions about KEPRO and the role of the MAC. Our group will present a round table answering the following questions and allowing the audience to ask other questions: What working on the MAC entails? How does working on the MAC affect system change? How do consumers work with providers and give input that shaped internal and external organizations?

A3 – Sera Davidow | The Virtues of Non-Compliance: The Power of Saying No This workshop will open with a screening of the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community’s 25-minute award winning film, the ‘Virtues of Non-Compliance.’ Following the screening, participants will explore the concepts of the film, and different ways to support people to regain a sense of personal agency and power by learning to question and say ‘no.’
A4 – Hilary LaRiviere, Ilana Schreiber | Part 1: Practicing Harm Reduction within Self-Injury How can we bridge the historic and current Harm Minimization Movement to apply the principles of Harm Reduction to self-injury, towards creating safer ways of introducing pain within our own person? Self-injury is a common and widely utilized skill, and most often met with a response to stop and “do something else.” Have you ever been told to use ice cubes, snap a rubber band…a red marker perhaps? This workshop is designed to be anything but that. As individuals with lived experience of utilizing self-injury as a tool, with experience and knowledge in the application of harm reduction, the presenters will guide participants through gaining an understanding of the basic anatomy and physiology and safer methods to self-injure and/or support those who do. Through group participation and brainstorming we will work together to define these concepts, explore our own discomfort and perspectives, and discover ways in which we can build skills to utilize within the context of our own lives and in sharing with others towards creating social change. Prerequisite of Part 2 (B6)

A5 – Vickie McCarty | The Legislative Process: Finding Your Voice Through Participation in Legislative Activities Participants will have the unique opportunity to learn about the legislative nuts and bolts from legislators and peers who have participated in various facets of the legislative process. It is hoped that this experience will inspire individuals to gain confidence in being able to go before the legislature to speak and/or support others who wish to become more active in having their voice heard at the legislature. Members of the CCSM Legislative Subcommittee will be on hand to share their experiences before legislative committees. Several past and present legislators will be invited to join us as well.
A6 – Caleb Baker, Jane Moore | Think Your Rights Were Violated? The Grievance Process and Your Rights We would like to present at the HOPE conference on this topic so we can reach a varied audience of mostly individuals with lived experiences. Grievances are a method that can ensure that one’s needs are being met and rights are not being violated. An effective grievance can be a powerful tool for changing one’s personal situation and the system as a whole. The explanation of the grievance process and its power is appropriate for a conference on social change. The presentation will go over the Rights of Recipients of Mental Health Services (RRMHS) pertaining to the grievance process and one’s right to file a grievance. This will include who has a right to file a grievance, what is required in a grievance response, the timelines for filing and receiving responses and the different grievance levels. We will unveil the new DRM and PAIMI Advisory Council brochure which not only explains your rights but provides a quick grievance form that can be used at all agencies and hospitals. A demonstration on how to use this brochure and its forms will be given. The presentation will provide guidance and tips on how to write an effective grievance. Examples will be given. There will be time for questions and answer.

B1 – Jesse Harvey, Andrew Kiezulas | Recovering People, Recovering Communities Leadership Skill Building A huge part of humanity revolves around our ability to support and empower each other. Whether it be another person in recovery, or just someone in need, giving back plays a significant role in our collective and personal wellness. YPR is the platform with which many of us have been empowered to give back and be of service. For those not yet in a place they feel they can be the vocal majority, YPR serves to train people in how to find their recovery story and advocate. We are a network of empowering, positive, and productive individuals that can guide a person to their own empowerment. This immediately increases the sustainability of one’s personal wellness and recovery, while more formally developing their professional capabilities. Community Engagement YPR is all about collaboration, from 12 step and other recovery programs, to outreach and harm prevention efforts, to private and public services. YPR continues to create “Recovery Ready Communities” by educating the public and empowering individuals to influence public policy and policy makers. We actively engage our communities to advocate beside us. YPR is the platform with which the many come together to create positive change. Empowering individuals in their recovery has a ripple effect. It’s not just the person in recovery that recovers. Family and friends alike begin to heal, and the two recoveries become one. Social Justice YPR is very involved with influencing policy makers to create more opportunity for recovery and people in recovery, promoting social justice. Resources for those in recovery have decreased, as the community illness has increased. To begin addressing this problem, we need to work within the system and bridge the gaps within the system. YPR works directly with local, state and federal agencies to bring the recovery voice to bare in decision making.

