Why Attend the CASRA 2021 Spring Virtual Conference?

Why Attend the CASRA 2021 Spring Virtual Conference? | California Association of Social Rehabilitation Agencies

We’ve all had more virtual meeting time than is good for us. There is a tendency for agencies and county systems to pack in MORE meetings, with fewer breaks, and the natural breaks – like driving to another location – aren’t there for us.  Zoom Fatigue is REAL!

A year ago, I would have been extremely skeptical of what good could come out of a virtual conference!  But my, what a year of learning this has been.  And one of the blessings that I truly did not expect, was that we could meet in the virtual universe and really enjoy the experience!    

Why come to the CASRA 2021 Virtual Spring Conference?

Here are some very good reasons:

Top notch speakers from across the country.

How else but in a virtual world would we be able to see these heavy hitters in one place?  Kim Mueser, Ph.D. and Susan McGurk, Ph.D., from Boston University.  Harvey Rosenthal and Robert Statham from New York Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services Association (NYAPRS), Oscar Jimenez-Solomon, MPH from Rutgers University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation.  And inspiration from our home-grown California superstars:  Betty Dahlquist, MSW, CPRP, Mark Ragins, M.D. and Amanda Vierra, LAADC and Maria Gregg, LCSW.  

The inspiration of experience.

Betty Dahlquist and Harvey Rosenthal are like bookends for this conference.  Both will be sharing their wisdom and perspective on the field, where we’ve been and where we need to go.  We stand on the shoulders of these giants – so don’t miss what they have to tell us!

Practical strategies and tools.

We are practical people!  And this year’s conference will deliver on practical tools for your work.  Take Amanda Vierra and Maria Gregg – they’ll walk you through how to document with medical necessity AND recovery in mind.  Or Robert Statham, with tips on how to help people with one of the most debilitating experiences for any of us – feeling cut off and alone.  Mark Ragins, M.D., will talk about a new approach to psychosis and other extraordinary experiences – his ideas will change our practice for the better.

Recorded sessions – watch at your convenience!

Too busy that week in May?  CASRA records every session.  Chris Martin, our video editor, takes the raw recordings and improves them for your viewing.  Registered conference attendees have access to all the conference recordings for three months after the conference.  You don’t have to miss a thing!

You will have an interactive virtual experience.

We believe strongly that the best virtual workshops offer a variety of opportunities for participants to interact with the speaker and each other.  This is not a passive experience!  You can participate in live polling and chat.  Speakers will also leave time for questions and comments.  This makes it fun and engaging.  

See your colleagues and friends from all over the country.

I have learned the importance of turning on your camera – we don’t connect to black boxes with our names (or aliases) on them – but it is really nice to see a sea of friendly faces!  During this time of separation, we can get a genuinel boost by just seeing our friends and colleagues and enjoying the conference together across the miles.  

Enjoy the stretch breaks between speakers!

CASRA believes in the importance of self-care for all of us!  You will get a 15-minute break every hour at the conference.  Time to step away from your screen, grab a glass of water or a cup or tea/coffee – just get up and stretch!  These short breaks really help with eye strain, body/back aches and improve your attention!

While I do look forward to in-person gatherings again, I am now convinced that the virtual experience is one to keep as well!  The access it gives to so many is awesome.  The ability to reach a broader, national and international audience gives us the chance to connect on important issues in our field with folks we would never have had the chance to do so before Zoom-ing.   So this Spring – schedule in the CASRA 2021 Virtual Spring Conference!  You’ll be glad you did.  

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Debra Brasher