Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference
August 17-19, 2022
Madison Marriott West
Health and Human Services, See Stevens Point Offerings


Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference | August 18-19, 2022
Preconference: Ethics & Boundaries Training for Peer Specialists | August 17, 2022
Madison Marriott West

Details

Conference Objectives 

Demonstrate aspects of effective peer support within community services mental health and substance use recovery, enhance individual skills to provide more effective personal support, and explore innovative applications of peer support in communities 

Who Should Attend

Advocates, individuals interested in supporting others more effectively, Mental Health Professionals, and Peer Specialists.

Registration Information 


Ethics & Boundaries Training: $25

Conference Registration: $100

Registration opens soon! Registration will be open through Wednesday, August 10, 2022. 

Scholarship applicants should NOT register for the conference until they have been notified of their application status. 

Facilitating ADA supports is important to UWSP and ILR. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least three weeks in advance of the conference. Please contact UWSP Continuing Education at uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu.

2022 Keynote Presenters

Picture of Keynote Presenter Cassandra Walker, LCSW, CCTP


Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, LCSW, CCTP

Founder and Owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and Host of the Woke Mental Wellness Project

Cassie is a Black Queer Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, Activist, Writer, and Gamer. They are a Liberatory Decolonial healer, certified NARM Therapist, and certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Provider. They are also a former Certified Recovery Support Specialist and person living with Complex Trauma and Bipolar Disorder. They present a diverse array of intersectional topics related to race, gender, sexuality, BDSM and Kink, mental health, liberation, and decolonization. Cassie provides therapy to adults, relationships, and groups and they specialize in the intersections of trauma, Identity, and mental wellness. Cassie is the founder and owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and host of the Woke Mental Wellness Podcast. 








Kyle Brewer, BS, PRPS

Peer Specialist Program Manager, NAADAC, Little Rock, Ark.  

Kyle Brewer, BS, PRPS, is the Peer Specialist Program Manager for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. He works for NAADAC remotely from Little Rock, AR, managing the Arkansas Peer Specialist Program. He oversees the development and implementation of an innovative three-tier credentialing process (Core, Advanced, Supervision) for the Arkansas Peer Support Model.

Brewer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Addiction Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013. He went on to use his lived experience with drug and alcohol addiction to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, where he became the first Peer Recovery Specialist in Arkansas to be stationed in an emergency department. He led the development and implementation of this position at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and multiple hospitals across the state.  

In 2020, he became one of the first ten Certified Peer Support Supervisors in Arkansas. Brewer is a trainer on a variety of topics, including Peer Support, Peer Supervision and Narcan administration. He serves on numerous committees and boards to develop and strengthen the Arkansas Model and improve peer support services across the United States. Most recently, he was awarded the 2021 Arkansas Peer Leadership Award which acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has significant and positive impact on advancing the peer movement and practices of the peer support profession. 


Jimmy McGill, PRPS

Director of Peer Services, Arkansas Department of Health Services

Overcoming a lifetime of incarceration and twenty-three years of substance use disorder, author and speaker Jimmy McGill has defied his past and found his purpose. His childhood was marked by trauma, but what should have destroyed him is now being used to transform recovery awareness across the country.  His recently published book, "From Prison to Purpose," is a detailed account of his journey to recovery. 

Jimmy is the Director of Peer Services for the Arkansas Drug Director's office, and he is a certified Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor (PRPS). His lived experience has allowed him the chance to lead the development of the Peer Recovery Infrastructure throughout Arkansas.  He has assisted in the training of over 330 Peer Recovery Specialists.

His dedicated efforts have allowed Arkansas to place peer recovery inside the Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Health, emergency rooms, drug courts, jails, reentry centers, prisons, law enforcement partnerships, Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) and community service centers. He spearheaded the development of the Arkansas Model of Peer Recovery which has now gained national attention.

He and his wife are the founders of Next Step Recovery Housing, a non-profit recovery foundation that houses people in recovery. Jimmy was the founding member of both the Arkansas Peers Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together (A.P.A.R.T) coalition and is the current chair for the SAMHSA Region 6 Peer Support Advisory Committee. Jimmy is also an executive member of the National Peer Recovery Alliance (NPRA).


Scholarship Application Now Available!


Scholarships are available for Wisconsin peers, or their allies, who require financial assistance to attend the Virtual WI Peer Recovery Conference August 18-20, 2021.  Scholarships are available for the full amount of conference registration ($75).

Complete the Scholarship Application Form by July 7, 2021 if you would like to be considered for a scholarship. Please note that there may be a limited number of scholarships.  Please only seek a scholarship if you require financial assistance.

DO NOT REGISTER for the conference if you are submitting a scholarship application! If you are awarded a scholarship, instructions will be sent by email with specific registration information no later than July 15, 2021.  

If you have any questions, please email Nicole Ravens@ilresources.org or call 608-787-1111.


​2022 Exhibitor Information

2022 Exhibit Fees:

  • $125 Non-Profit Agencies
  • $300 For-Profit Agencies

All exhibitors will receive one complementary conference registration and a 8" skirted table. Exhibit space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Exhibitor registration closes Friday, August 10, 2022 or until full. 

For additional information, please contact conference coordinator Nicole Ravens at Nicole.Ravens@ilresources.org or 608-787-1111.

Lodging


A room block is available at the Madison Marriott West. Book your room for the Wisconsin Peer Recovery Conference! 

The last day to book at the group rate is Wednesday, July 27, 2022; however, the room block may sell out, so please reserve your room(s) early!

Special group rate: $82USD for Single Room // $139USD for Double, Triple, or Quad Room

Thursday, August 18, 2022

 8:30-9:30 a.m. | Welcome and Opening Keynote

Welcome

Presenter: Nicole Ravens, Statewide Coordinator, Peer Run Recovery Centers, Certified Peer Specialist, Independent Living Resources, La Crosse, Wis.

Opening Keynote: 

Cassie Walker Headshot.jpg

Presenter: Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, LCSW, CCTP, Founder and Owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and Host of the Woke Mental Wellness Project

TITLE OF KEYNOTE HERE

Description of keynote here.

Learning Objectives: 






Presenter Bio: Cassie is a Black Queer Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, Activist, Writer, and Gamer. They are a Liberatory Decolonial healer, certified NARM Therapist, and certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Provider. They are also a former Certified Recovery Support Specialist and person living with Complex Trauma and Bipolar Disorder. They present a diverse array of intersectional topics related to race, gender, sexuality, BDSM and Kink, mental health, liberation, and decolonization. Cassie provides therapy to adults, relationships, and groups and they specialize in the intersections of trauma, Identity, and mental wellness. Cassie is the founder and owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and host of the Woke Mental Wellness Podcast. 

 9:30-11 a.m. | Breakout Sessions A

1A. Just Be & Breathe


Presenter: Priscilla Peterka, Yoga and Meditation Teacher, Reiki Master, Mindfulness Breathing Practioner, Emotional CPR Facilitator

Join us for Yoga, preparation for mediation. Introduction to meditation with Yoga poses and breathing techniques. Start your journey to reconnect to your soul. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will Participants will learn how to be present.
  2. Participants will find balance.
  3. Participants will strengthen their mind, body and soul connection. 

Presenter Biography: 
Priscilla teaches the practice of breathing techniques, pranayama, through the Yoga postures, asanas, which allows us to release emotional blockages that creates separation between body, mind and Soul. She combines the postures, reiki and the breathing technology to understand the journey of walking through life with an open heart. She teaches how to include pranayama in your daily practice and to work towards connection to the vital force, which enables healing from within, connection with feelings and the truth of who you really are, a being of love, creator of your reality with unlimited possibilities.

2A. Intro to Servant Leadership & Emotional Intelligence: Their Role in Recovery


Presenter: Jesse Heffernan, Recovery Coach Professional, Helios Recovery Services

This workshop will explore the components needed to build a culture of serving others first and exploring ones identity and relationship with their emotions. Through interactive discussions about emotional maturity, leadership development and appropriate use of ones experience to advocate for change, participants will walk away with an increased ability to build a thriving recovery culture. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will explore the components needed to build a culture of serving others first and exploring ones identity and relationship with their emotions. 
  2. Participants, through interactive discussions about emotional maturity, leadership development, and appropriate use of ones experience, will learn to advocate for change. 
  3. Participants will walk away with an increased ability to build a thriving recovery culture.

Presenter Biography: 
Jesse Heffernan is a person in long-term recovery, CCAR Recovery Coach Professional, and Certified Healing Centered Engagement Practitioner. Throughout his professional career, he has worked as the Program Director of the Iris Place, one of Wisconsin’s mental health peer-run mental health respite facilities, the Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator for Faces & Voices of Recovery, and Program Leader for Goodwill NCW LGBTQ+ Youth Services. In 2015, he co-launched an internationally recognized training and consulting business called Helios Recovery Services LLC. In addition to his work at Helios, he currently serves as the Co-Chair of  The Privilege Institue, Vice-Chair of Rise Together, and sits on the committee for the International Association of Recovery Coach Professionals. He lives in WI with his partner and 4 children, enjoying all things in geek culture, basketball, and coffee. It is his belief that Recovery is the process of returning to inherent worth and dignity.

3A. Mental Health & Housing in Wisconsin


Presenters: Kenneth Strege, Peer Support Specialist, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Worker, Jefferson County Human Services and Lori Brummand, Jefferson County Human Services

Description TBA

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn about the challenges that homeless with a mental health diagnosis struggle with. 
  2. Participants will be able to identify and advocate effectively with community leaders in your community for those of us that are less fortunate and make a difference. 
  3. Participants will be more informed about options in your community that may or may not exist yet, and how you can get them started.

Presenter Biographies: 
TBA

4A. Peer Support for LGBTQ+ and Veterans: The Story of the Prism Program and the R&R House


Presenters: Erica Steib, Certified Peer Specialist, Prism Program Coordinator, Mental Health America of Wisconsin and Victor Kilpatrick, Certified Peer Specialist, Project Coordinator, R&R House Peer Run Respite, Mental Health of America of Wisconsin

The Prism Program and R&R House are two peer support programs offered by Mental Health America of Wisconsin to focus on LGBTQ+ and Veterans mental health, respectively. This presentation will tell the story of how these programs came to life and what lessons can be applied to other peer support programs. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the need for community-specific peer support for marginalized and at-risk groups. 
  2. Participants will learn about the nuances between peer support in in-person and virtual settings. 
  3. Participants will learn tips for providing support to LGBTQ+ people and Veterans in recovery. 

Presenter Biographies: 
Erica Steib is a Suicide Prevention Specialist, certified peer-specialist, and coordinator of the Prism Program at Mental Health America of Wisconsin. Her lived experience and drive to work towards health equity inspired her to develop The Prism Program, a new, free peer-support resource for LGBTQ+ youth and adults in Wisconsin. The Prism Program offers a warmline and online support groups and hopes to offer more in-person services later this year. The overall goal of Prism is to make mental health support more accessible for LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, who report many barriers to receiving care, and face disparities in many mental health outcomes. Erica believes that healing happens in community, and she hopes to use her career in the peer-support field to further promote community-based networks of care that value strength and self-determination for all on the recovery journey.

Victor Kilpatrick is the project coordinator for the R&R House Peer Run Respite. He served as a Mess Management Specialist 3rd class in the United States Navy for a little over seven years. Victor got into Peer Support to share his lived experience with those looking for their own road to recovery and to be more of service to fellow Veterans in Wisconsin.

5A. Art Interventions in Recovery


Presenter: Chelsea Branley, Executive Director of Harbor House Crisis Shelters

Therapeutic art can be used as a complement to traditional mental health treatment. The aim is to manage behaviors, process feelings, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Self-discovery: Creating art can help you acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been lurking in your subconscious. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn to answer questions about therapeutic art in different sectors. 
  2. Participants will learn promotion of resilience emotionally through understanding of importance of art with mental health/addiction. 
  3. Participants will learn therapeutic art approaches and directives.

Presenter Biography:Chelsea Branley is the Executive Director of Harbor House. Chelsea has worked for Harbor House since 2017 and has Bachelor and Master degrees in Art Therapy.  Chelsea is especially passionate about incorporating therapeutic art programming into their shelters. Another main focus of Chelsea's is recovery programming in the shelter and in her community. She is thankful for the opportunity to give back to those who are struggling while offering positive affirmations and empowerment.  

 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Lunch & Keynote

Presenter: Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, LCSW, CCTP, Founder and Owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and Host of the Woke Mental Wellness Project

A Fork in the Road: Peer Support’s Journey into Professionalization

Peer Support has gained worldwide recognition as a useful and legitimate field over the past 15 years. With that recognition has come pushes for regulation and professionalization. At the same time, many clinicians and doctors still don’t understand or know about Peer Support credentials and programs. The status of Peer Support as a sort of second-class citizen in the helping fields has deepened some of the desire to professionalize. How do we keep the spirt and energy of Peer Support as the systems which have harmed and marginalized us now seek to integrate and use us as stop gap measures, providers, and cheap labor? Cassie will speak on the roots of peer work, the present challenges, and what a liberatory path forward could be

Learning Objectives:

  1. Audience will be able to consider the possible rewards and challenges of continued professionalization of Peer Support. 
  2. Audience will gain the history and terms to discuss what Peer Support is rooted in and what might be important to it’s future.

Presenter Biography: Cassie is a Black Queer Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, Activist, Writer, and Gamer. They are a Liberatory Decolonial healer, certified NARM Therapist, and certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Provider. They are also a former Certified Recovery Support Specialist and person living with Complex Trauma and Bipolar Disorder. They present a diverse array of intersectional topics related to race, gender, sexuality, BDSM and Kink, mental health, liberation, and decolonization. Cassie provides therapy to adults, relationships, and groups and they specialize in the intersections of trauma, Identity, and mental wellness. Cassie is the founder and owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and host of the Woke Mental Wellness Podcast

 1:30-3 p.m. | Breakout Sessions B

​1B. Peer Supervision: Peer Career Ladder


Presenter: Kyle Brewer, Peer Specialist Program Manager, NAADAC, Little Rock, Ark. 

The importance of lived experience remains from direct services all the way to leadership and supervision roles. Professional development and career advancement opportunities can prevent burnout in the Peer workforce and equip and empower Peer Specialist to step into leadership positions. A Peer Career Ladder will give your workforce something to work towards and ensure lived experience is represented at every level of an organization. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will experience the demonstration of the importance of lived experience in the supervisory relationship. 
  2. Participants will gain a basic understanding of a Peer Career Ladder. 
  3. Participants will identify strategies and techniques that may enhance the peer workforce and reduce burnout.  

Presenter Biography: Kyle Brewer, BS, PRPS, is the Peer Specialist Program Manager for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. He works for NAADAC remotely from Little Rock, AR, managing the Arkansas Peer Specialist Program. He oversees the development and implementation of an innovative three-tier credentialing process (Core, Advanced, Supervision) for the Arkansas Peer Support Mode. // Brewer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Addiction Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013. He went on to use his lived experience with drug and alcohol addiction to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, where he became the first Peer Recovery Specialist in Arkansas to be stationed in an emergency department. He led the development and implementation of this position at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and multiple hospitals across the state. // In 2020, he became one of the first ten Certified Peer Support Supervisors in Arkansas. Brewer is a trainer on a variety of topics, including Peer Support, Peer Supervision and Narcan administration. He serves on numerous committees and boards to develop and strengthen the Arkansas Model and improve peer support services across the United States. Most recently, he was awarded the 2021 Arkansas Peer Leadership Award which acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has significant and positive impact on advancing the peer movement and practices of the peer support profession.

2B. Effective Group Facilitation

Presenters: Michael Sersch, Psychotherapist, MS, LPC, CSAC, BCB, CS-IT, Gundersen Health System and Jessica Kimber, Independent Living Resources

Anxiety about leading groups is very common. This workshop will introduce several styles of group facilitation as well as the natural life cycle of most groups.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to identify common group styles. 
  2. Particpants will be able to  describe the common life cycle of a group. 
  3. Particiapnts will begin to explore their own style to group faciliation. 

3B. Embodied Consent and Rejection-for-connection as a Boundary Practice 

Presenter: Mondara Thrasher, Certified Peer Specialist , Spiritual Companion, and Herbal Educator, Wild Sanctuary

In this workshop participants will learn two practices, embodied consent and rejection-for-connection, that support people in engaging with their boundaries in ways that promote connection and empowerment.  Specifically developed for survivors of emotional and spiritual abuse and neglect, these practices allow users to (re)claim their power by learning about what their boundaries are and how to engage with them, while deepening trust and connection with others.  The facilitator will talk about their experience with developing these practices, lead an embodied meditation to demonstrate how the body is involved in this process, and participants will have the opportunity to practice with one another.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will be able to explain why survivors of trauma have specific needs in how they relate with their boundaries and in how they heal boundary violations. 
  2. Participants will be able to describe how their bodies feel differently when they use these practices for connection. 
  3. Participants will be able to engage with others in embodied consent and rejection-for-connection.
Presenter Biography: Monarda is a Certified Peer Specialist and Herbal Educator.  Through their study of social permaculture they have engaged with learning practices of compassionate communication, community grief, accountability, radical consent, spiritual companionship and embodied justice.  Much of Monarda’s peer support work has been supporting people in crisis who cannot access mainstream health services: people living with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities, people with medical trauma, activists, people experiencing psychosis, single mothers, LGBTQIA+, and IBPOC.

4B. Personal Medicine 

Presenters: Rachel Hayden, Certified Personal Medicine Coach Trainer, Certified Peer Specialist, Milkweed Connections and Hope Kissinger, Certified Peer Specialist, Personal Medicine Coach Trainer, Recovery Coach, Yoga Teacher, Milkweed Connections

Personal Medicine is an emerging evidence-based practice developed by Pat Deegan, Ph.D. Distinct from coping skills, it teaches you to listen to your inner wisdom and use it for your recovery and well-being in the way that only you can do it! 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will understand what makes Personal Medicine a distinct practice and how it can also be used alongside other means of recovery such as peer support, pharmaceutical medications, therapy, and coping skills. 
  2. Learn how Personal Medicine coaches are "disruptive innovators" within the mental health system. 
  3. Gain an understanding of the ways Personal Medicine evokes each person's unique wisdom. 

Presenter Biographies: As a founding member of peer-run Milkweed Connections, Rachel has been providing peer-based services since 2017 for multiple programs, often working with queer and trans youth. She has mentored and collaborated with cognitive science and psychology professors to advance models of both peer support and gender. In 2021 she became one of Wisconsin's first Personal Medicine coaches and trainers.  

Hope has struggled with substance use disorder as well as mental health challenges related to substance use disorder.  Hope is in recovery and working a 12-step program; however, she understands all recoveries look different and what works for one person may not be the solution for someone else.  With a strong commitment to change and belief that recovery is possible for everyone, she helps each person find fulfilling experiences and harmony. 

5B. The Importance of Intersectional Mental Health

Presenter: Allilsa Fernandez 

What is the impact when we don't consider diverse backgrounds or provide inclusive spaces? Why it is beneficial to ensure mental health is inclusive of everyone?

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will define intersectionality. 
  2. Participants will discuss about mental health impact in the TGNC and LGBTQIA+ community, especially for BIPOCs and what these terms means. 
  3. Participants will explore how can we provide inclusive spaces and why it is important.

Presenter Biography: Allilsa Fernandez is a mental health, disability activist and consultant. They have worked with companies such as Lionsgate, Facebook and Verizon and volunteered for Sylvia Rivera Law Project to work on TGNC shelter organizing and Met counsel on Housing Justice. 

6B. Creating Normalcy and Overcoming Insecurity 

Presenters: Erica Falk-Huzar, PsyD, Education Specialist, Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner, Substance Abuse Counselor-In Training, Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, Owner/Administrator, Deer Path Integrated Living, Inc. and Kristina Huzar, Certified Peer Specialist, Assistant program Director, Deer Path Integrated Living

Sisters with lived experience, one in recovery from heroin addiction and the other living with schizoaffective disorder, share how they overcame their struggles and became a Certified Peer Specialist and Doctor of Psychology, respectively, working to instill the same sense of hope in others.

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Participants will discuss the possibilities of creating normalcy and overcoming personal insecurities. 
  2. Participants will understand that mental illness and addiction are not in charge and that we are able to break down stigma barriers to accomplish short and long terms personal goals of self-fulfillment. 
  3. Participants will leave with a sense of self-worth and resources to increase future potential.

Presenter Biographies: Erica is a Doctor of Psychology with a specialty in health and wellness, mental health advocacy, and human services.  She is an Education Specialist, Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner, Substance Abuse Counselor-In Training, and Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional.  She is also a person living with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type. Erica is the owner and administrator of Deer Path Integrated Living, Inc.

Kristina is a Certified Peer Specialist. She is also six years in her recovery from heroin addiction and a person living with bipolar disorder. Kristina is the Assistant Program Director at Deer Path integrated Living.

 3:30-5 p.m. | Breakout Sessions C

1C. Womb to Tomb Wellness: How to Build Generational Health


Presenter: Joshua Estep, RN, BSN Nurse Wellness Coach and Client Advocate, Womb to Tomb Wellness, LLC. 

