National Empowerment Center - Please Provide Feedback, Free Webinars, and Alternatives Conference

Request for Comment on Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Strategic Plan
Feedback Deadline: Monday, August 18, 2014
SAMHSA is the agency within Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the Nation. Their mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.   This strategic plan outlines work to increase the awareness and improve understanding about mental and substance use disorders; promote emotional health and wellness, and the prevention of substance abuse and mental illness; increase access to effective treatment; and support recovery. An important component of the plan is to prioritize six Strategic Initiatives and the linkages between these initiatives and SAMHSA's policy, programmatic, and financial planning. At its core, this plan offers a framework for common categories of initiatives that enables cross-collaboration and organization of SAMHSA's work.
Download Leading Change 2.0 [PDF - 737 KB]
Provide Feedback on the Strategic Plan
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Title:  Diverse Promising Practices for Engaging Youth Before and During Times of Emotional Distress: Youth, Family, and School Perspectives
Date: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 Time: 3 – 4:30 pm ET Presenters: Letty Elenes, Stephany Bryan, Wendell Waukau, M.A., Ed.S.
Description:  How do we create safe and supportive communities that engage youth? How can young people, their parents, and school districts support student well-being? These questions and others will be explored as we hear diverse perspectives on creating communities where youth feel safe and accepted. Our presenters will share their successes in creating opportunities for youth to learn how to maintain their wellness; take good care of themselves; make good decisions; and feel connected to their family, peers, and larger community.
Our presenters include Letty Elenes, the youngest national Advanced Level Facilitator in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) and the first WRAP facilitator to run youth-to-youth groups in the Nation and School Superintendent Wendell Waukau, who in 2012, was one of 12 educators nationwide honored at the White House by President Obama as a “Champion of Change,” or what the White House calls a “school turnaround leader.”   For more information or to register for the August 6 webinar, click here.     STAR CENTER WEBINAR
Title: Lessons of Lived Experience with Recovery: Engaging Asian and South Asian American Communities
Date: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 Time: 2 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Presenters: Chacku Mathai, CPRP, Director, STAR Center; Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS, Founder & President, ASHA International; and Can Truong, Consultant, Can Consulting
Register now   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   Alternatives 2014 Plenary Session Speakers Are Announced!
The deadline for Early Bird registration ($375) for Alternatives 2014 has been extended to August 15!
The 28th annual Alternatives conference will be held at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida, October 22-26, 2014. To register, click here.
Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was the lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008, will keynote the conference at the opening session on Wednesday evening. The recipient of numerous awards, Rep. Kennedy is the founder of the Kennedy Forum on Community Mental Health, and authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
Kana Enomoto, principal deputy administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will also address the conference on Wednesday evening.  Ms. Enomoto serves as the principal advisor to the administrator on SAMHSA policies and programmatic activities. For her research emphasis on minority populations and her work in promoting diversity and reducing disparities, she was honored in 2009 with ACMHA’s inaugural King Davis Award.
And something new: Alternatives 2014 is launching AlternaTalks – lively and inspiring 18-minute presentations from the speakers during the morning plenary sessions. These speakers, all of whom have lived experience, and have national and international reputations in the mental health advocacy arena, are listed (alphabetically): --Khatera Aslami-Templen, executive director of Peers Envisioning and Engaging in Recovery Services (PEERS), an organization operated by people with lived experience. --Gina Calhoun, national director for wellness and recovery education at the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. --Leah Harris, director of the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery. --Erme Maula, RN, MSN, CPS, program manager of the Consumer Recovery Investment Funds Self Directed Care Program at the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and an expert on self-directed care. --Harvey Rosenthal, executive director of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, who has nearly four decades of experience working to promote public mental health services and policies that advance the recovery, rehabilitation, rights and community inclusion of individuals with psychiatric disabilities. --Sharon Wise, an artist-in-residence at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., who performs around the world at major conferences that support mental health recovery. She recently completed a documentary entitled Leaving the Door Open, about alternatives to seclusion and restraint.
There will also be a youth plenary, which will highlight the great work being done by the nation’s youth advocates to improve systems, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and help other young people experiencing mental health challenges. 
To register for the conference, click here. For the Registration Form in Spanish, click here.
Suggestions for seeking funding are available on the conference website if you click here. (In addition, SAMHSA will be awarding some scholarships, and the application process will be announced soon.)
The deadline to apply for a caucus is August 15: click here.
The deadline to sign up for an exhibit table is September 15: click here
For more information about the conference, please visit the Alternatives 2014 website: