NEWS AND UPDATES
SAARA HOSTS THANKSGIVING CELEBRATION FOR PEERS - November 20, 2018
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.
SAARA OF VIRGINIA WELCOMES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KATHY HARKEY
The Board of Directors of the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance (SAARA) of Virginia is please to announce the selection of Kathy Harkey as our new Executive Director, effective October 8, 2018. Mrs. Harkey is a seasoned, highly skilled nonprofit executive, most recently as the Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Central Virginia (NAMI-CVA). Mrs. Harkey served six years in the Board of Directors for NAMI of Virginia. She has previously served as President of NAMI Central Virginia as President of Hanover Community Support Services. Mrs. Harkey is an experienced advocate for behavioral health system change and she is a professional trainer of Family-to-Family, Smarts Advocacy, Crisis Intervention Teams, Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), and Mental Health First Aid for Youth. Mrs. Harkey holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from Liberty University and undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Multidisciplinary Studies with business and education cognates. Mrs. Harkey received her certificate in non-profit management from Duke University and completed her internship in bio-genetic research at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).
The SAARA Board is enthusiastic about this next chapter in the life of our organization and they look forward to both increased visibility, continued advocacy efforts on behalf of people with substance use disorders, and an increasingly strong role in the broader advocacy efforts throughout Virginia's behavioral health care system.
September 24, 2018
From 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM, SAARA of Virginia along with SAARA of Central Virginia, RBHA, RBHFoundation and the McShin Foundation came together to host an art show at Art Works. The show featured art work that was created by those in recovery. We saw great success, selling multiple pieces of art work and hosting a room filled with art enthusiasts from the Richmond area. Prior to the show Art Classes were held for those in recovery to create art with the under the guidance and instruction of local artist Jennifer Yane. Some of the pieces created in the class were featured in the show. We look forward to doing this event once again, stay tuned for more information.
September 22, 2018
Over 150 people in the recovery community filled the Corner Pocket on George Mason’s Main Campus with electronic dance music, dancing, lights, and arcade games…and absolutely no drugs or alcohol. Throughout the event the Chris Atwood Foundation gave on the spot Revive! training to over 50 attendees. Many of the attendees were once again young people in recovery and Recovery Unhooked continued to highlight that fun in recovery IS possible, and events like this are important for our community. At SAARA we know that having fun in recovery is an important component to long term recovery success.
August 3, 2018
The SAARA Center’s mission has always included our support of all pathways to recovery. In recent years, we have noticed an uptrend in people who are on Methadone and Suboxone maintenance programs, in part due to the lack of accessible treatment, and in part due to the accessibility and effectiveness of these recovery pathways. We have also noticed that the Medically Assisted Treatment population has faced a lot of stigma. A large part of the stigma comes from the recovery community itself.
Marjorie Yates, Manager of Recovery Supports and Training, decided that a training on Medically Assisted Treatment and Recovery was in order. Not only would it help to eradicate the prejudice and ignorance around MAT, but it would give Peer Specialists resources and specific coaching tools to better assist those on MAT. The MARS Training features up-to-date information, and Subject Matter Experts who are on MAT themselves. On August 3rd, the Center hosted 26 Peer Specialists for it’s first MARS(Medically Assisted Recovery Support) training. On September 7th, the Center will host the second MARS training, which filled up two days after it was announced.
These two trainings were offered free of charge due to the generous support of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Office of Recovery Services. As SAARA is no longer receiving this funding, subsequent MARS trainings will be offered monthly at a nominal cost.
April 23, 2018
On Saturday, April 21 from 8pm-midnight around 200 people in the recovery community filled Plant Zero with electronic dance music, dancing, lights, and fellowship with no drugs or alcohol. Many of the attendees were young people in recovery, and once again Recovery Unhooked highlighted that fun in recovery IS possible, and events like this are important for our community. At SAARA we believe that having fun in recovery is a critically important component to long term recovery success. Thank you to our sponsors for making it possible including Anthem Healthkeepers Plus, Host of Sparrows, RBHA, PSA, Rams in Recovery, The McShin Foundation, Friends of Prevention Coalition, Richmond Southside Treatment Center, Dandelion Meadow, The JHW Foundation, Alive RVA and Recovery Unplugged.
March 16, 2018
The SAARA Center for Recovery celebrated its 10th anniversary of offering peer recovery support services to the Richmond area on Thursday, March 15, 2018 with a luncheon at Robinson Theater. The event was attended by around 60 friends and supporters of SAARA and featured short talks from people in long term recovery from drugs and/or alcohol who have played a role in the organization as well as a brief awards presentation.
January 17, 2018
The Alive RVA program launched on January 16, 2018. Read more here.
January 3, 2018
SAARA of Virginia staff along with members from the SAARA of the Bay Counties affiliate and Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine (VCAM) attended the Regional Budget Hearings on the governor's proposed budget. They shared personal connections to recovery and advocated for fully funding recovery resources across the state.
October 16, 2017
SAARA of the Peninsula's affiliate members and SAARA of Virginia board president Alethea Lambert were featured in the Daily Press! Find the whole story HERE.
The 2016 SAARA of Virginia 990 is available HERE
The 2015 SAARA of Virginia 990 is available HERE.
e-Newsletters & Advocacy Alerts
Click HERE for our recent Advocacy Alert from January 14th, 2019.
Click HERE for our Advocacy Alert sent out December 30th, 2018.
Click HERE for our e-newsletter from December 31st, 2018.
Click HERE for our e-newsletter from November 30th, 2018.