This educational presentation will be focused on building an understanding of some of the most impactful root causes of chronic mental and physical health issues, and what simple lifestyle "hacks" can address these and restore vitality across the lifespan.  The goal of Womb to Tomb Wellness is to help rebuild health that people can pass down from generation to generation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will explore where the Standard American Diet (SAD) went wrong and what would an alternative that builds health would look like. 
  2. Participants will learn what movements are natural to the human species and how incorporating more of these improves health. 
  3. Participants will learn the ancestrally normal hormetic stressors and how they would apply these in moderate doses to improve stress resilience.

Presenter Biography: Joshua Estep is a local nurse who provides wellness coaching and client advocacy services through his business Womb to Tomb Wellness LLC that help people optimize their wellbeing and prevent, reverse or better manage the root causes of chronic diseases of western civilization (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, alzheimer's disease etc).  Joshua received his BS in Kinesiology Exercise and Movement Science from UW Madison, and his BSN from UW Oshkosh's Accelerated BS to BSN program.  At the end of nursing school, Joshua discovered that he was pre diabetic in spite of being a diligent whole foods vegan and competitive ultramarathoner.  After applying this root cause functional medicine model he reversed his pre-diabetes, and found his calling within the nursing field.  

2C. Self-Care for Direct Care


Presenter: Sarah Crawford, Life Coach for Sensitive Souls, Sitawi Life Coaching, LLC.

In this engaging and experiential workshop, you will explore your own personal patterns and relationship to self-care as well as what your specific barriers to consistency might be. We will look under the surface at the beliefs that drive the action (or inaction) and create an opportunity to practice a new way of being around self-care that allows you to flourish as a Peer Specialist as well as support others in their well-being. Tips on human behavioral change will be shared as well as a tool to prevent Compassion Fatigue.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will gain an understanding of the difference between burn out and Compassion Fatigue. 
  2. Participants will have a step-by-step process to follow for changing behavior patterns. 
  3. Participants will identify their own barriers to consistent self-care as well as one action they can take to enhance their well-being.

Presenter Biography: As an Ontological Life Coach in private practice for 10 years with Sitawi Life Coaching, LLC, Sarah creates a pathway for sensitive souls to live authentically and make an impact with their skills and gifts. Her services include intuitive coaching, retreats, and self-care workshops. Sarah is a graduate of Accomplishment Coaching, an ICF accredited coach training company, has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UW – La Crosse and spent 8 years working with youth and families in crisis.

3C. More Than a Seat at the Table: Effective and Meaningful Advocacy


Presenter: Vic Welle, Certified Peer Specialist, Peer Support Trainer and Consultant

People with lived experience of mental health and substance use challenges (also known as consumers/survivors) continue to play a crucial role in advocacy efforts to reimagine and dismantle systems in need of change. This workshop will draw on the history of consumer/survivor/lived experience activism and discuss strategies for effective and sustainable systems change advocacy. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be introduced to historical examples of survivor-led systems change advocacy. 
  2. Participants will learn a metric for evaluating the level of meaningful lived experience participation in advocacy. 
  3. Participants will discuss strategies for sustainable advocacy to minimize burnout and retraumatization when engaging with systems change advocacy.

Presenter Biography: Victoria (Vic) Welle is an activist, peer support trainer, and Wisconsin certified peer specialist. Vic has over 20 years of experience in grassroots activism and systems change advocacy. Vic is an advocate for crisis alternatives such as peer run respite and other non-coercive community supports, and has served on a number of regional and state advocacy initiatives, including the Western Region Advocacy Committee and the Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist Advisory Committee. 

4C. Introduction to Harmonic Sound Therapy


Presenter: Karen Pujals, MS, CHt, Soul Freqs Sound & Energy Works

Provides insights into the effective, skillful use of harmonic sound to elicit healing of the physical body as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual challenges. Presentation discusses the fundamental principles of how sound affects the physiology and biochemistry of the human body. Different tools/instruments will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will gain a basic understanding of the foundations and mechanics of harmonic sound therapy as a valuable modality for improving and sustaining multiple aspects of good health.

Presenter Biography: Served in the US Army as an Intelligence Officer for 14 years, followed by administration of a private medical practice for 10 years before training for her current career. Holds a BS in Psychology, MSA in Healthcare, and MS in Educational Psychology, as well as certifications in Harmonic Sound Therapy, Zildjian Gong Master, Hypnotherapy, Reiki, and Astrology. Private practice is located in Menasha. 

5C. The Perfect Tool? Introduction to the ACT Matrix


Presenter: Jason Chapman, Certified Peer Specialist, Program Coordinator, JusticePoint

The Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Matrix is an evidence-based tool that was originally designed for use by the VA to treat trauma in veterans. It is a simple tool to help individuals gain psychological flexibility and move toward committed action. The Matrix takes 10-15 minutes to use and aligns perfectly with the values of peer support. Participants will leave with the ability to start using the Matrix for themselves and those they work with.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to explain several key principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. 
  2. Participants will complete 3 interactive Matrices as part of the presentation. 
  3. Participants will be able to use the ACT Matrix to support themselves and those they work with.

Presenter Biography: Jason Chapman has been a certified peer specialist for 8 years having experienced drug abuse, trauma, and bipolar diagnoses. He has been with JusticePoint in Milwaukee for 10 years where he currently oversees peer support, cognitive behavioral, trauma informed, and restorative justice programming.  In addition, he is a trainer for evidence-based practices and several cognitive behavioral curricula. He has worked as a peer specialist in both criminal justice and residential programs.

Friday, August 19, 2022

 8:30-10 a.m. | Breakout Sessions D

1D. The Yoga of Peer Support: Finding Flexibility in Systmes, Services, and Self 


Presenter: Heather Mroch, BA, Certified Peer Specialist, Parent Peer Specialist, Registered Yoga Teacher, Facilitator/Trainer, Consultant, PEERspective Wellness and PEER Ashtanga, PEERspective Training and Support Services, LLC.

Yoga is more that physical poses! Come find ways to explore the landscape of the imagination through a simple, accessible peer led yoga practice and discover how to translate the principles of yoga and peer support into your work and life to improve wellness.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will have a simple yoga practice to walk away with to support decision making and discernment. 
  2. Participants will get a basic understanding and 'how to' on leveraging lived experience to support flexibility - even if one is not working in a peer role. 
  3. Participants will have a clear understanding of the role of a peer worker, as well as, a broader definition of what yoga is in practice.

Presenter Biography: Heather is a Master Generalist. They are a Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist. Heather has lived experience with mental health, substance use, trauma, and navigating neurodiversity in their family. The foundation of Heather's approach is guided by the values of access, inclusion and justice. Heather is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and provides 1:1 and group practice as a peer provider in the Milwaukee County Comprehensive Community Service Network. Heather’s path has included utilizing services in residential and outpatient substance use treatment programs, shelter placement, inpatient psychiatric hospitalizations, engaging in various legal processes in the court system, as well as, formal and informal mental health and trauma services, navigating access and accommodation needs as a student and employee and supporting others navigating these systems as a supervisors and peer. Heather works as an independent contractor providing peer services, yoga and wellness programming, consulting and training. http://peerspectivewellness.ppcbrands.com/ 

2D. Community Care and Peer Support Through Joy and Play


Presenter: Cassandra (Cassie) Walker, LCSW, CCTP, Founder and Owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and Host of the Woke Mental Wellness Project

Many times, we are supporting people and ourselves through difficult events and emotions so it can be hard to connect with our joy. This session will discuss ways that we can care for ourselves and our communities through joy and play while avoiding the pitfalls of toxic positivity and overemphasis on capitalistic joy. We will address the interactions of capitalism, colonialism, somatics, self-care, play, and joy. Come ready to engage with both discussion and play!

