Approximately 150 supporters, service recipients and providers of the mental health, wellness and recovery system attended the annual Chris Ashman Wellness and Recovery Conference; held Wednesday, December 13th at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor, NY. This is a cooperative regional forum sponsored by Access: Supports For Living, Catholic Charities Community Services of Orange and Sullivan, Cornerstone Family Healthcare, HONOR, Independent Living, Inc., NAMI Orange County, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitations Services, Inc. (NYAPRS), Orange County Department of Mental Health, PEOPLe, Inc., and Rehabilitation Support Services.
The focus of this year’s conference “Managed Care, Wellness, Recovery and YOU: Raising the Bar for Wellness & Recovery” reiterated a common message: peer services and support are becoming an essential ingredient in addressing the social determinants of health and wellness. Keynote speaker Jeffrey McQueen, Chief Program Officer of Mental Health Association of Nassau County, gave a riveting personal story of “triumph, defeat and triumph…a journey about relapse to recovery”. Harvey Rosenthal, Executive Director of New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, Inc. (NYAPRS) gave the second keynote address about “The Power of Peer Support in the Era of Managed Care and Value Based Payment”.
Ray Rodriguez, Regional Director of Peer Services of Independent Living, Inc. and Certified Professional Life Coach provided a workshop called “TheMyFOURmulaWay” that teaches tools and techniques to improve your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness. In addition, there were two panel discussions that highlighted the value
of peer support and peer stories.