2021 VIRTUAL Real Voices, Real Choices Consumer Conference

Freedom Through Support, Advocacy, Empowerment, Awareness, Connection and Recovery


Conference Dates:  August 30 – August 31, 2021



Co-hosted by the Missouri Mental Health Foundation & the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Deadline for submission has been extended to April 30, 2021

The Conference Planning Committee is accepting workshop presentation applications for the 13th annual Real Voices, Real Choices Consumer Conference.  Self-advocates, persons in recovery, family members, and mental health professionals (who have lived experience) are encouraged to submit an application.  The planning committee would like to have exciting, inspiring, and interactive presentations that will empower attendees to take action that will improve their lives.

Please note: The conference has specific tracks that include Substance Use Disorder, Mental Illness, Developmental Disability, Family and Youth, or other. Please indicate which track your presentation belongs in on the application below. If you are unable to pick one, please explain your choice and the committee will assist.

Suggested topics include:

  • COVID-19 Impact on Overall Health
  • Cooking/Nutrition
  • Budgeting
  • Ageism
  • Staying Organized
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Young Adult and Guardianship/consent
  • Family and youth engagement
  • How to Get a Job
  • Social Skills
  • Housing
  • Specific Disorders
  • Service Dog Etiquette
  • WRAP
  • Deaf Culture
  • How LGBTQ affects mental health
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social opportunities for those with mental illness
  • How to make and Keep friends
  • Facing Fear
  • Human trafficking
  • How to get Motivated
  • Abuse (elder and child)
  • Coping with Stress
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Meditation
  • Peer Specialist Classes
  • Healing from Trauma & Abuse
  • How to get along with People
  • Aging and mental illness
  • Attitude
  • Forgiveness
  • Communication skills
  • Anger Management
  • Adult ADHD
  • Expressing yourself through Art
  • Journaling
  • Dealing with hotline calls as a Parent
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Public Speaking Class
  • Pet Therapy
  • Bipolar
  • Family Interactions
  • Health and/or Exercise
  • Voting Process
  • How to get involved
  • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
  • Music Therapy
  • Physical Disability with Mental Illness
  • Organizing a Committee
  • Substance use and mental health co-occurring treatment and support for families
  • Communication between school, hospitals, CMHCS, etc.
  • Anger and Aggressiveness
  • School and Mental Health
  • Hiring and Firing Staff
  • Transition age youth

Helpful Hints:

  • When thinking about a title, consider a “catchy” title that will draw people to your workshop; however, please make sure the title of the presentation matches the content.
  • When developing a workshop application, consider what conference attendees will want to learn.  Is it a new idea or a different way of presenting information on a previous topic?
  • What will make your presentation stand out from others going on at the same time?
  • Will your presentation be helpful to others and will they be able to take valuable information home to share with others?
  • Will your information be easy to understand?
  • If you are a professional, the Committee values the collaboration and involvement of self-advocates, persons in recovery and family members in each workshop presentation.


  • Sessions will be a total of 60 minutes. (45 minutes for presentation and 15 minutes for questions and answers)
  • Applications are due by end of day Friday, April 30, 2021 (late submissions will not be considered)
  • Presenters will not be paid for their presentation
  • All presenters will be asked to prepare and submit a Powerpoint presentation
  • The Planning Committee reserves the right to make suggestions for final approval.

Individuals wanting to submit an application must complete the enclosed form by the end of day on Friday, April 30, 2021.  We ask that all applications be typed.  You may send your application to:

By Mail: 

Missouri Department of Mental Health
Attn:  Consumer Conference
1706 E. Elm
Jefferson City, MO  65101

By Fax:       

(573) 526-7926
Attn: Consumer Conference

Via e-mail           


The Conference Committee will review all applications at the March & April planning meetings.  If your presentation is chosen, you will be notified by April 28th and asked to submit a PowerPoint by May 18th.  The committee will then review your Powerpoint at the June meeting and make a final determination on whether you will be asked to present virtually during the conference.

If you prefer, you may submit your presentation online:


If you prefer to submit your presentation as a hardcopy you may download the form:


print it off and either mail it to:

Missouri Department of Mental Health
Attn:  Consumer Conference
1706 E. Elm
Jefferson City, MO  65101

or fax it to: 

(573) 526-7926 – Attn: Consumer Conference

or send by email to:


The 2021 VIRTUAL Real Voices Real Choices Conference has sponsorship opportunities available!

All sponsorship opportunities will include a minimum of: Recognition on the conference website and social media and/or logo/listing in the digital conference program booklet.

Learn more about our sponsorship options: