One of the first things everyone said to me after I became executive director of the Hogg Foundation in 2008 was that I had to go to Alternatives, which was in Buffalo that year. I asked them why. Just go, they said. You’ll see. And I did.
I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my career, and many of them have been rewarding — intellectually exciting, professionally productive, personally meaningful.
Alternatives is all of those things, but it’s something more rare as well. It’s inspiring. Not just a conference organized around the idea of recovery, featuring the perspectives of consumers, but a testament to the power and reality of recovery, organized by and for those in the movement.
I came back from that conference in Buffalo inspired. As executive director of the Hogg Foundation I’ve brought that experience to bear on our grant-making, our organizing, our hiring, and on the very language and concepts we use to think and talk about mental health.
This year Alternatives is in Texas. It’s even in our hometown of Austin. Over the past year we’ve had a lot of internal discussions, here at the Hogg Foundation, about how to make the most of that opportunity. What eventually became clear was that we could best honor the spirit of the conference by giving our allies and friends in the Texas recovery movement the chance to have the experience I first had back in Buffalo: to go to the conference, to be inspired, to be inspiring.
That’s why we’re so excited to have more than 300 of you coming to Austin next month for Alternatives, and why we’re so proud to have had the opportunity to help make that possible through the scholarships we’re funding in partnership with the Department of State Health Services.
We look forward to meeting you, and to doing whatever we can to make Alternatives 2013 as rewarding for you as we expect it to be for us.
Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr.
Executive Director, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health
p.s. For registration information and a schedule of the conference, visit the Alternatives website.