December 2019:
  • Warm Line Hours During the Holidays
  • Service Highlights
  • Gifts for Mental and Physical Wellness
  • Legislative Priorities
  • Mental Health Advocacy Day
  • Recovery Education Offerings
  • Peer Recovery Specialist Job Board
  • College Student Mental Health
State-Wide Peer Warm Line: Open for the Holidays!

Although our office will close between Christmas and New Years, the holiday season can be a difficult time of year.

As we did last year, our Peer-Run Warm Line will be open daily from December 23rd through January 1st from 5PM to 9PM for anyone in need of support, resources, or information ( including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day ).

A trained peer will be ready to take your call!

Connecting with More People

We reached thousands of people this year with our Warm Line support, Recovery Education, Facebook posts, Community Events and other services. The infographic below gives quick highlights of our work. You can see more information and photos in our Annual Report at: MHAV Annual Report 2018-2019.

We initiated two new peer recovery services that highlight mental health needs in the criminal justice system: a pilot program of Peer Recovery Support for adults with a mental illness under state probation supervision, and four more offerings of our (Re)STORE program for survivors of crime/trauma.

Thank you to our individual donors, and our state, corporate and foundation partners. Your support makes it possible! 

You can help us serve more people!  

More calls from all over Virginia are coming in to our Peer-Run Warm Line.

You can help us meet the increased need.

"This was the first time I really felt listened to." - Warm Line Caller

Thank you!
6 Gifts For Mental And Physical Wellness

By Taylor Adams, Manager, Workplace Mental Health,
Mental Health America (national)

Your time and support are wonderful gifts to share with a loved one, and we prepared a list of experiences you can give to help them care for their mental health year-round.

 Celebrate the benefits of social connection and recreation, animal companionship, spirituality, humor, and work-life balance to an individual’s overall health and well-being.

Virginia Legislative Session Begins Jan. 8th

The General Assembly will consider several changes in mental health policy and budgets when it convenes in Richmond next month. The Governor's introduced budget includes more funding for school counselors, supportive housing to help keep individuals out of the state hospital, and local public mental health services. 

Members of the Joint Subcommittee on Mental Health (Deeds Commission) and others will sponsor bills to reduce the immense pressure on our overcrowded state hospitals, as well as other initiatives to move Virginia towards a more comprehensive system of care in our communities.

MHAV Legislative/Policy Priorities 

Mental Health America of Virginia's 2020 Legislative and Policy Priorities are now on our website. We will track bills related to these issues and update their progress weekly. The 5 priority issues are:

  • Increase Accces to Community Based mental Health Care
  • Decriminalize Mental Illness and Address the Needs of People with Mental Health Challenges in the Criminal Justice System
  • Expand Opportunities for Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists
  • Endorse Effective Strategies for Reducing Suicide
  • Protect the Civil Liberties of People with a Mental Illness

Some specific examples are included on the full page in the Advocacy section of our website here: Advocacy Priorities  

Mental Health Advocacy Day - February 5th 

Registration is now open to participate in this collective advocacy day at the Virginia General Assembly. Join with others to meet with legislators and fellow advocates from our partner organizations: 
Voices for Virginia's Children, NAMI Virginia, VOCAL and SAARA. More information and sign up here: Advocacy Day Information
MHAV recovery education , created to help individuals who have experienced challenges with trauma, mental health or addiction, incorporates  recovery principles , encourages self-empowerment and models peer support practices.

Facilitated by trained peer recovery specialists, the programs provide opportunities for self-reflection and positive social support. 

Participants have an opportunity to network with their peers, share their recovery experiences and learn from one another in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.

2020 Recovery Education Schedule

February 10-12, 2020

Recovery support and resiliency skills
for crime trauma survivors
March 16-19, 2020

April 23-24, 2020

May 4-7, 2020

June 27-28, 2020

August 2020 - TBA

September 14-17, 2020

Ethics & Professionalism for Peer Recovery Specialists (Commuter)
October 3-4, 2020

Nov 16-19, 2020

Scholarships available! 
MHAV's Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network provides professional development and networking for Virginia's peer recovery workforce. For more information , click here.
VPRSN Internship & Job Board

A Centralized Resource Center for Peer Recovery Specialist Volunteer/Job Opportunities
The  Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network website  provides a central resource center of volunteer/job opportunities for peer specialists in Virginia. Public and private agencies can post their PRS opportunities – both paid and volunteer - for a PRS looking for paid or volunteer experience.

PRS applicants can go to the site to  search for available opportunities  for employment or for attaining experience hours towards certification, with the ability to search by type of organization, location, part or full-time, paid or volunteer, type of work, etc.

If you are not an employer, but know of an agency offering hours, please feel free to share the news of this resource. Thank you for your support!
College Student Mental Health

At both public and private universities, in rural and urban areas of Virginia, the number of students seeking help from the counseling center has increased dramatically, doubling in just a year at some institutions.

A recent report from the Associated Press looked at data from 39 of the largest public universities across the country. Over the past four years, 35% more students received mental health treatment while total enrollment increased 5%. Some colleges have only one counselor for every 4,000 students.

Mental Health America of Virginia’s website has a link to on-line  mental health screening tools . Screening results show Virginia young people are most concerned they may need treatment for depression or anxiety. Nearly 50% of the 2,790 people who took one of our free mental health screening tools between April and June identified as students, and of those taking the depression screen, 30% scored in the moderate to severe range for depression.

Why is this happening?
See more on our blog at college student mental health.
We are a proud partner of the Richmond area Warm Line for Addiction Recovery Support!
Your donation helps us offer non-judgmental peer support and prevent crisis situations. 

Your support also provides scholarships to our recovery education programs, and helps us to continue spreading awareness and advocating for better mental health policies across Virginia.

Please invest in mental health today. Thank you!
Mental Health America of Virginia | (804) 257-5591 | E-mail | Website

To educate, empower, and advocate to improve mental health for all Virginians
Please conside r making a donation to support mental health and wellness in Virginia! Click here to make a tax-deductible donation .
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