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn how to explore their personal and professional relationship to joy. 
  2. Participants will be able give example of “capitalistic joy” versus “liberatory joy.” 
  3. Participant will be able to integrate aspects of joy and play into their work with peers.

Presenter Biography: Cassie is a Black Queer Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Therapist, Activist, Writer, and Gamer. They are a Liberatory Decolonial healer, certified NARM Therapist, and certified Hypnotherapist and NLP Provider. They are also a former Certified Recovery Support Specialist and person living with Complex Trauma and Bipolar Disorder. They present a diverse array of intersectional topics related to race, gender, sexuality, BDSM and Kink, mental health, liberation, and decolonization. Cassie provides therapy to adults, relationships, and groups and they specialize in the intersections of trauma, Identity, and mental wellness. Cassie is the founder and owner of Intersections Center for Complex Healing PLLC and host of the Woke Mental Wellness Podcast

3D. The Missing Piece: Emotions & Wellness


Presenter: Lynn McLaughlin, Peer, Trainer, Advocate, Consultant, Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative and Karen Iverson Riggers, Peer, Trainer, Advocate, Consultant, Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative

In this workshop, participants will learn how emotional expression and emotional wellness are the key components missing in suicide prevention, mental health and wellness programs. They will deepen their understanding on why all emotions are important to our human experience, and the many ways that we avoid being with our emotions. Participants will be introduced to The Change Triangle—a tool that helps move past our defenses and connect with the emotional body inside each of us.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand what emotional wellness is. 
  2. Participants will understand why all emotions—even the most painful—have value.
  3. Participants will understand the defenses we use against feeling emotions and utilizing the change triangle tool.

Presenter Biography: Lynn McLaughlin is an entrepreneur, author, peer, trainer, connector and consultant. Her life experience, education, and training in emotional wellness, peer support and trauma make her an exceptional leader, direct service provider and trainer. Lynn has a vibrant passion for life and deep empathy for the stories of others, which shows up in all facets of her work. She received her bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Marian University. Lynn is an Emotions Education 101 trainer, Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist trainer, as well as a lead trainer of Emotional CPR for the State of Wisconsin.

Karen Iverson Riggers is a writer, survivor, advocate, entrepreneur, and community volunteer. She owns her own nonprofit consulting practice. She was most recently the founding director of Iris Place, the first peer run respite in the state of Wisconsin. Her almost 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector includes working with organizations such as LEAVEN, Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance, Rise Together, African Heritage Inc, NAMI Fox Valley, United Way Fox Cities, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter, etc. to name a few. In 2013, she was awarded NAMI Wisconsin’s Peer of the Year and was recently recognized by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce as a “Future 15” young professional. Karen is a Certified Peer Specialist, an Emotions Education 101 trainer, as well as a lead trainer of Emotional CPR for the State of Wisconsin.

4D. Disability Rights Wisconsin Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council Listening Session


Presenter: Tim Saubers, Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council Chair, Disability Rights Wisconsin

This session will offer people an opportunity to connect with the PAIMI Advisory Council (PAC) in order to learn more about the work Disability Rights Wisconsin is doing to support people with lived experience around the state. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to share feedback and input regarding what they'd like to see the PAC work on learn more about how they can participate on the council.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to articulate the purpose of the PAIMI Advisory Council. 
  2. Participants will have an understanding of the work the PAIMI Advisory Council does. 
  3. Participants will have the opportunity to share input on where they'd like to see the PAIMI Advisory Council focus its work.

Presenter Biography: Tim Saubers is a person with lived experience with both mental health and substance use recovery. He has been a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist since 2016 and has experience in direct service and supervisory roles, as well as managing the Wisconsin Peer Specialist Employment Initiative for several years. He serves as the chair of Disability Rights Wisconsin Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council and in his professional role as the Program Coordinator for Workforce Development at the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence.

5D. Creating Change: Legislative Advocacy 101 for Recovery & Addiction Initiatives


Presenter: Katerina Klawes, Educator, CCOA & Marquette University

 Each year over 10,000 bills are introduced in the legislature. Learn from a bill author and community organizer how to advocate for better mental health and addiction recovery and prevention policies. The session will include how to contact elected officials, who to contact, how to assess legislative policy, and how to use your experiences and voice to make an impact and create change. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will gain tools to understand and assess legislative policy and be able to define local, state, and national issues. 
  2. Participants will practice and learn how to contact decision-makers. 
  3. Participants will use community organizing tools to involve and inspire others. 
  4. Participants will learn and demonstrate how to use lived experiences to help enact change.

Presenter Biography: Kat Klawes is an educator and activist. She is a bill author and has worked in the fields of education and non-profit. She is a member of the State of Wisconsin Recovery Task Force and has worked as a Survivor Advocate and done crisis intervention work. Her work focuses on diversity in education, mental health supports, and sexual assault survivor supports. 

 10:30 am-12 p.m. | Breakout Sessions E

1E. What IPS Teaches Us about Recovery and Employment


Presenter: Theresa Iacullo, IPS State Trainer, UW-Madison and Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Stacey Teegardin, IPS State Trainer, UW Madison and WI DHS

Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employment is an evidence-based practice that champions competitive, integrated employment as a supportive factor in recovery. IPS Employment Specialists (ES) use practice principles including Zero Exclusion, Time Unlimited Supports, Integrated Services, and Honoring Work Preferences to support the employment goals of individuals they serve. The specific skills and experiences of Peer Support Specialists (PSS) are valuable transferable skills and are well matched to the skills required to support individuals at work. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will increase their awareness of IPS Supported Employment as a treatment option in psychosocial rehabilitation. 
  2. Participants will learn about the philosophy of IPS Supported Employment. 
  3. Participants will learn how to empower Peer Support Specialists to identify transferable skills.

Presenter Biography: Theresa Iacullo has been working to support the competitive, integrated employment goals of clients in Wisconsin since 2017. She first worked as an Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Specialist with youth and adults providing direct service and coordinating care with mental health teams and Vocational Rehabilitation providers. Theresa now works as an IPS State Trainer for the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the WI Department of Health Services to provide fidelity reviews and technical assistance to IPS Programs across Wisconsin.

Stacey Teegardin has over a decade of vocational support experience as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, recovery services coordinator, and now as IPS State Trainer for the University of Wisconsin - Madison and the WI Department of Health Services.  Stacey provides technical assistance to teams implementing IPS, including training new and existing staff at the local level, providing annual fidelity reviews, and supporting implementation efforts for new counties and tribes. 

2E. Compassionate Pause


Presenter: Kathleen Mueske

Description. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will  
  2. Participants will 
  3. Participants will 

Presenter Biography: XXX is .

3E. Nothing About Us Without Us: Public Policy, Voting Rights, and Empowerment


Presenter: Barbara Beckert, Director Milwaukee Office, Disability Rights Wisconsin and David Carlson, Certified Peer Specialist, C.C. WE ADAPT

If you're not at the table, you're probably on the menu. We need more peers at the policy table, working to influence public policy, and casting a ballot.  We will cover the basics of legislative advocacy, voting rights, and share strategies for peers to support voter engagement and policy advocacy.  

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the basics of legislative advocacy and how to advocate for a policy position. 
  2. Participants will be able to explain the basics of voting rights and engagement. 
  3. Participants will know how to access resources and get assistance to support peers with voter registration and engagement, and to exercise and asset their rights.

Presenter Biography: Barbara Beckert is Director of DRW’s Milwaukee office and Director of External Advocacy for Southeastern WI. She coordinates DRW’s Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access activities to protect and defend the voting rights of people with disabilities.  Barbara coordinates the Wisconsin Disability Vote Coalition, with BPDD. Her mental health advocacy work includes staffing the Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force and the PAIMI Advisory Council which provides community input for DRW’s mental health advocacy. She co-chairs the Wisconsin Council on Mental Health Legislative Policy Committee.

David Carlson has worked as a peer specialist and mentor in the western region of Wisconsin since 2019.  My services as a peer specialist and mentor are informed by my recovery from childhood trauma, military service in combat, juvenile and adult incarceration, and my battles with addiction.  I have found that I am strongest in my recovery when I am living in service to others.  I am the founder/co-owner of C.C. WE ADAPT and the co-founder/co-owner of Next Generation Properties.  I am also in my 1L year at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

4E. Shamanic Breathwork


Presenter: Heather Hope, Professional Counselor & Shamanic Energy Practitioner, One Love-Wellness Center 

Shamanic Breathwork is a method of breath control that is meant to give rise to altered states of consciousness, and to have an therapeutic effect on physical and mental well-being. We will begin with an angel card check in, followed by instruction on Breathwork.  We will have a brief session of Qi Gong to help get our energy flowing for the session. Each person will be encouraged to set a positive intention for the Breathwork journey. We will call in the six directions and angelic assistance to lead us, heal us and guide us on our journeys. After the journey (where people have met with deceased loved ones or their Spirit allies...), we will finish up with an opportunity for people to share their unique experiences, if they choose. People are encouraged to bring something comfortable to lay on.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will have a direct Spiritual experience. Spirituality differs from Religion in that in Spirituality there is no middle-man (priest/ pope/ minister).  People are able to connect directly to their source.  These direct experiences can be very powerful and healing because they are personal and direct. 
  2. Participants will recognize the power of intention within Spiritual practice and in life. 
  3. Participants will learn to include Spirituality in holistic health practice. Many people have been wounded around the word "God" and judgmental dogma that has been associated with some religions. The desire to be sensitive to people's Spiritual and Religious traumas have led some people to completely bypass discussions of Spirituality and how people connect to their source. Holistic health includes mind, body and spirit and Shamanic Breathwork can help bring discussions of Spirituality back into the fold in a way that honors each person's path and personal truths.   

Presenter Biography: Heather received her Master's Degree in Professional Counseling from UW-Oshkosh. She went on to open a non-profit state certified mental health clinic called One Love-Wellness Center which had a physical location from 2017- 2020.  Heather is certified in Brainspotting, (a highly effective counseling technique which helps to reprocess trauma and move it from short term memory where it causes flashbacks and triggers to long-term memory where it has a reduced emotional charge). Heather continued to pursued her passion of integrating spirituality into her holistic health practice. She mentored with a Shaman for 3 years and then continued her training in Peru where she was introduced to sacred plant and animal medicines including Ayahussca and Kambo frog medicine. She continues to use those and other sacred plant medicines in her healing journey in an effort to remember her connection with her Divine Source. Heather currently operates out of her home office in Appleton, Wisconsin.    

5E. Healing Centered Engagement for Peers and Coaches


Presenter: Jesse Heffernan, Recovery Coach Professional, Helios Recovery Services

This workshop will provide tools for an approach that allows practitioners to approach trauma with a fresh lens that promotes a holistic and cultural view of healing from traumatic experiences and environments. This approach is called Healing Centered Engagement.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand key differences between a healing-centered and trauma-informed approach to care. 
  2. Participants will identify 3 ways to address root causes of trauma in communities.
  3. Participants will learn 3 ways to improve strategies and outcomes with recoverees using HCE.

Presenter Biography: Jesse Heffernan is a person in long-term recovery, CCAR Recovery Coach Professional, and Certified Healing Centered Engagement Practitioner. Throughout his professional career, he has worked as the Program Director of the Iris Place, one of Wisconsin’s mental health peer-run mental health respite facilities, the Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator for Faces & Voices of Recovery, and Program Leader for Goodwill NCW LGBTQ+ Youth Services. In 2015, he co-launched an internationally recognized training and consulting business called Helios Recovery Services LLC. In addition to his work at Helios, he currently serves as the Co-Chair of  The Privilege Institue, Vice-Chair of Rise Together, and sits on the committee for the International Association of Recovery Coach Professionals. He lives in WI with his partner and 4 children, enjoying all things in geek culture, basketball, and coffee. It is his belief that Recovery is the process of returning to inherent worth and dignity.

 12-1:30 p.m. | Lunch & Keynote

Presenter: Jimmy McGill, PRPS, Director of Peer Services, Arkansas Department of Health and Kyle Brewer, Peer Specialist Program Manager, NAADAC, Little Rock, Ark. 

Description. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will  
  2. Participants will 
  3. Participants will 

Presenter Biography: Overcoming a lifetime of incarceration and twenty-three years of substance use disorder, author and speaker Jimmy McGill has defied his past and found his purpose. His childhood was marked by trauma, but what should have destroyed him is now being used to transform recovery awareness across the country.  His recently published book, "From Prison to Purpose," is a detailed account of his journey to recovery. // Jimmy is the Director of Peer Services for the Arkansas Drug Director's office, and he is a certified Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor (PRPS). His lived experience has allowed him the chance to lead the development of the Peer Recovery Infrastructure throughout Arkansas.  He has assisted in the training of over 330 Peer Recovery Specialists. // His dedicated efforts have allowed Arkansas to place peer recovery inside the Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Health, emergency rooms, drug courts, jails, reentry centers, prisons, law enforcement partnerships, Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) and community service centers. He spearheaded the development of the Arkansas Model of Peer Recovery which has now gained national attention. // He and his wife are the founders of Next Step Recovery Housing, a non-profit recovery foundation that houses people in recovery. Jimmy was the founding member of both the Arkansas Peers Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together (A.P.A.R.T) coalition and is the current chair for the SAMHSA Region 6 Peer Support Advisory Committee. Jimmy is also an executive member of the National Peer Recovery Alliance (NPRA).

