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Collection of PRESS RELEASES

– 6th Annual Peer Specialist Conference

September 6-8, 2012

For Immediate Release

National Peer Specialist Conference, Sept., 6-8, 2012 – Philadelphia, PA.


Hogan to receive Visionary Leadership Award

Dr. Michael Hogan, Chair of the President's New Freedom CommissionDr. Michael Hogan will receive a special award for Visionary Leadership on Thursday evening, September 6, at the National Peer Specialist Conference in Philadelphia for his work toward mental health care reform as chair of the President’s New Freedom Commission, which was started in 2002.

The award commemorates the original vision that has led to countless achievements in bringing recovery values and practices into health care in the 10 years since the President’s New Freedom Commission was established. Dr. Hogan will receive the award at the beginning of a forum on peer specialist practice standards at the national conference.

 Keynote Presenters:

Joseph Rogers

Joseph Rogers, Executive Director, National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and Chief Advocacy Officer, Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania will give a historical perspective and overview of Peer Support.


Wilma Townsend, Acting Director of Consumer Affairs, SAMHSA

Wilma Townsend, Acting Director of Consumer Affairs for SAMHSA, will give an overview of the Recovery to Practice project and what it means to the peer specialist profession. She will also receive a lifetime achievement award as a champion of peer support and the integration of peer support providers in the mental health workforce.

VA Peer SupportDaniel O’Brien-Mazza, National Director of Peer Support Services will talk about Peer Support in the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Events Planned

24 Interactive Workshops

8 Previews of the Recovery to Practice curriculum modules for working peer specialists

2 Evening / Weekend Discussions about Peer Specialist Practice Standards /Certification

For more about the National Peer Specialist Conference and the exciting pre-conference events planned for the entire week, visit the Conference Page on the website: https://na4ps.wordpress.com/naps-annual-conferencepreliminary program is updated daily.

Earlier Press Releases (July 2012)

For Immediate Release

Sixth Annual National Peer Specialist Conference Set for September in Philadelphia

The Recovery Revolution is recruiting individuals with mental health and psychiatric conditions to learn innovative ways to help their peers on the road to recovery.

PHILADELPHIA (7/24/2012) – From September 6th through 8th, 2012, leading experts from across North America will meet in historic Philadelphia at the Sheraton Society Hill, 2nd and Walnut streets, to share their knowledge and skills with peer supporters – individuals with mental health conditions who are employed to help their peers work toward recovery – at the Sixth Annual National Peer Specialist Conference organized by the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS). At the conference, whose theme is “The Recovery Revolution,” participants will learn about the latest innovations and emerging practices, new job opportunities, and national trends in the field.

In addition to 24 interactive workshops, plenary presentations will include “An Overview of the Peer Specialist Movement,”  “The Peer Movement as a Civil Rights Movement,” and “An Overview of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Peer Support Initiative,” where Daniel O’Brien-Mazza, National Director of Peer Support Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, will be a featured speaker.

“This promises to be an inspirational and highly motivational event with opportunities for mental health peer supporters to network and learn from each other regardless of their tasks and work setting,” said Steve Harrington, Executive Director of the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS), which is sponsoring the event. “And Recovery Revolution is a fitting theme as it marks a true turning point in the delivery of mental health services and the conference site is two blocks from the historic Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.”

Prior to the conference, three pre-conference institutes will be held at the Sheraton Society Hill Sept. 4-5, 2012. One of these institutes, “Wellness Solutions 1.0: Uncensored Innovations,” a two-day event, will feature two presentations by acclaimed journalist Robert Whitaker, author of “Anatomy of an Epidemic” and “Mad in America.” The other pre-conference institutes are a two-day Advanced Peer Specialist Training, which builds upon a two-week online preparation training with in-class practice to achieve an advanced peer specialist certificate. Another institute is a one-day Recovery Peer Leadership workshop, on Sept. 5, 2012, that is designed to enhance the ability of peers to lead with ideas and lived experience, regardless of their position within an organization.

The cost of the three-day conference is $225 before August 10. A special lodging group discount of $159 (single/double) also expires on Aug. 10. Other pre-conference events and institutes are an additional charge (register with each organization separately).

Register online: http://national_peer_specialist_conference_2012.eventbrite.com

Exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities: http://national_peer_specialist_sponsor.eventbrite.com/

For the latest updates about the National Conference visit the National Association of Peer Specialists (NAPS) Conference page: https://na4ps.wordpress.com/naps-annual-conference.

Or visit us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/NA4PS