March Update:

  • COVID 19 Resources
  • Advocacy Graduates
  • Legislative Success!
  • Hanover MHA Leaves a Legacy
  • Recovery Education Offerings

Most of us have never experienced anything like what the world is going through now. At MHAV, we are doing our best to take care of ourselves, and to keep our mental health peer-run Warm Line up and running for anyone who wants to talk. With so much stress and anxiety it is important to practice the best self-care you can. There are tips and tools available through telephone and on-line resources. We have links to many of these through national MHA and other sources. 

New MHA Webpage for COVID-19 Resources
National MHA has created a new COVID-19 web page  to keep you updated and informed with COVID-19 specific content and resources. We encourage you to check back regularly for the latest information as they will be updating this resource with new content as they get it.
Thanks to our partners at the Virginia Trauma Informed Community Network: Please find some resources  at this link to help with the life changes and heightened stress and anxiety as a result of COVID-19. These may help ease the transition to social distancing with children and adolescents

Disaster Distress Helpline: Overview
The Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies.
Calls (1-800-985-5990) and texts (text “TalkWithUs” to 66746) are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the country, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.
The DDH is a program of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) administered by  Vibrant Emotional Health , an MHA affiliate.

There is other news to share that's not about COVID 19...
Congratulations Advocates!

Ten people completed our 3-day Advocacy 101 recovery education last month with facilitators Heather Fossen and Kevin Kelly at Shalom House in Montpelier. After learning the process and preparing with the group, each participant met individually with their delegate and/or senator to discuss their cause.  The group reported that participating in legislative advocacy was empowering and hopeful.
Legislative Advocacy Success!
Virginia 2020 Legislative Session a Success for Mental Health
The recently completed General Assembly passed laws that will increase awareness of mental health issues, improve mental health training for medical care providers, public safety officers and teachers, and improve our criminal justice system. The approved state budget also includes the largest increase ever for mental health services!

The final budget and several bills have not yet been approved by the Governor, there is a veto session on April 22, and now of course everything is secondary to addressing the corona virus. However, we remain hopeful that the coming year will see many improvements in Virginia’s mental health system.

For a summary of important bills that passed and budget items of note, please see our legislative summary on our website at:                          

For more context on our priority budget items, see our recent opinion column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch at: budget-presents-great-opportunity/article

Hanover MHA Leaves a Legacy

After several decades of service to the citizens of Hanover County and beyond, the all-volunteer Hanover Mental Health Association decided to close down, but to do so in a way that will continue their mission and have a positive impact for years to come.

On January 30 th the Board of Directors celebrated their legacy of support, education, advocacy and service to Hanover residents. They announced the awarding of 8 transformative grants from their remaining funds to continue their mission through community partner organizations.

Mental Health America of Virginia is thrilled to receive one of these awards, which will support a long-term plan to expand our Warm Line to provide more hours of service and more types of communication with anyone wanting peer support or mental health information.
Our deepest thanks!
Angela Ward, Hanover MHA President, with MHA of Virginia Executive Director Bruce Cruser
Recovery Education Programs

Like so many other organizations, we were disappointed that we had to postpone one of our planned services - our March session of ReSTORE – Survivors of Trauma Obtaining Resiliency and Empowerment.

Partially funded by the Victims of Crime Act, more sessions of ReSTORE are scheduled for later this year. Although we may have to cancel or postpone some of them, if you are interested we encourage you to go ahead and apply. We will keep you informed as plans develop. 

We also have a Workforce Skills commuter style program planned for April 23-24 in Fairfax, in partnership with the Fairfax Community Services Board. Although subject to postponement, if you are interested the application deadline is March 23 rd. Links to information on this program, Facilitator Skills and CELT are below:

All scheduled programs are subject to change, but anyone interested (full scholarships available!) is encouraged to apply through our website. More information is available here:
MHAV's Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network provides professional development and networking for Virginia's peer recovery workforce. Check out the PRS job/internship opportunity site!
Virginia's Statewide, Peer-Run Warm Line
(866) 400-6428

Monday through Friday from 9AM to 9PM
Saturday and Sunday from 5PM to 9PM

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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