Kyle Brewer, BS, PRPS, is the Peer Specialist Program Manager for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. He works for NAADAC remotely from Little Rock, AR, managing the Arkansas Peer Specialist Program. He oversees the development and implementation of an innovative three-tier credentialing process (Core, Advanced, Supervision) for the Arkansas Peer Support Mode. // Brewer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Addiction Studies from the University of Central Arkansas in 2013. He went on to use his lived experience with drug and alcohol addiction to become a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, where he became the first Peer Recovery Specialist in Arkansas to be stationed in an emergency department. He led the development and implementation of this position at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and multiple hospitals across the state. // In 2020, he became one of the first ten Certified Peer Support Supervisors in Arkansas. Brewer is a trainer on a variety of topics, including Peer Support, Peer Supervision and Narcan administration. He serves on numerous committees and boards to develop and strengthen the Arkansas Model and improve peer support services across the United States. Most recently, he was awarded the 2021 Arkansas Peer Leadership Award which acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has significant and positive impact on advancing the peer movement and practices of the peer support profession.

 2-3:30 p.m. | Breakout Sessions F

1F. Sensory Toolbox for Emotional Crisis


Presenter: Name, Credentials and Title, City, State

Do you have a toolbox for you house or car? Why not have one for yourself? Come and make your own sensory toolbox to take home and help manage an emotional crisis.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn what a sensory toolbox is and how it works. 
  2. Participants will learn how to navigate through an emotional crisis using their 5 senses. 
  3. Participants will come away from the workshop with their own sensory toolbox to help when a crisis arises.

Presenter Biography: Catherine Spaulding (Cathy) is a RN, CPS, Emotional CPR Practitioner, Alternatives to Suicide Facilitator, and Reiki Master. She graduated from the UW Fox Valley with an Associate Degree in Science. She graduated from Fox Valley Technical College with an Associate Degree in Science-Nursing. She has lived with mental illness since 2003 after she had her son. The last four years she has been on the road to recovery.     She has learned many skills through IOP (intense outpatient therapy). DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and holistic options, such as reiki, essential oils, crystals, meditation and sound therapy. She uses a combination of these and medications to live out her daily life in recovery. Cathy currently volunteers at LEAVEN a non-profit in the Fox Cities in their listening space as an emotional CPR practitioner. Here she is available for anyone in need of someone to hold space for them. She also answers calls on the eCPR warm-line that is available for anyone that needs to talk. She is very passionate about giving back and helping others learn that there is hope, and recovery is possible with time. 

2F. Using Motivational interviewing for Recovery Planning


Presenter: Kris Kelly, Project Manager, Peer Recovery Center of Excellence and Laura Saunders, MSSW

Planning is a usual part of peer-to-peer interactions and there are guidelines a plenty on the practicalities of planning.  In this highly interactive session, we’ll examine the importance of how you speak to your clients about changing.  Using the style and spirit of Motivational Interviewing, we’ll demonstrate how to bring the heart of MI to the recovery planning process.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to describe the key MI spirit and skill elements as they fit into the process of planning. 
  2. Participants will examine the use of MI spirit and skills in planning scenarios. 
  3. Participants will plan to utilize elements of MI as they guide others towards change.

Presenter Biography: Kris Kelly is a Project Manager for the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and subject matter expert on peer recovery support services. Kris has developed best practices for integrating recovery supports into a wide variety of systems and services. As a former ED and Director of Programs of a Recovery Community Organization, Kris is a leader in the peer support movement in Minnesota. Kris has presented at state and national conferences on topics ranging from supervision in peer recovery support services, integrating peer support services into behavioral health organizations, and recovery-oriented systems of care.

Laura A. Saunders (MSSW) has 30 years with the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a researcher, program coordinator, and project manager. Currently at the Great Lakes Addictions, Mental Health and Prevention Technology Centers, Laura provides training and technical assistance in several evidence-based practices to improve the delivery of behavioral health treatment services. As a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) since 2006, Laura has facilitated hundreds of workshops with thousands of professionals across Wisconsin in health care, education, human services, public health, and criminal justice. In 2019, Laura was selected by the MINT to assist in the training of new trainers.

3F. Towards a TRUE Cross-Disability Movement: Building Strong Bridges Between Mental & Physical Disability


Presenter: David Oaks, Revolutionary Consultant, Aciu! Institute

Mental health consumers & psychiatric survivors need to unite among ourselves to build bridges to the larger disability movement, one of the largest movements in the world. Those of us with mental health “lived experience” have very diverse stories & resilient recoveries. By building on core principles, we must embrace our differences in order to help unite the whole cross-disability marginalized community. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will explore how the diverse community of mental health consumers & psychiatric survivors can and must unite based on shared values, embracing our major differences. 
  2. Participants will learn about the importance of, and ways to be involved with, building strong bridges between mental disability & the wider cross-disability movement. 
  3. Participants will understand how core disability principles (including those who reject the label “disabled”) can be inclusive to all of us in both physical and mental disability movements, along with other marginalized, under-served communities.

Presenter Biography: This is my 46th year as a psychiatric survivor human rights activist. Raised working class in Chicago, I won scholarships, including from my father’s union to attend Harvard. I graduated from Harvard with honors in 1977, despite being put in psychiatric institutions five times, where I experienced solitary confinement & forced drugging. In 2012, I became quadriplegic, and started a green disability consulting business, Aciu! Institute. My wife and I live in Eugene, Oregon. 

4F. The Arkansas Model


Presenter: Jimmy McGill, PRPS, Director of Peer Services, Arkansas Department of Health

This workshop will discuss the history and innovative practices used in Arkansas to develop, grow and sustain the Peer recovery workforce. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will understand the history of Arkansas Peer Recovery. 
  2. Participants will be able to define best practices surrounding Peer Recovery Support Services and Supervision. 
  3. Participants will be able to describe the Arkansas Model and build your own career ladder.

Presenter Biography: Overcoming a lifetime of incarceration and twenty-three years of substance use disorder, author and speaker Jimmy McGill has defied his past and found his purpose. His childhood was marked by trauma, but what should have destroyed him is now being used to transform recovery awareness across the country.  His recently published book, "From Prison to Purpose," is a detailed account of his journey to recovery. // Jimmy is the Director of Peer Services for the Arkansas Drug Director's office, and he is a certified Peer Recovery Peer Supervisor (PRPS). His lived experience has allowed him the chance to lead the development of the Peer Recovery Infrastructure throughout Arkansas.  He has assisted in the training of over 330 Peer Recovery Specialists. // His dedicated efforts have allowed Arkansas to place peer recovery inside the Department of Human Services, the Division of Youth Services, the Department of Health, emergency rooms, drug courts, jails, reentry centers, prisons, law enforcement partnerships, Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) and community service centers. He spearheaded the development of the Arkansas Model of Peer Recovery which has now gained national attention. // He and his wife are the founders of Next Step Recovery Housing, a non-profit recovery foundation that houses people in recovery. Jimmy was the founding member of both the Arkansas Peers Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Arkansas Peers Achieving Recovery Together (A.P.A.R.T) coalition and is the current chair for the SAMHSA Region 6 Peer Support Advisory Committee. Jimmy is also an executive member of the National Peer Recovery Alliance (NPRA).

