Workshop A (9:45-11:00am)

A1: Zines: Self-Publishing and Mad Knowledge | Presenter: Liz Schiavoni | Zines are short, easily created and distributed, self-published works that can contain poetry, research, essays, journal entries, comics, illustrations, collage, fiction, interviews, how to guides, and so much more. Zines can be the work of individuals or a group of collaborators. Zines historically and today are a medium for information and experience sharing in marginalized communities. Workshop participants will learn about zines in the psychiatric survivor/consumer movements, how to make zines, and places where zines can be distributed in Maine.

A2: CCBHC Informational Sessions | Presenters: Kellie Pelletier; Mindy Smith | This workshop is intended to be an informational session covering suggested and required criteria regarding staffing, accessibility, care coordination, scope of services, accreditation, and governance for CCBHC programs as outlined by SAMHSA. Attendees will be presented the difference between the services required to be provided by a CCBHC and services that may be provided by a Designated Community Organization, and the Department’s current outlines for both. Presenters will also cover information about the Departments work, including program recommendations, requirements, and policy to date. This will position attendees to understand the possibilities within CCBHC programming, new services and accessibility on the horizon and the Departments current timeline for developing infrastructure, policy, and certification processes. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask clarifying questions around general criteria and development presented. Attendees will receive information on training development for CCBHC Governance Board support, ongoing Stakeholders meetings and ways to be involved with receiving new information as developed, as well as providing suggestions and feedback on development and design processes of the Departments work around CCBHC’s. 

A3: Harm Reduction: The Role of Peers | Presenter: Haner Hernandez, PhD, CPS, CADCII, LADCI | Utilizing a social justice framework, this training will focus on the philosophy, principles, and practice of harm reduction and the role of people in recovery in the planning and delivery of services and recovery supports. To this end, participants will learn about how harm reduction informed services can impact opioid overdoses, HCV, HIV/AIDS, and other health conditions for the better. Participants will also explore the context in which change occurs and will learn about the multiple strategies that affect, promote, and sustain healthy behaviors, including recovery.

A4: Artivism: Revolutionizing Systems Through Art | Presenters: Vals Porter, Norman Kehling | We will learn how to revolutionize systems through art.  This workshop will be an experiential presentation which will demonstrate and explore the power of artivism to challenge oppressive systems.  Exercises will be based on the revolutionary work of director and actor Augusto Boal.  We will be using theater and deep discussion to examine current oppressive systems.

A5: Parenting Challenges for Those in Recovery | Presenters: Jessica Rogers, Wendy Allen, Angela Despres | Our presentation will include a brief personal history from each of us, including our path in recovery and our parenting struggles. We will discuss ideas on how to speak with your children about your recovery and how to be open to their thoughts and feelings around that and how our actions have affected them. We will review the challenges and benefits of having Child Protective Services involved and how family recovery courts can make a positive impact on recovery.

A6: Creating and Rebuilding Community for Survivors of Sexual Violence, Sexual Assault, and Rape | Presenter: Charley Mestrich | Participants will learn about the prevalence of sexual violence in the United States and how it impacts the health and well-being of survivors. We will take a close look at how communities are harmed by sexual violence and how isolation in the aftermath of sexual violence, assault, and rape is common and harmful. Participants will learn strategies to support survivors and brainstorm methods of rebuilding community for survivors.

Workshop B (11:15am-12:30pm)

B1: The Relationship of Mindfulness & Meditation: Tools for Wellness | Presenters: Linnea Hofmeister, LCSW, LADC, CCS; Vickie Fisher, LCSW, CCS | This workshop is about the relationship between Mindfulness & Meditation, how to practice Mindfulness in your daily life, and an introduction to different forms of Meditation. Participants will have multiple opportunities to participate in experimental exercises and receive several resources on the different practices of mindfulness and meditation. Participants who come should expect a facilitated discussion on how to incorporate Mindfulness or Meditation in easy-to-use ways, a conversation about Mindfulness and Meditation and how it benefits many people in a variety of situations, and to participate in several experiential exercises in Mindfulness and Meditation where they can try on different skills. All of the experiential exercises are optional. The first exercise will be a grounding mindfulness moment in which participants will be engaged in transitioning to the smaller group. The next exercise will engage participants in a mindful eating of chocolate (sugar free option available). Following will be a mindful body scan. As the conversation moves into meditation the participant will experience progressive muscle relaxation. The last experiential exercise is a 10-minute chair yoga exercise. The workshop is for participants who are looking to enhance or change their current treatment.

B2: Finding Recovery While Entangled in the Criminal Justice System | Presenters: Bruce Noddin; Richard Knight; Casey Nadeau | Our workshop explores the challenges of SUD recovery while facing the obstacles presented at various points of the criminal justice system. Insight and instruction will be provided by a facilitated discussion with a man and woman who have built sustained recovery while navigating arrest, courts, incarceration, and the intensive recovery focus provided by Maine’s Treatment Courts. Workshop attendees should expect to learn about some truly effective, and some not so effective, approaches to recovery in criminal justice settings, through the sharing of our panelist’s lived experience. We expect to stimulate robust conversation and a sense of curiosity as we build upon the ups and downs of early recovery in these spaces and the joys of discovering life without substances. We will realize the rewards that await those who seek, and start to achieve, long term and life changing recovery. Attendees are encouraged to bring a deep sense of curiosity and to offer questions based on their own recovery or experiences with family, friends, and/or colleagues.

B3: The Role of Peer Support as an Indigenous Practice | Presenter: Vesper Moore | This presentation will explore the critical role of peer support, relationships, and genuine human connection in reindiginizing and decolonizing society. The approach of peer support is deeply rooted in the values of Indigenous cultures, where healing takes place within sacred circles and through ancestral healing. Peer support offers a holistic and community-centered approach to wellness that can help address the harmful effects of colonization and assimilation. By embracing the principles of community-created ideas, peer supporters can help individuals and communities connect with their cultural heritage and strengthen their sense of identity. This webinar will provide a deeper understanding of how peer support can be an effective tool for reclaiming cultural practices and healing intergenerational trauma. We will also explore the challenges of integrating peer support into mainstream healthcare systems, where traditional healing practices are often marginalized or ignored. Attendees of this presentation will come away with a renewed appreciation for the power of peer support.

B4: Reframing Your Story: Creating New Neuropathways in the Brain Towards Reimagining Wellness Through Journaling and Creative Expression | Presenters: Vals Porter, Julie Potter | Participants will journal for 30 minutes and learn to use the imagination to reframe a current event in their life.  This is one pathway to reimagining wellness.  They will learn to invent solutions to problems by reframing a current event.  There are many ways to do this; we are just journaling today to start the process of reshaping outcomes of our stories. We can also reimagine social change, by sharing our stories of hope.  We will be sharing our writing if desired and discussing what the process was like.  Participants will be given examples and handouts to demonstrate what we mean by reframing your story. Participants will discuss creative ways to connect to self, ways to inspire social change, and enrich their overall wellbeing through creative writing. 

B5: Building Bridges to Improve Intergenerational Communication | Presenters: April Kerr; Vickie McCarty | In this workshop you will be able to gain wisdom, knowledge and awareness of how different generations communicate, what has worked best for them and what has not. We will look at what we need to gain a better understanding of how to effectively communicate? We will consider the gaps and the misconceived ability to communicate as we explore how to build bridges. We believe the benefits of intergenerational relationships and communication include wisdom, knowledge, and experience from older generations, enthusiasm and positive attitude from younger generations. We believe that a better understanding and appreciation of each other, stronger family ties, and more inclusive communities can be gained as we come together. As we share in this process it allows both peers and allies to begin working together in building better communicational bridges that will span across generational differences. This in turn has the potential to foster better understanding and consensus whether it be in our personal spaces or the work we do in the name of making dynamic systemic changes that will benefit various communities holistically.

B6: Reimagining Creativity and Its Role in our Self Care | Presenter: Hope L. Becker | This workshop will begin a conversation that explores the meaning of creativity, what is creative, and how we can utilize creativity for self-care in our everyday life. We’ll begin with an exploration of what creativity is, followed by a discussion of how it supports mental health and recovery. Finally, we’ll see ways we can embrace our creative self in our personal story.

Workshop C (2:30-3:45pm)

C1: Do You Want Case Management? Navigating the Mystery | Presenters: Jane Moore, JD; Emily Mott, Esq. | This workshop is designed for anyone seeking case management, wanting to change the agency providing them case management, assisting others in accessing case management or just understanding the case management system in Maine. The presenters will describe the different types of case management available, including definitions and terminology, the applicable sections of MaineCare and who qualifies for the different services. The presenters will then walk participants through on how the process should work when one contacts an agency seeking case management. Based on the presenters’ real experiences while out in the community assisting individuals with accessing case management, the presenters will describe the various barriers that individuals may face when contacting case management agencies and how to navigate the process and ensure that one’s access to case management through the referral process is demystified. There will be ample time for questions and answers.

C2: Let’s Talk Miracles! Using Magical Realism to Support Marginalized People | Presenter: Henry Lyons, B.A., J.D., M.S.IT. | Understanding marginalized populations may not come naturally to people who feel they lack common life experiences. Magical realism is a way to present energy, miracles, and social issues to better explain feelings, dynamics and personalities. Maine author J. H. Lyons has written a book about life in prison that incorporates this kind of metaphor. In his book, prison is a place where you can see evil energy, decipher personalities by looking inside them to see patterns of light, and travel in dreams. Modern novels use this blend of reality and supernatural to explain various aspects of diversity and how to survive being targeted, being ignored, and processing trauma. Authors in this genre use technique to create powerful stories and common ground in the ethereal world. In this workshop you will hear examples of magical realism in readings, learn the techniques used by various authors, and have an opportunity to use this tool to express yourself beyond the normal bounds of reality.

C3: Diversity of Wellness | Presenters: Stephanie Roberts, Lorie Paddleford, Melody Thornton | Each of our presenters took a path to healing that was uniquely theirs.  In sharing our stories we will talk about our journeys with SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery, NA, Spirituality, Art, mindfulness, mental health, physical health, AA, holistic healing, therapy, service work, and overcoming stigma at many levels along the way. We will share our experiences of co-occurring diagnosis, juggling life in sobriety, with a focus on rebuilding our lives by surrendering and asking for help. We will each talk about the steppingstones that have guided us on our journey and present information about how to connect with resources that helped us along our path.

C4: Handling Staff Relapse in the Workplace | Presenter: Sara Halsey, CADC | It’s often tempting to prioritize giving our utmost to members who visibly need our support, keeping us on our toes all day providing them support to the best of our ability. Yet, it’s crucial not to overlook the seemingly stable individuals in our immediate team. This scenario is all too common in our field and has tragically led to the overdose deaths of staff who appeared to be rock solid. Our responsibility extends beyond just assisting our members/clients; it equally involves watching out for our colleagues, our “battle buddies,” who stand right beside us. Ultimately, our priority is ensuring that everyone receives the support that they need.

C5: Speak Your Truth: Creating Awareness for Social Change | Presenters: Vals Porter, Julie Potter | Participants will explore creative ways to connect to self, to connect to community, to inspire social change, and enrich their overall wellbeing, through puppeteering, brave and vulnerable storytelling, and including other forms of creative expression. 

Presenter Bios