Office of Recovery Services

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What we do

The Office of Recovery Services was created though a collaborative effort by stakeholders who hold a belief that recovery, resiliency and self-advocacy are the foundations of system transformation. The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) is staffed by people with lived experience who are committed to using that experience to promote collaboration as well as provide technical assistance for peer based services that promote the inclusion of the voices of the people we serve.


The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) contributes the perspective of people with lived experience as the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) enacts decisions related to policy development, strategic planning and service delivery.

ORS staff members serve as subject matter experts providing information about recovery, resiliency and self-advocacy concepts and resources to DBHDS stakeholders such as: CSBs/BHAs, State Facilities and Community public and private behavioral health programs. ORS staff has a broad range of personal experience that informs their work in the areas of recovery, resiliency, and self-advocacy.

ORS staff serves as liaisons between Virginia’s behavioral health recovery community and DBHDS. ORS provides technical assistance for recovery based service delivery by providing current information and research on evidence based and emerging best practices. ORS assists the ongoing work of all stakeholders to increase inclusion of peers, dispel stigma and advocate for equitable representation and funding for consumer oriented and recovery based services.

A recovery residence is a housing facility that provides alcohol-free and illicit-drug-free housing to individuals with substance abuse disorders
and individuals with co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders that does not include clinical treatment services.

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Virginia Recovery Initiative (VRI)

What is the VRI?

In 2012, Virginia received a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) grant which supported the development of a statewide team of stakeholders that would champion efforts to emphasize the value of people’s lived experience of recovery from substance use and mental health conditions.

Coalition Building

VRI brings interested stakeholders together to focus on incorporating the voices of people in recovery in all aspects of behavioral health service delivery. Recovery champions meet in each region around the Commonwealth to develop community based strategies to expand the “recovery footprint” in their areas. Each regional group sends representatives to the statewide team that meets bimonthly to develop strategies that are focused on enhancing a Recovery Oriented System of Care for Virginia. 

For information on how to become a Recovery Advocate in your region
please contact Alethea Lambert, Acting Director for the Office of Recovery Services.

What is Peer Support?

The provision of Peer Support Services facilitates Recovery from both serious mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Peer support services are an evidence-based model of care which consists of a qualified peer support provider who assists individuals with their recovery.

What is a Peer Recovery Specialist? A Peer Recovery Specialist “PRS” is a self-identified person with lived experience with a mental health condition and/or substance use disorder who is in successful and ongoing recovery from mental health and/or substance use disorders. Peer Support Services and Family Support Partners use their lived experience to support another person’s exploration of recovery based services that can help them overcome the impact of mental illnesses or substance use disorders.

What are Peer Recovery Specialist
PRS Certification and Registration Pathways
Mental Health Run Peer Programs

What is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist?

Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS) provide non-clinical, person-centered, strengths based, wellness focused, and trauma-informed support while helping to ensure the person’s wellness-recovery plan reveals the needs and preferences of the person being served to complete their measurable and personalized goals. Certification is not mandatory for employment in Virginia. Certification is mandatory to register with the Department of Health Professions Board of Counseling. Registration with the Board of Counseling is required for billing Medicaid. Certification from any National or State certification body that meets Virginia standards is recognized for the purposes of Registration.

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PRS Supervisor Training

The Office of Recovery (ORS) at DBHDS offers training for supervisors of Peer Recovery Specialist for the state of Virginia. This training is available to anyone, and is mandatory for those who supervise Registered Peer Recovery Specialists whose services will be billed to Medicaid.

For more additional questions or more information about PRS/training dates
please contact Mary McQuown Peer Recovery Specialist Liaison.

Medicaid Reimbursement

As July 1, 2017, the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has expanded the Medicaid benefit to allow for credentialing and reimbursement of Peer Support and Family Support Partner Services. This is in response to a legislative mandate to implement Peer Support Services to eligible children and adults who have mental health conditions and/or substance use disorders. Medicaid will reimburse for Peer services offered at any phase of the American Society of Addiction Medicine Criteria ( ASAM Criteria).

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Recovery Blast

Recovery Blast is a periodic email that the Office of Recovery Services uses to keep people up to date on trainings & certification, recovery-oriented events, job openings, information on evidence-based practices and other important recovery information.

If interested in being added to the email distribution list send a request email to: Cheryl DeHaven,Acting Director for the Office of Recovery Services.
Include on the Subject line: “Please place me on the Recovery Blast”

If you are interested in being removed from with the Recovery send a request email to Cheryl DeHaven. Include on the Subject line: “ Please remove me from the Recovery Blast.”

Links to Recovery Resources

Links to Recovery Resources