5F. I am a Black Woman who Loves a White Woman and I call her MOM 


Presenter: Carmella Glenn, Certified Peer Specialist, Peer Services Peer Respite Coordinator, Department of Health Services and Deborah Mejchar, Certified Peer Specialist, Department of Health Services

This session will explore the possible dualisms that exist among identities in Peer Support and why it matters. Many providers in the United States are taught to approach mental health substance abuse and lived experiences  based on white, middleclass norms and beliefs. Others assume that their beliefs (whatever they may be) about what causes and reduces emotional difficulties are universally true. Peer supporters, with their lived experience of mental health challenges, are often no exception. Additionally, they may have limited experience with people who do not share their particular background. Since peers are the foundation of self-help and mutual assistance, their cultural skills are critical for engaging and supporting people with mental health issues, AODA, and incarceration. These skills stem from shared experiences of mental health problems and social stigma. Peer supporters and leadership who come from diverse backgrounds themselves benefit from culturally competent recruitment, retention and promotion practices. Remember, enhancing cultural competency is not for white peer providers alone. Everybody—no matter what their background—has things to learn about how people from diverse communities view their mental health experience and how they wish to be treated. This is why cultural competency should be required of all peer providers, their leaders, and the programs they run.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will learn that one of hardest things about addressing a program’s cultural competency is learning that “color blindness” can be off-putting to people of different cultures, even if they don’t tell you this directly. 
  2. Participants will learn that many people from systemically minoritized communities feel that treating everyone the “same” obscures the ways their unique backgrounds affect their ability to use and benefit from peer support. 
  3. Participants will learn that when helping people deal with stress and hardship, we need to know and acknowledge how prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia, and institutional discrimination have an impact on their recovery.

Presenter Biography: XXXX

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Noon-1:30 p.m. CST | Closing Keynote: Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu

We Keep Us Safe: An Abolitionist + Disability Justice Approach to Peer Support


Presenter: Stefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu, Executive Director of Project LETS, Providence, R.I. 

From its beginning in the US, peer support was an informal, unstructured, mutual aid effort that rose out of the tireless organizing of psychiatric survivors and ex-patients who had been harmed and abused by the mental health system. Peer support, as it was originally imagined, practiced cross-movement solidarity— and was heavily influenced by the Civil Rights Movement, queer/trans liberation work, and the Independent Living/Disability Rights movement. When we look at our history, it is clear that peer support has political roots— but today’s professionalized peer support roles are often co-opted by the system, and lack a critical social justice, anti-racist, abolitionist, and Disability Justice centered approach towards healing and care work.

In this Keynote address, Stefanie will explore the roots of peer support as mutual aid care work, using peer support skills outside of the system, how the mental health system (including peer support specialists) is reliant upon and complicit with prisons and policing, and how to work towards abolitionist reforms within the system. As they offer a new vision grounded in values and ethics of collective liberation, Stefanie will ask, how do we build community-based care networks that prioritize multiply marginalized Disabled, mad, mentally ill, and neurodivergent folks? How do we create the conditions to keep our community members out of confinement and carceral institutions? And most importantly: who is doing this work now, and where do we go from here?

Learning Objectives: 

  • Participants will explore and become familiar with existing radical networks of decarceral emotional care that build on the roots of peer support as an abolitionist mutual aid offering.
  • Participants will investigate our complicity in the Mental Health Industrial Complex (MHIC) and challenge ourselves to commit to self-assessing our transformation going forward.
  • Participants will reflect on why peer support workers need to connect ourselves to the larger Disability Justice movement and practice cross-movement solidarity. 

Presenter Biography: 

SLKM - Headshot.jpegStefanie Lyn Kaufman-Mthimkhulu (they/she) is a Disability Justice cultural worker, educator, organizer, parent, somatic and ancestral healing practitioner, consultant, writer, and the Executive Director of Project LETS — a national grassroots organization led by and for folks with lived experience of mental illness, madness, disability, and neurodivergence. Their work specializes in building peer support collectives and community mental health care structures outside of the state. Stefanie comes to their work from the positionality of being white, Latinx, Jewish, mad, autistic, disabled, and a survivor of psychiatric incarceration. They have extensive experience as a facilitator, curriculum developer, and consultant for mental health policies, program development, and access-centered practices. Stefanie is invested in disrupting multiple carceral systems which disproportionately harm and kill our community members worldwide.

​Conference Information

 2022 Scholarship Opportunities


Scholarships are available for Wisconsin peers, or their allies, who require financial assistance to attend the Virtual WI Peer Recovery Conference August 18-19, 2022.  Scholarships are available for a portion of conference registration and one night of lodging. Scholarship recipients will be responsible for $25 of the conference registration fee and any additional lodging requirements. 

Complete the Scholarship Application Form by July 8, 2022. The scholarship link will be available soon! Please note that there may be a limited number of scholarships.  Please only seek a scholarship if you require financial assistance.

DO NOT REGISTER for the conference if you are submitting a scholarship application!  If you are awarded a scholarship, instructions will be sent by email with specific registration information no later than July 20, 2022.  

If you have any questions, please email Nicole.Ravens@ilresources.org or call (608) 787-1111. 

Complete the Scholarship Application Form by July 8, 2022. 

 Continuing Education Hours (CEHs)

Continuing Education Hours are a measure of participation in continuing education programs. Individuals should consult with their professional association and/or licensing board regarding the applicability of the conference for their profession. It is the individual's responsibility to report CEHs earned to their appropriate credential or licensing board.

The 2022 conference will be seeking approval of CEHs from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Department of Sociology. A link will be provided after the conference for registrants to receive a printable, personalized CEH Certificate of Completion via email.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ 2022 Call for Proposals

What are we looking for?

Proposals that align with our track objectives and/or demonstrate evidenced-based practices, support various pathways of recovery, as well as highlight the direct inclusion of people with lived experience following the movement of Peer Support, WI Certified Peer Specialists, and Certified Parent Peer Specialists are encouraged to apply.  For more information, click on the Workshop Proposal Submission button.

Proposals are due by 11:59 PM CST Friday, March 4, 2022.

If you have any questions regarding the proposal submission process, please contact the Conference Coordinator via phone at 608.787.1111 or email advocacy@ilresources.org.

2022 WI Peer Recovery Conference Planning Committee Interest




If you are interested in joining the 2022 WI Peer Recovery Conference Planning Committee please complete this form. When a 2022 Conference Coordinator is selected you will be contacted and informational meetings, and more details will be shared. In the meantime questions can be sent to Advocacy@ilresources.org.

 Special Accommodations

Special Accommodation Requests 


Facilitating ADA supports is important to UWSP and ILR. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least three weeks in advance of the conference. Special dietary needs and requests can be made during registration. Please contact UWSP Continuing Education at uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu for more information.

​​ ​

Contact Information


For questions about the conference, contact Nicole Ravens, Conference Coordinator:
Nicole Ravens, Conference Coordinator
Independent Living Resources
608-787-1111

For assistance with conference registration, email uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu or call Continuing Education at 715-346-3838.  


2022 Cancellation Policy 


Full refunds granted upon receipt of written request to uwspce-conf@uwsp.edu. Cancellation requests must be received by Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Requests received between Wednesday, August 3-Tuesday, August 9, 2022 will be charged a $25 processing fee. No refunds will be given on or after Wednesday, August 10, 2022. Substitutions can be made at any time, but no shows will be responsible for the full conference fee.