Training: Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network Meeting Facilitator July 12, 2017

Apr 7, 2017Certification, Meetings, Trainings

Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network (VPRSN) Meeting Facilitator Program

Thursday, July 12, 2017
10:00 am – 4:00 pm (Lunch provided)
Henrico County Public Library
Libbie Mill Conference Room
2100 Libbie Lake East St.
Henrico, VA 23230


VPRSN holds regional networking, discussion and professional development meetings for those working in Virginia’s peer recovery workforce. We welcome those with lived experience who are pursuing (or aspire to pursue) a career in the professional peer support workforce, regardless of certification status, field of focus, or work location.

Each meeting will include time for introductions, networking and discussion focusing on professional development topics concerning peer recovery specialists, recovery coaches, support group volunteers, etc.


  • Share knowledge and experience among peer recovery specialists
  • Expand the peer recovery community professional network
  • Provide support to Virginia’s peer recovery workforce
  • Promote the latest in training opportunities and job announcements
  • Foster regional connections and relationship-building
  • Harness the unique needs and gifts of the individual regions

The VPRSN Meeting Facilitator

Meetings are organized and facilitated by a VPRSN Meeting Facilitator, who will be a trained Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) volunteer.VPRSN Meeting Facilitators are trained peer recovery specialists with a desire to support their local peer recovery workforce through community-building events and other activities.

Desired Outcomes of Meeting Facilitators:

  • Facilitate and promote VPRSN to their local community
  • Increase involvement among local stakeholders
  • Discover and respond to local needs
  • Work with the MHAV staff to be the local face of the VPRSN
  • Increase network membership within their communities

Selection and VPRSN Meeting Facilitator Training

Facilitators are required to be a trained peer support specialist and go through an application and screening process before being approved to attend a facilitator training event. VPRSN Meeting Facilitators are volunteers who are MHAV-certified after attending and graduating from a 1 day training with the VPRSN state coordinator. All potential facilitators will be asked to fill out an application to provide professional experience and contact information. Potential facilitators will then be invited to attend a training session. The training is designed for facilitators to learn and practice specific skills that will create a productive and informative experience for all participants.

After the training, certified VPRSN Meeting Facilitators will know how to plan, schedule and promote a network meeting; encourage networking; facilitate discussion and activities; and build an inclusive community. Facilitators will make use of a guidebook and facilitation skills to ensure attendees a supportive and respectful environment.

Once a facilitator has been through this training he or she will receive a MHAV-VPRSN certificate and be ready to organize and facilitate a VPRSN meeting in their local community. Active, certified facilitators must use their training and conduct a minimum of one event each quarter, as well as be available for quarterly conference calls with VPRSN state coordinator. Meeting materials will be provided by MHAV.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Represent, in a professional manner, the mission of Virginia Peer Recovery Specialist Network and Mental Health America of Virginia
  • Be a positive and productive role model for working or aspiring peer recovery specialists
  • Schedule, invite, promote and facilitate one event for peer recovery specialists on a quarterly basis
  • Market and promote the network events locally among stakeholders
  • Identify potential community connections
  • Actively recruit local attendees to events
  • Identify topics of discussion related to peer recovery support professionals
  • Work with attendees to clarify content, objectives and to establish ground rules that govern behavior
  • Facilitate discussions and activities that build community and relationships
  • Keep a record of attendees and contact information at events
  • Remain at site for the full duration of the event, including set up and clean up
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with your VPRSN coordinator
  • Report network events, activities and data to VPRSN Coordinator
  • Attend quarterly phone calls with VPRSN Coordinator


  • Self-starter; motivated and able to dedicate the time to organize and conduct events in your area
  • Show enthusiasm and passion for mission of VPRSN, networking and peer support in order to inspire others to attend and participate
  • Demonstrates clear communication, active listening, conflict resolution and relationship-building social skills
  • Skilled at simultaneously managing group dynamics, event schedule and/or activity process
  • Able to summarize chunks of information for clarity and understanding

 Education and Training

  • Peer Support Specialist Training or equivalent (required)
    • This is an excellent opportunity for aspiring CPRS to earn experience hours!
  • MHAV Consumer Empowerment and Leadership Training (preferred)

 Resources Needed

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Smartphone
  • Own vehicle/ access to reliable transportation
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