The following is an excerpt from our latest grantee story. PeerFest 2016 was a first-of-its-kind event that took place in Corpus Christi, Texas in April 2016. The event was a significant milestone for the Hogg Foundation and for the greater community of mental health consumers in Texas.
Empowerment. Modeling recovery. Not your usual conference. Life-changing. All of these themes resound in the prideful accounts of three individuals—Jill Jendrzey, John King and Teena Perry—who played key roles in planning PeerFest 2016, a four-day event that took place in Corpus Christi, Texas in April 2016.
It’s Jendrzey who offers up a telling anecdote that truly captures the tone of the event.
“In conversation with one of the participants, just sharing that feeling that people felt with connection, she just kind of sighed and was like, ‘It was like a joyful noise.’ It summed up the experience for not just her but for a lot of people.” Jendrzey said.
“Noise” isn’t typically thought of as a desirable outcome for a professional conference. But PeerFest, modeled on the national Alternatives Conference, offered attendees a restorative mix of the practical and the experiential – sessions on neuroplasticity mingled with workshops on therapeutic drumming; an evening discussion of essential oils could cap off a day that included beach yoga or a tour of the Texas State Aquarium. Read the full story.