B2 – Simonne Maline, Kim Moody | Mental Health Advocacy: Everything You Wanted to Know and More This workshop is intended to cover the basics of mental health advocacy: self-advocacy, peer advocacy and systemic advocacy. The training will include information on how to resolve a problem that is short of a rights violation, how to identify a rights violation and what due process rights psychiatric survivors have. The presenters will give examples of both positive and negative outcomes and how they got there on behalf of themselves and other people. The workshop will include advocacy strategies, common sense tips and suggestions for creating positive change, and ways to get involved in systemic advocacy.

B3 – Troy Henderson | Politics of Memory After viewing several short videos, participants will apply Pat Deegan’s “Politics of Memory” to discuss what happens when you allow others to record and narrate your story. What will history say about the treatment people experienced in the mental health system if we do not tell our own story and what will it say if we do?

B4 – Monica Elwell, Jane Moore | Rights around Service Animals Participants will come away with a greater understanding of the service animal’s role as a companion pet, emotional pet, and/or ADA service animal and the legalities around each type. Awareness around strengths and barriers to the use of service animals will be enhanced and how service animals impact communities will be addressed. Appropriate uses such as in home, community and at work sites will be highlighted and the inappropriate and appropriate uses of pet supports and service animals to help people engage effectively in our society will be exemplified.

B5 – Christopher Poulos | The Legal System’s Response to Substance Use and Mental Health – Diving deeper into the connection between substance use disorder, mental health conditions and the legal system, Chris Poulos will address the achievements and ongoing work of the Washington Statewide Reentry Council.

B6 – Hilary LaRiviere, Ilana Schreiber | Part 2: Practicing Harm Reduction within Self-Injury Continuing from Part 1, how can we bridge the historic and current Harm Minimization Movement to apply the principles of Harm Reduction to self-injury, towards creating safer ways of introducing pain within our own person? Self-injury is a common and widely utilized skill, and most often met with a response to stop and “do something else.” Have you ever been told to use ice cubes, snap a rubber band…a red marker perhaps? This workshop is designed to be anything but that. As individuals with lived experience of utilizing self-injury as a tool, with experience and knowledge in the application of harm reduction, the presenters will guide participants through gaining an understanding of the basic anatomy and physiology and safer methods to self-injure and/or support those who do. Through group participation and brainstorming we will work together to define these concepts, explore our own discomfort and perspectives, and discover ways in which we can build skills to utilize within the context of our own lives and in sharing with others towards creating social change. PART 1 is a prerequisite (A4)

Afternoon Keynote – Christopher Poulos | Substance Use Disorder and Criminal Justice System Involvement: A Journey from Federal Prison to Law, Policy, and the White House Christopher Poulos will share his journey from substance use disorder, homelessness, and federal prison to college, law, policy, and serving in the Obama White House. Christopher will also discuss how the criminal justice system intersects with substance use disorder and provide suggestions on how society can move toward a public health, rather than criminal justice, response to substance use disorder.

C1 – Karen Evans, Sara Paulsen | Sharing Your Mental Health Narrative in Five Steps: For the 2018 HOPE Conference presentation, our goal is to help teach fellow peers how to share their own personal narrative in five simple steps. The steps will be broken down and taught verbally, with a handout, and will also be interactive with a partner. Learning to tell your lived experience with mental health issues either on behalf of a speakers bureau or with a loved one creates the opportunity to share and connect with people by using the skills we will focus on for this year’s conference. In this workshop, those attending will learn ways to share their stories with confidence and empowerment. The more individuals that begin sharing their experiences with mental health issues the stigma around mental health will diminish and it will help others to not feel so alone.

C2 – Mindy Harrison, Kevin Voyvodich, J.D. | Hospital Rights The presentation will give a brief overview of the different hospital settings and the different rights individuals have in those settings, peer advocacy in a hospital setting, legal and non-legal advocacy in different hospital settings, and both systemic and individual ways that people can help to protect the rights of themselves or others. The presentation will provide information on accessing knowledge about rights in a hospital setting and advocating for the protection of those rights. This is particularly important as different rights apply within those different settings. The presentation would involve both the social justice track as well as the advocacy: personal and systemic track. It is important for consumers and advocates to be completely informed about the rights of individuals with mental health needs in the hospital setting.

