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2019 PaPSC Conference

June 14

$109.00 – $250.00

2019 Second Annual Statewide Conference

“Stand Up and Stand Out: Grow, Change, Lead”

June 14, 2019, 8:30am-4:30pm (Free breakfast starting at 7:30)

DOWNLOADABLE PDF: 2019 Conference Registration Form


7:30 – 8:30am          Check-In/Breakfast

8:30 – 8:45am          Opening Session

8:45 – 9:30am          Keynote Speaker I – Mark Davis

9:30 – 9:45am          Break

9:45 – 10:45am        Workshop Session I

Choose From:

  • Creating Welcoming Services for LGBTQI Individuals and  Their Families
  • Take a Hike: Health Benefits of Eco-Therapy
  • The Art of Self-Care: More Than Just a Walk
  • Becoming Community Leaders at Any Age

10:45 – 11:00am      Break

11:00 – 12:00pm     Workshop Session II

Choose From:

  • Preventing Violence and Promoting Healing: Helping Peers Control Revenge Desires
  • Recovery, Resilience, and Person-First Language for Youth and Young Adults
  • Mental Health in the Digital Age
  • Code of Ethical Conduct for Pennsylvania Peer Support Specialists

12:00 – 1:00pm       Lunch

1:00 – 1:45pm         Keynote Speaker II – Amey Dettmer and Ryan Tempesco

1:45 – 2:00pm         Break

2:00 – 3:00pm         Workshop III

Choose From:

  • The Role of Peer Specialists in Supporting Opiate Users
  • Dual Diagnosis Transitions
  • Certified Peer Specialists as Employees: Challenges and Strategies

3:00 – 3:15pm         Break

3:15 – 4:15pm         Workshop IV

Choose From:

  • WRAP for the LGBTQ+ Community
  • From Coloring Books to Clinical Art Therapy: The Healing Power of Art
  • Ageless Grace

4:15 – 4:30pm         Closing Session


Mark A. Davis – “The History of the LGBT Movement in Pennsylvania: Lessons for Today’s Peers, Partners, and Families”

Amey Dettmer – Amey will share her own journey through utilizing services of the mental health system as a young person. Her story will highlight how she has been able to turn her anger into motivation for creating meaningful change. She will share how she was able to get involved in the peer support movement and the opportunities that lead to her becoming a young leader.

Ryan Tempesco – Ryan shares his personal experience with identifying as a transgender individual and how living as his authentic self has contributed to his mental wellness journey. He also talks about what it is like working as a young person in this field and how young people can take action to get involved in their communities.


Tracy Carney – Take A Hike! Benefits of Eco-therapy

Research shows that spending time outdoors increases attention spans and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50 percent. Studies find that walking in nature yields measurable mental benefits and may reduce risk of depression. Turns out time spent in nature settings are especially beneficial for people who had recently experienced such stressful life events such as marital troubles, a serious illness or unemployment. Those under high stress especially saw a mood boost after a walk with companions in the great outdoors. Given the increase in mental health challenges and physical inactivity in the modern world, interacting in nature settings might be just what the doctor ordered. And now science confirms common sense: Taking a walk in nature is an enjoyable and accessible way for people to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Virginia Dikeman – Creating Welcoming Services for LGBTQ Individuals and Their Families

This workshop will set the foundation for supporting people in the LGBTQ communities. We will discuss and define terms that are used, and those that are not, in order to promote welcoming peer support practice. This will necessitate discussion about bias in general and consideration of our own biases, which we all have.
There will be a discussion of legal aspects confronting the LGBTQ communities at this time.. We will review methods and practices that will strengthen supportive peer practices for the LGBTQ community. Please come with any questions you have regarding the LGBTQ community.

Jason Rilogio – Self-Direction with CBT Digital Access

Peer Specialists in Cambria County lead the way into the digital age. In 2019, a peer pilot started using the Magellan Virtual Care Solution (VCS) SmartScreener. The SmartScreener is built with SAMHSA endorsed brief screens for depression, anxiety, insomnia, pain, and unhealthy alcohol and other substance use. The pilot focusses on helping peers grow their wellness tools with visual results and easy to understand screening recommendations, a, NCQA certified health literacy library, and on-demand award-winning cognitive behavioral health modules for anxiety, sleep, depression, pain, and substance use. Hear how peer specialists use the screen and engage digital platform, and get ideas on how you can incorporate digital tools into self-directed care planning.

James Kimmel, Jr. – Preventing Violence and Promoting Healing: Helping Peers Control Revenge Desires

A common motivation for many forms of violence is the individual’s desire to retaliate for perceived past wrongs and injustices. A recent pilot study by the Yale Program on Recovery and Community Health has shown the “Nonjustice System” guided mock trial method effective in reducing revenge desires among victims of perceived injustice. The method has been used as part of forensic peer support programs in 7 Pennsylvania counties in both jail (re-entry) and community settings. We will review the Yale study and train peer specialists and others to use the Nonjustice System method.

Karen Escovitz – Certified Peer Specialists as Employees – Challenges and Strategies

This workshop will explore some of the challenges that accompany employment as a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) as well as strategies for addressing those challenges. We will look at the individual needs and at organizational and systemic level obstacles, and at some of the misunderstandings that take place between employee and employer. We will address the challenges at each of these levels in hopes of providing attendees with ideas to take back to their lives and workplaces. This workshop is intended for CPSs, and for supervisors and employers of CPSs.

Regina Ford – The Role of Peer Specialists in Supporting Opiate Users

Many people have lived experience with substance use, but how can that experience be successful in supporting high-risk populations? Explore the history of peer recovery, its principles, beliefs, and core components. Examine trends of the opiate users and the cultural sensitivity needed to engage with such a diverse population. At the end of this workshop, attendees will have developed a practical framework that benefits both peer and service recipient.

Katherine Mullins – Dual Diagnosis Transition

This workshop is to inform people of how peer support would be helpful to someone who is in the transitional age that also has a Dual Diagnosis. Transitions can be hard for those who do not understand why their structure and everyday live is changing. Peer Support can help during this time to assist in providing support for someone’s mental health. This workshop is to explain the process of peer support as well as inform people about the curriculum that Peerstar uses right now to help those transitioning.

Susan Novak – From Coloring Books To Clinical Art Psychotherapy: The Healing Power of Art

This workshop is designed to cover the spectrum of healing arts from therapeutic “art activities” such as coloring, Zentangle and crafts that can be utilized by most anyone as a coping skill or to increase self-esteem and social skills to more clinical uses art within the context of a therapeutic relationship with a trained professional to aid in diagnosis and treatment of more serious mental health issues. The purpose of this workshop is to educate participants on the diverse benefits and applications of Art Therapy including art activities non Art Therapists can incorporate in their work but also increase awareness of ethical issues and possible dangers of engaging in certain types of Art Therapy work without proper training. Participants can expect to gain an understanding of what Art Therapy is and the types of issues or populations who may benefit from such as well as ethical and safety issues related to the healing arts. Participants will also have an opportunity to experience a simple art therapy task and consider how such can be used to for both clinical insight as well as self care.

Chubb Hotel and Conference Center

309 Manor Road Lafayette Hill, PA 19444 (Driving directions)

Lunch and refreshments provided by Garces Catering and designed by Iron Chef America Jose Garces.

Registration Fee:

  • $109 for Coalition Members

  • $139 for non-Coalition Members


$250 includes table and (1) individual registration (Electricity available upon request)

Become a member today!


June 14
$109.00 – $250.00


Pennsylvania Peer Support Coalition


Chubb Hotel and Convention Center
309 Manor Road
Lafayette, PA 19444 United States
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