An advocate is one who pleads the cause of another, or one who defends and maintains a cause or proposal. SAARA of Virginia’s mission is to help Virginians build better communities free from substance abuse and addiction. We do this by advocating for education, prevention, treatment and recovery throughout Virginia. This is accomplished in two main ways.
First, we partner with other agencies statewide and focus on growing our own SAARA affiliate network statewide to share information on what resources are available to Virginians who are struggling with a substance use disorder or have a loved one struggling with addiction, and we advocate for support in areas where more resources are needed. We aim to be a comprehensive resource hub to connect people and recovery resources.
Second, we work hard to stay informed about federal and state legislation that can impact behavioral health and wellness organizations and resources in Virginia. We conduct outreach to educate our elected representatives and the public about why these initiatives are important and the large number of Virginians these programs benefit, and how constituents in Virginia can make their voices heard.
SAARA representatives attend the General Assembly, State Budget Hearings, meet one-on-one with state legislators, attend the National Council’s “Hill Day” legislative training's and meetings, participate in rallies at the State Capitol, and work with other advocacy organizations to effect change in our state’s policies and funding. SAARA educates the recovery community, and the community at large, by offering workshops through our affiliation with the Virginia Summer Institute for Addiction Studies (VSIAS) and by attending and presenting at educational seminars and conferences across the state.
A key component to success in our Advocacy Efforts is our Communication Plan. To review SAARA's 2020 Communications Plan, click below.
SAARA of Virginia is a participating member of other local, state and national organizations that share our values and promote our core mission. Click below to see the organizations SAARA partners with.