The theme of the conference is Uniting Our Movement for Change, and Omaha is an emblematic site: it is where, in 1865, the Union Pacific laid the first rails for its transcontinental railroad, which would unite the country. The theme of unity is also echoed in Nebraska’s one-house legislature; in fact, Nebraska is the only state to elect legislators without party designation. It is also where East meets West at the 100th Meridian (in Cozad, Nebraska).
Although our movement can encompass a wide array of philosophies, we can unite around common goals: to guarantee that individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses have all the opportunities, rights and responsibilities available to everyone else, including the right to pursue a meaningful life and, to echo Nebraska’s state motto, “equality before the law.” We are also uniting around the promise of positive change. Over some four decades, our movement has steadily gained ground but there is much more to be done. Let’s join hands to learn from each other and to move forward together.
We invite everyone to consider becoming a presenter; first-time presenters are especially welcome. Learning from each other is a clear example of self-help, mutual support, and the principles of recovery in action!
Funding for this conference was made possible in part by Grant No. SM56670 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.