The National Empowerment Center and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery are organizing this event.

  • Gathering
when Jun 10, 2011 03:50 PM to
Jun 12, 2011 03:50 PM
where Boston
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[forwarded info, use their web site for latest info]


As is listed at the bottom of this entry, for more information on this event see: 


The National Empowerment Center and the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery invite you to:

Creating Connections through Dialogue

A Weekend to Learn Together, Deepen Connections, and 
Expand Our Vision of a Healthy World

Endicott College (on the ocean) Beverly, MA (1/2 hour north of Boston)
Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12, 2011

This event will occur before USPRA’s annual conference which begins on
Monday, June 13th in Boston, MA.

For more information on the USPRA conference, click here.

We live in an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world. The Creating Connections conference is an opportunity to explore various aspects of connectedness and the implications for recovery. Join us in a beautiful ocean setting as we learn together, share our knowledge, join in interactive discussions and brainstorming sessions, and explore how our individual and collective connections play a vital role in promoting wellbeing and social change.

Health and mental health providers, people with the lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery, family members and others are invited to participate in workshops and join facilitated dialogue sessions to connect and learn from one another to become more effective in our lives and in our work.

Co-sponsored by: The Transformation Center, and the Western, Central, Metro Boston, Metro Suburban, Southeast and Northeast Recovery Learning Communities of Massachusetts

Keynote Speakers:

Friday: Beginning at 1 pm

  • Dr. Mark Foster and Will Hall – Towards Mental Wellness
  • Dr. Dan Fisher – Building Community through Finding Our Passion and Engaging in Respectful Dialogue

Saturday: Beginning at 9 am

  • Bruce Levine – Author of Get Up, Stand Up and Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic

Sunday: Beginning at 9 am

  • Robert Whitaker – Curbing an Epidemic: What Helps and What Hinders in Creating Robust Recovery

Tentative Schedule:


10 am on: Overnight guests may check into rooms
12:00 – 12:45 – Lunch
1:00 – 2:30 pm – Welcome to Creating Connections through Dialogue
Building Wellness Communities through Dialogues, Here and Beyond – Dan Fisher
Dr. Mark Foster
 and Will Hall – Towards Mental Wellness
2:30 – 2:45 pm – Afternoon Break/Refreshments
2:45 – 3:45 pm

  • Dan Fisher and Others: How to Conduct a Community Dialogue
  • A Conversation with Dr. Mark Foster and Will Hall

4:00 – 5:30 pm

  • Dr. Dan Fisher – Building Community through Finding Our Passion and Engaging in Respectful Dialogue
  • Cathy Cave – Engaging the Community in Wellness
  • Laura Delano– Losing Labels to Find Ourselves: Leaving Behind DSM Language to Discover Who We Really Are
  • Leah Harris – Virtual Worlds, Real Impact: Using Social Media and Digital Storytelling to Promote Connectedness and Social Justice

5:30 – 6:30 pm – Dinner
7:00 – 7:45 pm – Drumming with Bob Bloom in the amphitheater
Informal gatherings and discussions – Lodge


7:15 – 8:00 am  Gentle Yoga: Find Your Breath
7:30 – 9:00 am  Breakfast
9:00 – 10:15 am – Bruce Levine, author of Get Up, Stand Up: How to Recover Self-respect and Collective Confidence including Strategies that Oppressed Peoples have Successfully used to Gain Power
10:30 – 12:00 noon  Workshops:

12:00 – 1 pm  Lunch
1:30 – 3:00 pm  Workshops:

  • Chris Hansen and Shery Mead – Dialogue in Difficult Situations: An Alternative Approach to Crisis
  • Will Hall – Talking About Psychiatric Medications, Mental Diversity, and Coming Off Meds
  • Beth Filson – Talking to the Elephant in the Room: Transforming Trauma Dynamics in Peer Relationships
  • Suzanne Beachy – How Can the Recovery Movement Better Connect with Parents?

3:00 – 3:30 pm – Afternoon Break/ Refreshments
3:30 – 5:00 pm – Workshops and Dialogue/Discussion Groups

  • Rhonda Elsey-Jones – Healing Trauma: Connecting to One’s Self; Connecting to Each Other
  • Brenda Vezina and Elizabeth Amaral – Self Determination and the Massachusetts Recovery Learning Communities
  • Amy Long – Keeping our Integrity and our Voice as Providers and People with Lived Experience
  • Sera Davidow and Oryx Cohen – Growing the Hearing Voices Movement in the United States
  • Carol Gapski – Conversations that Matter: Creating Space for Connection in Community

5:00 – 6:00 pm – Barbeque at the Beach (Alternate location: Lodge)
7:30 – 9:00 pm – Dialogue/Discussion Groups

  • Brainstorming Discussion with Lauren Spiro – How Can We Have More Impact Locally and/or Nationally?
  • Discussion with Suzanne Beachy and Deb Whittle – Family/parent Networking
  • Paradigm Shift:  What Should a Psychiatric Medication Withdrawal Facility Look Like?  Come join Dr. Mark Foster and Amy Smith as they share their plans for a unique facility, and be ready to add your ideas to this discussion.

9:00 pm – Mike Skinner singing songs about life, love, loss & hope


7:30-8:45 am – Breakfast
9:00-10:15 am – Morning session – Robert Whitaker – Curbing an Epidemic: What Helps and What Hinders in Creating Robust Recovery
10:30 – 12 noon – Re-envisioning the Role of Medication in Recovery: Lessons from a Summit in Oregon – Robert Whitaker, Dan Fisher, Mark Foster, Beckie Child, Will Hall, Lauren Spiro, and Oryx Cohen
12:00-1:00 – Lunch
1:00 – 2:00 pm – Wrap up:  Returning Home – Taking Dialogue Tools to Your Communities: Dan Fisher
Check out of overnight rooms by 3:00 pm

Location and Transportation: Endicott College (on the ocean), 376 Hale St, Beverly, MA; ½ hour north of Boston; accessible by train from North Station, 1.5 mile from Prides Crossing Stop (shuttle rides available to campus).

Discount shuttle service available from airport through local driving business. Call Dorothy Dundas at 617-244-5833 to arrange rides. Please book rides as far in advance as possible to guarantee your space.
This shuttle service is also available to take people to the USPRA conference, which begins on June 13th in Boston.

Registration: $400 for single accommodations; $380 for double
$75 Day rate for meals only without overnight accommodations (Fri, Sat or Sunday)
$180 Commuter rate for all 3 days all sessions with meals, no overnight accommodations
Optional arrival on Thursday overnight with breakfast Friday (additional $75)

Included in registration:

  • Two nights overnight accommodations in student dormitories; single or double available
  • All presentations, workshops, and discussion groups
  • All meals – Friday lunch through Sunday lunch; includes Saturday night barbeque on the beach (weather permitting)
  • Opportunities to relax and network
  • Wireless internet; access to the beach and campus facilities including fitness center, walking paths around pond and flower gardens

**Register by May 6th for the early bird registration rates.

More information about this event…

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