Skip to Main Content

Novel Coronavirus - COVID-19: Information for Community Behavioral Health Providers, Consumers, and Families

2021 CPRS Conference


The 2021 edition of the annual CPRS Conference will be held virtually via Zoom, October 7-8, 2021.  This year's theme is "Rolling with Resiliency".  With the big success and great impression from the 2020 virtual conference, we're confident we will be able to provide another rich and meaningful experience.

Ready to register to attend? Click this link!

The conference is going to be completely virtual for the second time. The awards ceremony will be Thursday, Oct. 7 at 5:00 p.m. CT. We will enjoy a virtual dinner together as you BYOD (Bring Your Own Dinner) and enjoy time with others across the state. The conference will kickoff Friday, October 8 at 9:00 a.m. CT with keynote speakers from across the state. There will be plenty of workshops to choose from throughout the day with the conference ending at 4:30 p.m.

Even though the years 2020 and 2021 have been a challenge for all of us, we have faced it together and are coming out more resilient than ever before. We have and are surviving a worldwide pandemic. Many people have faced severe storms, destruction of things precious to them, and some even have lost people close to them. Through it all, Tennessee's peers have been there to support each other across the miles.

Now, we are ready to come together for our annual celebration of the resiliency we have shown together and share the successes of the year as well as looking to the future and what it holds for us.

The conference this year is a gift to you, as there are no registration fees to attend. All you have to do is register and participate!

Thursday, October 7: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. CT

Awards Ceremony & Virtual Dinner (Bring Your Own Dinner) 

Friday, October 8: Conference Kickoff and Keynote Panel Discussion, 9:00-10:30 a.m. CT

We will kick off the 2021 edition of the CPRS Conference with an exciting message from TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams.  We'll keep Rolling with Resiliency right into a great panel discussion with voices from across the state.  Featured speakers in the panel include: Jason Abernathy, Lisa Ragan, Dina Savennas, Denise Stewart, Roger Stewart, and Jack Wyatt.


Peer Culture and Ethics, Ron Morton: 10:45-11:45 a.m. CT


This workshop will examine the developing culture of Peer Support and what that means in terms of the ethics we espouse.  Additionally, participants will be able to understand how Peer Culture affects our values and the professional ethics impacted by those developing values.  Finally, participants will begin to develop an understanding of their personal culture and how that impacts peer culture as a whole.

Breakout Session 1 - 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT

What is Mindfulness
Presented by Lucius Irvin


Doing Your Work: Facilitating Groups
Presented by Edith Allen

This workshop is to remind as well as encourage all those in the position of a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist to keep their personal recovery as their number one priority. Maintenance is vital when providing a service as mentors, advocates, and guides. We cannot give what we do not possess.


Presented by Angela Easterling

What is Acudetox and how is it employed for people with SUD, mental health, PTSD, and trauma? This presentation will cover a brief history of Acudetox and share the benefits and techniques used. Participants will also look at data from ongoing studies and the presenter's personal experiences of five years of working as an Acudetox Specialist.


Breakout Session 2 - 2:15-3:15 p.m. CT

First Aid Arts: Tools for Mental Health and Emotional First Aid
Presented by Marta Hernandez-Fontenot

In this time of uncertainty, we have learned to experience that as things continue to change quickly, we have been forced to adapt even as we grieve on many levels. In this workshop participants will learn to acknowledge and express what they are feeling safely, discover what moves them towards more comfort and care, and learn ways to boost their mental and emotional health both in the short and long term.


Breaking Free from Ourselves: Internalized Stigma  and Shame within CPRS
Presented by Rev. Deven Hazelwood-Johnson
and A. Polly Jessen 

We've done the work of recovery, but sometimes what holds us back is ourselves. Stigma is perceived wrong believes about ourselves, and shame keeps us believing it. Even in systems where peers are celebrated, there are still challenges and roadblocks to feeling like we are a part of the recovery process for the people we serve. Sometimes the greatest challenge is our own self. Participants will be able to define internal stigma and shame, identify how stigma affects or influences our work as peers, and discuss ways of moving forward without stigma and shame in ourselves.


Prepare to Launch: The Certified
Young Adult Peer Support
Specialist Program Is Here!
Young Adult Workshop presented by Morgan Morris

This workshop will highlight the incredible need for peer support targeted for the young adult population and to empower young adults to become Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialists themselves. Participants will learn how to communicate about the work of the Certified Young Adult Peer Support Specialist program and how it differs from the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist program, to motivate mental health professionals and providers to seek out opportunities for collaboration with CYAPSS, and to build bridges of empathy across generations of peer support specialists, providers, and other community members.


Motivational Interviewing: 3:30-4:30 p.m. CT


Presented by Carrie Trawinski