Have a mental health peer recovery training to add? Contact the VOCAL Network by email or call 804-343-1777.

VOCAL network directors past and present

REACH Recovery Education Trainings

At VOCAL we’re excited to announce that we’ll be bringing these curriculums to sites across Virginia:

  • Community Inclusion
  • Emotional CPR
  • Pathways to Recovery Facilitator Training
  • Peer Support Whole Health and Resiliency
  • SMART Recovery®
  • Trauma-Informed Care


For brief descriptions of these FREE trainings, please view the Recovery Trainings Flyer here! To plan ahead, view the Recovery Education Trainings Schedule! To get yourself signed up, continue reading to see if the registration has been opened. CEUs will be available for each training session. Contact Megan Sharkey (megan@nullvocalvirginia.org) with questions.

Community Inclusion Training

The Copeland Center for Wellness & Recovery, supported by the Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion, has developed a dynamic two-day seminar to advance knowledge and practices in community inclusion. The seminar focuses on the roles that peer specialists and peer support allies can play in supporting individuals in participating more fully in the life of the communities around them, moving beyond a reliance on provider-based activities, and to a stronger engagement in community activities they choose for themselves. General Stakeholder tickets offer a half-day information session to learn the fundamentals of the community inclusion model.
Offered in Annandale February 2019.

Emotional CPR Training (eCPR)

eCPR is an educational program designed to teach people to assist others through an Emotional Crisis by three simple steps: C = Connecting, P = emPowering, R = Revitalizing. eCPR was developed with input from a diverse cadre of recognized leaders from across the U.S., who themselves have learned how to recover and grow from emotional crises. They have wisdom by the grace of first-hand experience.
Offered in Chesapeake January 2019.

Pathways to Recovery Facilitator Training

The Pathways to Recovery Facilitator training will be facilitated by Bonnie Neighbour, who has worked to develop this facilitator training for Virginia’s peers, and Ann Benner, of VOCAL. This workshop will prepare experienced facilitators or group leaders in facilitating workshops with a strengths-based approach to recovery and resilience as found in the Pathways to Recovery: Strengths Recovery Self-Help Workbook.
Offered in Charlottesville on November 29-30: Register here. Please share this event by sending this flyer to a friend.

Peer Support Whole Health and Resiliency Training (PSWHR)

PSWHR is a training program designed to be taught to Peers who are in a position to then teach it to their fellow Peers, in individual or group settings. This approach is based on the belief that people with a chronic illness who are working to manage that condition and improve their overall health, are more effective than trained clinicians in helping others with similar experiences to make lifestyle changes. Once Peers have been through the PSWHR training, they are free to adapt the material to their local situation. To learn more about the program curriculum, view the Appalachian Consulting Group’s website here.
Offered in Roanoke on December 4-5: Register here!
Offered in Virginia Beach on December 13-14: Register here.
Offered in Charlottesville on January 7-8: Registration coming soon.

SMART Recovery® Facilitator Training

VOCAL, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, invited 25 Peers from across the state to complete an online facilitator training by SMART Recovery®. Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery®) is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to empower people to achieve independence from addictions.

We are grateful to the wonderful outpouring of interest from Virginian Peers! With that said, we are no longer accepting applications. To find a SMART Recovery® meeting group near you, follow this link. Keep an eye out for the Virginia Graduates who will be beginning to establish new groups across the state in 2019!

Trauma-Informed Peer Support Training

This highly interactive, unique training brings together the values of peer support with trauma-informed approaches. Using a combination of presentation, discussion and individual and group exercises, attendees will emerge understanding how to effectively apply trauma-informed practices to peer support. The intended audience for this training are people who provide peer support, whether as paid staff or volunteers, in peer-run programs or in mainstream (non­­-peer-run) programs. As well as people who receive peer support services and/or engage in peer support that is not part of a formal program.

Offered in Wytheville on November 30: Register here. Send this event flyer to a friend.
Offered in Richmond on December 6-7: This training has been filled. Follow this link to add yourself to the waitlist.

Peer Recovery Specialist Training in Virginia

VOCAL is one of a number of approved trainers for Virginia DBHDS’s CPRS Training Curriculum. The training is one step toward becoming at CPRS – for more information on the entire CPRS process, see the Virginia Certification Board and the Office of Recovery Services. For future peer recovery specialist trainings, subscribe to VOCAL’s email news digest. They will also be announced on this page. See our Frequently Asked Question page. View an updated list of Virginia’s CPRS Trainers on the Virginia Certification Board’s website linked here or on the Trillium Center’s website linked here.