C3 – Sayre Savage, Moon Nguany, Sayre Savage, Vector Walker, Samuel Chamberlain, Adam Dietz, Heidi Allen, Riko Bol, Tyler Kendall | Youth Support Partner Program This presentation will provide a brief overview of the Youth MOVE Maine Peer-to-Peer Model and demonstrate how it differs from traditional Youth Services in the State of Maine. We will also discuss how the Peer-to-Peer Model differs from the typical Peer Support Model as it is working with young adults specifically. Youth MOVE Maine staff will share some highlights from our employment at Youth MOVE Maine and how those highlights continue to support our argument to increase Youth Peer Support Services. The relationships that are built at Youth MOVE Maine last long after the “service” has come to a close. We will talk about how positive individual relationships with both Youth MOVE Staff as well as other Youth MOVE Members across the state provides empowerment and advocacy skills for these young adults and allows them to strive in other relationships in their lives. Youth MOVE Maine will also present on some of the groups that we run on regional and statewide levels and how those groups provide a sense of community, and furthermore bolster their leadership and advocacy skills. We will talk about the “youth-driven” aspect of our organization and how it really promotes “youth voice and choice” in our decision making and programming as an organization. Furthermore, we will present on some of the events and activities that we offer and the way that these create connections from Northern to Southern Maine.

C4 – Jesse Harvey, Eric Skillings | How To Open and Operate a Peer-Run Recovery House Learn how to start a peer-run, low-barrier, low-cost, evidence-based recovery house for individuals in/seeking recovery from any substance use disorder. Learn about practical challenges and how to overcome these, and how to strengthen your local recovery community and advocate for additional low-barrier options at every end of the Continuum of Care. Although the presenters have expertise in recovery housing specifically for drug and alcohol use disorder, the framework may be expanded to include any individual who is a peer. This session will cover relevant federal and state legislation that protects the rights of individuals who are considered by the government to have a “disability.” Specifically, it will cover legislation protecting their right to housing. Housing is a social justice issue, and this session will explain how individuals and agencies may be more prepared to take up the fight for social justice on the housing front. Recovery-oriented housing, as Journey House practices it, places emphasis on community engagement. For starters, the pursuit of social justice is a collaborative pursuit, to be taken on by all. An open and transparent and truly recovery-oriented house (as well as any organization managing it) should encourage community engagement and collaboration amongst community members to truly help people achieve recovery and wellness. Truly recovery-oriented housing does not insulate people from their community, but engages them in their community, and helps to break down the barriers that once may have isolated and marginalized the individuals. Through such policies as pro-social group/meeting attendance and the volunteering of residents’ time, individuals are exposed to recovery resources outside of their recovery house. They become a part of their recovery community!
C5 – Paula Gustafson, Scott Metzger | How Personal Growth and Change Can Lead to Social Change- Using WRAP This workshop will present the results of the first year of the Peer Training Networks work and explain the offerings for the upcoming year. We are hopeful of building community engagement by presenting to our peers and offering opportunities for them to be a part of the Recovery Practice Advisory Group, which will be explained in our presentation. Participants will learn what the Peer Training Network is and what trainings they offer and how to access them, gain an understanding of how to become involved in the Recovery Practice Advisory Group and what it does, and be able to give feedback on training needs for peers across Maine.

C6 – Whitney Parrish | Systemic Power and Control: What Is It and How Do We End It? In a world built on power differentials and systemic oppression, how do we come together and fight to end things like stigma and discrimination? How is our fight for freedom intertwined with that of others? What IS systemic power and control? These are all very big questions, but in this workshop, we’ll start small and discuss how power and control affects individuals and groups of people, as well as how it informs nearly every aspect of our daily lives. From there, we will discuss how to become engaged in our communities to further educate ourselves, empower ourselves and others, and join a movement that believes in a collective freedom from violence and oppression.


This conference is designed by consumers and allies who want to increase awareness and skills about recovery and wellness. A big thank you to the dedicated and hardworking conference planning committee, representing SAMHS, CCSM, MAPSARC, NAMI Maine, Peer Support Specialists Network, and CCSME.

Suzanne Boras | Mindy Harrison | Simonne Maline | Melissa Caswell | Troy Henderson | Nancy Michaud |Kate Chichester | Vickie McCarty | Malory Shaughnessy | Elaine Ecker
Linda MacDonald | Peggy Spencer | Paula Gustafson

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) does not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, age, or national origin, in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities, or it hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, Section 504 or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 and the Maine Human Rights Act and Executive Order Regarding State of Maine Contracts for Services. Questions, concerns, complaints or requests for additional information regarding the ADA may be forwarded to DHHS ADA Compliance/EEO Coordinators, 11 State House Station – 221 State Street, Augusta, Maine 04333-0022, 207287-3488 (V), TTY users call Maine relay 711. Individuals who need auxiliary aid for effective communication in program services of DHHS are invited to make their needs and preferences known to the ADA Compliance/EEO Coordinators. This notice is available in alternate formats, upon request.