Important

Hotel Arrival on August 25th – Unless you have notified the Conference Coordinator on or before Wednesday 8/21/24, all attendees MUST arrive at the hotel no later than 7pm on Sunday, August 25th. Anyone arriving after 7pm on Sunday, August 25th will have their room reservation canceled and it will be the individual’s responsibility to work with hotel staff to secure another room upon arrival, based on availability. The cost of the room WILL still be covered by your registration fee.

Registration Changes – Attendee registration closes July 1, 2024 this year. Professional registration opens July 2, 2024.

Event Schedule

2024 Conference Schedule Coming Soon!

General Questions & Information

The Real Voices – Real Choices Conference will inform, educate and empower individuals who receive services through the vast array of providers supported by the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The conference is planned by a committee of volunteers who receive treatment services for substance abuse and addiction, developmental disabilities and mental illness.

The conference will be held August 25 – August 27, 2024.  The conference will begin at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 25 and end at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2024.  

The conference will be held at Margaritaville Lake Resort in Osage Beach, MO.  The web site for Margaritaville Lake Resort is https://www.margaritavilleresortlakeoftheozarks.com/.  Directions to Margaritaville Lake Resort are listed on their web site.  You may also contact them at 573-348-3131.

Click here to get directions or view the location on Google Maps.

Yes. You will want to bring money if you plan on buying a conference t-shirt and to cover any other personal expenses. Also, you may want to have money on hand for the vending machines and shops located on the grounds of Margaritaville. You will want to bring money for additional meals that are not provided. See Meals below.

Registration Questions

Registration will be open on May 20th 2024. When registering, you will have one hour to complete the form. Please be sure to have all of your information ready.

SINGLE REGISTRATION: The conference registration fee for a consumer, self-advocate, person in recovery or family member is $120.00 for a single sleeping room.

DOUBLE REGISTRATION: The conference registration fee for two individuals who do not mind sharing a room is $200.00. When you register, you must identify the person you are sharing your room with and pay $200 total. Your roommate must register within 48 hours of your registration otherwise, you will be required to pay the difference for a single registration.

***Personal Care Attendants (PCA’s) do not have to pay a separate registration unless they do not plan to room with their client. For more information, see the information below about Personal Care Attendants.

SINGLE REGISTRATION: This registration includes all conference materials, all conference activities, four meals including Sunday Evening Box Dinner, Monday Breakfast, Monday Lunch and Tuesday Breakfast and one sleeping room for two nights on August 25 & 26, 2024 at Margaritaville Lake Resort.

DOUBLE REGISTRATION: This registration includes all conference materials for two people, all conference activities for two people, four meals for two people including Sunday Evening Box Dinner, Monday Breakfast, Monday Lunch and Tuesday Breakfast, and one sleeping room to share for two nights on August 25 & 26, 2024 at Margaritaville Lake Resort.

Please make your check or money order payable to: Missouri Mental Health Foundation. You may mail your check or money order to:

ATTN: RVRC Registration
Missouri Mental Health Foundation
223 E. Capitol Ave Suite 100
Jefferson City, MO 65101

The cost for a professional is $175.00. This registration includes all conference materials, all conference activities and four meals including Sunday Evening Box Dinner, Monday Breakfast, Monday Lunch and Tuesday Breakfast. Individuals registering as a professional are responsible for making their own hotel reservation after professional registration begins. You may contact Margaritaville Lake Resort at 573-348-3131 AFTER professional registration opens to make your hotel reservation. Please note, hotel rooms will be limited, so once the hotel is full, professionals may make reservations at alternative hotels on their own.

There will be CEU credits offered, more information to come.

Attendees will have the opportunity to pre-order conference t-shirts for a limited time. If you are unable to purchase your shirt prior to the event, you will still be able to purchase one onsite in the merchandise sales room as you have in previous years.

On the registration you can choose to register up to 20 people at one time. It would be helpful if you contact the Conference Coordinator for additional details.

Phone: 573-751-3143 (office)
Email: consumerconference@dmh.mo.gov
Additionally, with your help, we will make every attempt to locate your sleeping rooms close together.

The Conference Coordinator will assist you with any substitutions. No substitutions will be granted without the approval of the Coordinator. If you have additional questions about substitutions, you may call 573-751-3143 (office).

We know sometimes that happens; however, if you miss the July 1, 2024 registration deadline, the Conference committee may not be able to accommodate your requests (including hotel and special meal requests) or provide you with the Conference materials.

If you need to cancel your registration, you must notify the Missouri Department of Mental Health Conference Coordinator at 573-751-3143 (office) or the Missouri Mental Health Foundation at 573-635-9201 by July 1, 2024. Any cancellations or replacements after July 1, 2024, will not be granted a refund.

If you register for the conference, and you do not attend and do not cancel, we will not make you a hotel reservation at next year’s conference.

Conference check-in begins at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 25.

The conference does not officially begin until 2:00 p.m., and hotel check-in is not until 4:00 p.m.

You may call the Conference Coordinator at 573-751-3143 (office) or reach out via email consumerconference@dmh.mo.gov.

Meals and Dining Questions

Four meals will be provided during the conference. They include Sunday evening, Monday breakfast, Monday lunch, and Tuesday breakfast. A boxed meal will be served on Sunday evening so you may eat in Windgate Hall with others or you may take the meal to your room. You may bring food with you to the conference and place it in the refrigerator in your room or you may purchase food at the various restaurants located at Margaritaville Lake Resort or travel off the property to enjoy other local restaurants. ***For the provided meals, you will need to show your badge at the entrance to Windgate. If you do not have a badge, you will not be allowed to enter Windgate for the meals.

Optional Meal: Information on this option will be provided at a later date.

For additional guests, meal tickets may be purchased for $35.00 and may be purchased at the Conference Registration Desk. Only cash and checks will be accepted for the additional meal tickets.

If you need a special diet, please indicate that when you register. The hotel will attempt to accommodate reasonable requests. You may need to ask Margaritaville Resort staff in the eating areas for your special meals as they are set aside for request only.

Yes, there are several options in the main complex. Please see the link provided for dining options. Please remember, if you are eating there…sometimes the lines are long and services takes a while.

Click to view hotel dining options.

Entertainment Questions

Yes. There will be entertainment on Sunday evening as well as Monday evening. Please see the details below.

SUNDAY EVENING!

Sunday evening entertainment will consist of bingo held in the Paradise A, B, and C locations. Signs will be posted that evening for further instruction.

MONDAY EVENING: KARAOKE TIME!

The longest Conga line in Margaritaville Lake Resort history! Monday evening we will host karaoke. If you would like the opportunity to perform Karaoke on Monday evening, you must sign up on Sunday for a chance to have your name randomly drawn. On Monday morning, a list of individuals whose names were drawn will be posted in the lobby. Because of the enormous amount of individuals who wish to perform and the limited time we have, all performers will be selected during a random drawing.

Resort Accommodation Questions

If you register as a consumer, self-advocate, person in recovery or family member, conference-planning staff will make a hotel reservation for you on Sunday, August 25 and Monday, August 26. If you require special accommodations, please make sure you indicate your request on the registration form so conference planning staff can make your requests known to the hotel.

Professional registration will begin on July 2, 2024. Once you register as a professional on or after this date, you will be responsible for making your own hotel reservations. You may contact Margaritaville Lake Resort at 573-348-3131 and be sure to let them know you are with the Real Voices, Real Choices group.

Professionals will not be able to book a room prior to July 2, 2024.

Margaritaville Lake Resort has reserved rooms for our conference in the main buildings (Building A and E). However, because the conference has grown so much, you might be assigned a room in the other buildings around the grounds. If you are coming as a group, there are several larger duplexes that sleep 8–10 people that we might be able to put your group in. Please contact conference staff as soon as possible if you are interested in this accommodation. These duplexes do have kitchens and multiple bathrooms. Shuttle service is provided to and from the main building.. These accommodations do not have phones in the rooms. Please make sure you have a cell phone for emergencies.

No, you are not required to share a room with anyone unless you have committed to the double registration in which you have already chosen who will share a room with someone, such as your PCA. Individuals who register as a consumer, self-advocate, person in recovery or family member will not have to share a room if you register and pay for a single registration.

The conference no longer offers a discounted rate on nights before or after the conference. 

The official check-in time for the hotel is 4:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby. When you arrive, you may ask if your room is ready. If it is not, conference staff can hold your luggage until your room is ready. A special room has been reserved for conference attendees to place their luggage. Please do not get frustrated with the hotel staff if your room is not ready before 4:00 p.m. They are attempting to make accommodations, but the rooms have to be cleaned after the last guests depart.

Luggage will be able to be stored upon check in and departure in Windgate 64. Please watch for signs.

Wi-Fi is available at the hotel in the guest rooms and public foyer areas. Meeting rooms do not have Wi-Fi access.

If requested, transportation is available by Margaritaville Lake Resort staff on the resort complex only. If you need transportation services, you may contact the front desk.

If you need transportation outside the resort area, you must make your own arrangements.

Only trained dedicated service animals will be allowed on the property.

Casual dress is appropriate for the conference. Please be aware that conference rooms may be cold, so you might want to bring a sweater or jacket with you. It is difficult to control the temperatures for everyone’s liking, so please plan accordingly.

Swimming areas are available at Margaritaville Lake Resort so you may wish to pack a swim suit. There is an indoor accessible pool at Margaritaville Lake Resort. If you have questions during your stay ask the resort or Conference staff. Waterpark available onsite for additional cost.

Accessibility Questions

There is free accessible parking located next to the hotel.

Margaritaville Lake Resort does have accessible hotel rooms.  If you need an accessible room, it is important to register as soon as possible, and include your accessibility needs on the registration form. We provide these rooms on a first come first registered basis. Margaritaville Lake Resort has recently purchased accessible raised toilet seats that can be utilized in regular rooms, and they have some portable stools that can be used in showers.  If the Committee runs out of accessible rooms, you may want to consider another hotel location near the Resort. Your conference fee does not include rooms at another hotel nor can the Committee make reservations or reduce your conference fee or pay your additional expenses if you choose to stay at another location.