WRAP Facilitator Training in Virginia

Learn to lead mental health recovery groups according to an evidence-based model developed by peers, called the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). WRAP is a program of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. Trainings are held around the state by many recovery-oriented organizations.

WRAP Facilitator Refresher Training in Virginia

A three day training required of WRAP Facilitators, by the Copeland Center, every two years.
Led by Bonnie Neighbour, Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator
Dates: To be determined. All three days must be attended.

Contact Ann Benner (ann@nullvocalvirginia.org, 804-343-1777) to indicate interest.
Location: VOCAL office, 1904 Byrd Ave, Suite 124, Richmond, 23230

Peer-Run Non-Profit Training

Workshops, board retreats and consultations on how to start, grow and sustain a peer-run program, informed with recovery and trauma-informed values. We also facilitate intentional communication among Virginia’s peer-led nonprofits, thereby increasing their sharing of tools, resources, and technologies among one another. Contact us to learn more!
Cost: Free on-site trainings for peer-run programs
Contact: Heather Orrock, Program Director, Coalition of Peer-Run Programs, via heather@nullvocalvirginia.org.
Website: Peer-Run Program Training section of VOCAL’s website
Dates: Ongoing

Leadership Trainings

Advocacy Conference – A three-day program of workshops on advocacy at the state policy level and hands-on advocacy experience at the legislature to promote consumer civic engagement. The conference focuses on skills and tools that build confidence, encourage participation and speaking in public. The conference format is two days in class and a morning at the General Assembly in Richmond, meeting legislators and advocating together for mental health awareness.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV
Dates: Vary each year

Consumer Empowerment and Leadership Training (CELT) – MHAV’s flagship conference, is four days of workshops designed to give mental health consumers important tools for successful leadership and the skills to make your voice heard. This conference is designed for those that are further along in their recovery and are contemplating involvement in their communities or in the workforce. Many organizations, facilities and localities are seeking consumers to join their boards, committees, and work groups to improve mental health services and focus on high quality services. Community Service Boards and local Human Rights Committees are required by Virginia law to include consumers in their activities.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV
Dates: Vary each year

Facilitator Training – Allows CELT graduates to learn the art of facilitation. Through this training, participants will learn and develop the skills necessary to effectively facilitate and tailor a training to any audience.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV
Dates: Vary each year

Employment Trainings

Community Work Incentives Counselors and Benefits Specialists – Learn how to help Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities meet their employment goals. Run by vaACCSES — Call 1-877-822-2777 for information or email Marilyn Morrison at mmorrison@nullvaaccses.org.

Workforce Re-Entry – MHAV’s three-day, retreat-style conference will focus on the soft skills you need to find a job, to present yourself to a potential employer, or to understand dynamics in the workplace. This conference is especially intended for our peers in recovery, and who may not have held full-time employment for some time. Learn tips to make your resume compelling and relevant, learn to take care of yourself in the modern workplace, and gain some tools to deal with pre-interview anxiety. We will explore all of these, and practice interview techniques including what questions to ask the interviewer. Intended for the CELT graduate.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV

Recovery Conferences

VOCAL’s Annual State Wide Peer Conference

Each May peers from across Virginia gather for three days to share hope and experience, and to network and coordinate recovery efforts and systems change. The VOCAL Conference moves around the state from year to year, so that peers in different regions have the opportunity to participate. Specific plans for 2019 will be announced in February.
Website: https://vocalvirginia.org/connect/vocal-conference/
Contact: VOCAL Network at 804-343-1777 or network@nullvocalvirginia.org

Pathfinders – Pathfinders is a conference for veterans and service members of the military. This conference is three days long and focuses on trust, self-care, healing from trauma, and intentional and effective peer support. This program provides veterans with the tools necessary to serve as change agents in their community, effectively advocate for self and others, participate in system reform, and educate policy makers. Applicants are required to be 3 months post-crisis and provide two references.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV

MHAV’s QUEST – Quest is a three day conference hosted by MHAV that is geared towards people who are newer to recovery, and interested in exploring individual transformation. The short workshops are a good introduction to the more in-depth sessions of our other conferences and will guide individuals through activities that respect self-determination, connect with the recovery community, and explore personal needs & potential.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV

MHAV’s Tips, Tools and Trade Secrets – Focuses on new ways to relax, rejuvenate and explore alternative practices in healing for your recovery journey.
Contact: MHAV 866-400-MHAV