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The SAARA Advocate
November, 2018
Showing Gratitude this November!
Giving Thanks to all!
SAARA hosted a Thanksgiving meal with our interns, volunteers and peers who frequent the center. We were truly humbled by what was said by those who enjoyed the meal with our staff: 
"I was clean for four years before I started coming here, but SAARA makes it all better."
"I'm grateful to the SAARA Center, what they stand for and how they advocate for people like me!"
"Thank you SAARA Center for giving me so much support."
We here at SAARA of Virginia want to thank the community for supporting us. We will continue to work hard to advocate for those in recovery and those who support them. 
If you would like help us continue to help those is the recovery community consider donating today. Funds given to SAARA are used to further our work in transforming communities through hope, education and advocacy for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Our vision is a day when the stigma of addiction is eradicated and all who seek recovery will find it. Your donation enables us to move one step closer to making our vision a reality.
The tax laws intentionally encourage charitable giving. Because of the income tax charitable deduction, individuals who make their gifts by December 31 and itemize may reduce their income taxes for the year.  SAARA is a 501c3 Nonprofit, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. 
Click here to donate online. Or send a check to:

SAARA of Virginia
2000 Mecklenburg Street
Richmond, Virginia 23223

Question? Email us at 

Advocating Across the State
SAARA's New Executive Director, Kathy Harkey, has been busy visiting with different organizations across the state. 
Recently she visited Southwest Virginia advocating for those in Recovery. During this week long visit, Kathy was able to visit  Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in Roanoke, the Alleghany Highlands CSB in Covington and Charlottesville CSB. SAARA of Virginia promotes the growth of affiliates while visiting different regions of the state in order to increase our reach.

Save the Date
January 4 - 11, 2019
(Training runs for 8 days, Friday – Friday, 8:30am– 5:30pm)
Location: SAARA of Virginia
2000 Mecklenburg Street
Richmond, VA 23223
This is a 72 hour training, and is only one of several elements required for PRSS certification.  It is specifically for individuals who have at least one year of demonstrable recovery from addiction and/or mental health challenges.
SAARA of Virginia PRSS TRAINING FEE $800.00
** At this time, no scholarships are available. **
(Payable by check to SAARA of Virginia, Inc.)
Fee includes tuition, manuals, and supplies. Lunch will not be provided
For more information, contact Marjorie Yates, Manager, Recovery Supports and Training at
Reserve your spot today with a completed application and remittance of fee.
Two recent CPRS Grads with trainer Marjorie Yates

SAARA Center Updates
SAARA Center recently started a new group called Addictive Thinking which is held on Thursdays from 11 am - 12 pm. This group addresses the thought process that pushes an individuals towards substance use regardless of the negative consequences. Participants identify personal triggers, learn coping techniques and skills to assist in long term recovery. If you have any questions about this group, or any other groups that SAARA Center offers visit us at or give us a call at 804-762-4445. 
SAARA of Virginia was recently added to Please take the time to share you experience with SAARA of Virginia!
December 7th, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost of training is $60 (Covers cost of course materials and Lunch),
 In this training you will learn:

• The significance of Medically Assisted Recovery Support
• How medication can supplement the recovery process
• How best to support peers on medication
• How to locate resources to assist peers
• How to facilitate a Medically Assisted Recovery Support group.
For more information, contact Marjorie Yates, Manager, Recovery Supports and Training,

Updates from our Affiliates
SAARA of the Peninsula
SAARA of Virginia has affiliates across the state. If you would like to reach out to them directly see their contact email below. 
SAARA of Northern
SAARA of the Bay
SAARA of Central
Would you like to start an affiliate in your region? Reach out to
SAARA of Northern VA working with the Chris Atwood Foundation. 

In the News

Medicaid Expansion
On January 1, 2019 more adults in Virginia will obtain access to health insurance. Thousands of Virginians aged 19-64 will be able to get the health care they need, eliminate the stress and concern of becoming ill or suffering an accident.
To find out if you are eligible for this health care you can use Cover Virginia's Eligibility Screening Tool . Keep in mind, the rules have changed. If you were denied in the past, you could now be eligible. 
If you need help with your application you can do the following:
By phone: Call Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282
Go online: Apply online through the application portal at
In person: There will be application assisters in your area who can help. Visit the website at or call 1-855-242-8282 for more information.
En Español: Llame a nuestro centro de ayuda gratis al 1-855-242-8282

Holiday Schedule
SAARA will be closed for the following holidays
24th-25th Christmas Holiday
31st - New Years Eve

Statewide Opportunities
Peer Recovery Specialist Trainings
Peer Recovery Support Specialist Training in Manassas
December 3-21
3:00 p.m.-7:15 p.m.
99 Tremont Avenue
Manassas, VA 20111
For further information, contact Kevin Manurs:
Peer Recovery Specialist Training - Winchester
72 HR DBHDS Curriculum Training
Tuesday’s only, January 8th- March 12,2019
10 classes from 8:30am-5pm
Where: 1014 Amherst st., Winchester, VA. 22601
Contact Bryon Johnson for more information at

Educational Opportunities
Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network Meetings
Professional Development and Networking for Virginia's Peer Recovery Specialists 
Visit for more details and facilitator contact information.
HopeFiendZ CD Release Party: Hosted by
Friends 4 Recovery Whole Health Center
December 1
Westover Station (formerly Café Zata)
5700 Forest Hill Avenue
Richmond, VA 23225
5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
For more information: or 804-308-1366.
VACSB 2019 Legislative Conference
January 22 at 8:00 a.m.-January 23 at 11:00 a.m.
Hilton Downtown Richmond Hotel
501 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
More information here
VPRSN Continuing Education: Intentional Peer Support Core Training
March 11-15
Richmond VA
The IPS Core Training is for anyone interested in mutual support and has been widely used as a foundation training for people working in both traditional and alternative mental health settings.
Space is limited, and partial scholarships are available. The application deadline is February 11. 
Learn more here

Do you have a training or community event you would like featured in our newsletter? Reach out to Laura Madsen at to see if you training or event is a good fit! 
REVIVE! Trainings
Opioid Overdose & Naloxone Education
Are you:
  • Currently using opioids such as heroin or prescription pain medications?
  • Abstinent from opioid use, but have used in the past?
  • A friend or family member of someone who currently uses opioids?
  • Working in a setting where opioid overdoses occur?
  • Interested in learning how to save life?
If so, then consider attending a REVIVE! training. Trainings are held at the SAARA Center. 
Lay Rescuer Training will be held on December 13th from 10am- 12noon and January 10th from 10am-12noon. 
To register for trainings click here and select your date. 

Alive RVA
Alive RVA has now received over 430 unique calls since its start. They continue to see great success with each of the callers.
 To reach Alive RVA call 833-4PEERVA (833-473-3782) 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Alive RVA in comprised of Peer Support Specialists who serve as the bridge between someone seeking recovery from substance use disorders and the access to services to get them on the right path.
Alive RVA is funded by SAMHSA opioid STR grant funds awarded to DBHDS. 

Shopping Online this Christmas? 
If you shopping on Amazon this holiday season, be sure to use Amazon Smile! Select SAARA of Virginia and proceeds from your purchase will benefit us.

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Address postal inquiries to:
SAARA of Virginia Inc
2000 Mecklenburg St.
Richmond, VA 23223