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8th Annual Mental Health Wellness and Recovery Conference Draws 282 People

By December 2, 2016No Comments
Cardum & Kontrena2

Cardum Harmon, Executive Director of Heart and Soul (right), and Kontrena McPheter, Peer Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator (left), Success Over Stigma

The 8th Mental Health Annual Wellness and Recovery Conference was held October 18th, 2016 at Sherwood Hall in Salinas. Open to the community, the conference is designed to introduce useful tools to implement innovative concepts of wellness and recovery. This year’s theme was “Dimensions of Wellness”. Savannah Alvarez, a Wellness Navigator for Interim’s OMNI program, emceed. The event has grown tremendously over the years and drew 282 staff, consumers, professionals and friends of Interim. This year’s keynote speaker was Cardum Harmon, Executive Director of Heart and Soul, Inc., based in San Mateo County, and one of the founders of the Mandala Project in Alameda County. Ms. Harmon spoke about how her personal spirituality strengthened her recovery and could be harnessed as key component of an individual’s resilience. Dyna Tyler, co-director of the Mandala Project, and Debra Basher, Director of Training and Education for the California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies, also spoke, emphasizing the importance of acceptance, belonging, peer support and community inclusion in promoting recovery. Interim’s Success Over Stigma Program held a panel discussion about how the different dimensions of wellness impacted their recovery. One event participant said, “Sometimes we feel we aren’t good enough… worthless. When I heard the experiences they went through, it made me feel I can do anything in this world. I felt welcomed and everyone was friendly and the warmth of the people there was welcoming.”