The Conference Committee will provide interpreter services for the conference workshops only on an as needed basis.  If interpreter services are needed you must indicate this on your registration form and submit your form no later than July 1, 2024.  The Conference Coordinator will then contact you to determine which sessions you plan to attend so an interpreter will be available in those sessions. It will be critical for you to speak with the Conference Coordinator regarding additional logistics by August 7, 2024.  If you cannot be reached by that date, an interpreter will not be provided.

The Conference Committee will provide large print and Braille for the conference workshops only on an as needed basis.  If this service is needed you must indicate this on your registration form and submit your form no later than July 1, 2024 

If you have made arrangements with Conference Staff for large print or Braille, these documents will be available at the conference registration desk.  Please make sure you let the staff know as they will not be with your packet.

Personal Care Attendant Questions

PCAs do not have to complete or pay for a separate registration but they must be listed as a PCA on someone’s registration form. PCAs will not be given a separate sleeping room from the person they are assisting. If a PCA wants to stay in a separate room from the individual they are assisting, they must make the reservation and pay for the reservation on their own.

If you have a PCA, you will need to provide us the attendant’s name so they will have a name badge for provided meals. If you do not have their name at the time of registration, we will make a generic name badge for your attendant and they can personalize it when they arrive.

Our staff does not provide transfer services for individuals. Please make sure your PCA is able to perform the necessary functions for your care.

You must know the name of every person who is in your group before arriving at the resort. The Conference Coordinator will be in touch with the main contact person to ensure that all folks are accounted for prior to arrival.

To keep everyone in the same block of rooms contact the Conference Coordinator ahead of time.

Phone: 573-751-3143 (office)
Email: consumerconference@dmh.mo.gov

If you have substitutions on the day of the conference, you must get with the Conference planning staff for approval. No substitutions will be made without the Conference Coordinator’s approval.

Exhibitor Questions

Exhibits will be located in Windgate Hall. Again, this year we will have a checklist. If you have all exhibitors sign your list, you may enter your card in a prize drawing.

If you have registered as an exhibitor, your registration materials will be located in the Windgate Hall with the Conference Planning staff. If you arrive late, you may check in at the registration desk in front of Paradise A. All conference meals are included with your exhibit registration for up to two people. You are responsible for making your reservations with the hotel.

Sessions & Presentations Questions

Presentations will be about 45 minutes long with 15 minutes of questions and answers.

Presentations will be about a variety of topics. You can find out the content of a presentation by looking in your program booklet.

Yes, the committee will have attendance prizes to be given away throughout the conference and at each individual session. A grand prize will be given away at the final session. You must be present when your name is called to win.

This year, the Real Voices Real Choices Conference will offer five different presentations at a time and they will be classified under a specific track. For example, the tracks offered will include developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance use disorders, family/youth, and general (all others not specific to a designated track). Anyone is able to attend the different tracks, but the track and presentation description will make the attendee aware of what they are specifically trying to learn in the session they choose.

Additional Activities

Yes, there will be an Art Room located in Windgate 61. Come and be creative! The Art Room times will be posted by the door. Supplies will not be allowed out of the Art Room.

We will be hosting some pre-conference activities for early arrivals which will begin at noon. Activities include games, a movie feature, and a first-time attendee orientation. Watch for signs.

Yes, meetings will be held each night located in Windgate 62, Windgate 63, and Windgate 64.

The Conference Committee will be selling T-shirts – pricing to be announced later. Sizes are limited, and we would therefore encourage you to purchase early during the conference. There will also be small mementos available for purchase at the t-shirt sales desk.

Assistance Questions

Yes, there will be a nurse available 24 hours a day. During the scheduled conference, the nurse will be located in Windgate 60. After hours, please contact the hotel front desk who will page the nurse or appropriate emergency personnel.

Nurses are not responsible for providing transfer services to individuals.

If you need assistance or you have questions during the conference, please come to the Conference Registration Desk or talk to a Conference Planning Committee member.  They will be roaming and working throughout the conference and will be wearing volunteer t-shirts.

We will be able to provide you with another nametag. However if you lose your conference bag and give away items, there is nothing the conference committee can do. We will have limited supplies.  We would encourage you to put your name on your items. Lost and Found will be at the Registration Desk.

Photographers will be canvassing the crowds throughout the event. Photos will be shown in a slide show at the end of the conference and on the DMH public website. Everyone attending the conference is required to sign a release form which is connected to the online registration form. The committee is unable to guarantee your photo will not be taken or posted.

To the fullest extent permitted by law, I/we indemnify and hold harmless, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Missouri Mental Health Foundation, Margaritaville Lake Resort and Conference Center and their directors, officers, consultants, agents, employees and volunteers from and against all claims, damages, losses and expenses, including but not limited to attorney’s fees and court costs, arising out of or resulting from my participation in this event, including damage, loss or expense is attributable to bodily injury, sickness, disease or death, or personal injury, or to injury to or destruction of tangible property or to others involved in the event.