Directory of Consumer Driven Services
Program Information
Agency Name: Mental Health America of Virginia
Year the Program was Started: 2008
Public Contact Person: Chris Owens
Address: 3212 Cutshaw Ave.
Suite 315
Richmond, VA 23230
Telephone #: (804) 257-5591
Fax #: (804) 257-5593
Email Address:
Website URL:
Program Category: Advocacy, Community Education, Recovery Education
Target Participants:
Program Setting:
Program Owned or Leased Facility (leased store front, community residence)
Annual Program Budget: $70,000-$100,000
Number of staff: Paid Full-Time: 3-5
Paid Part-Time: 3-5
Volunteers: 1-2
Consumer involvement in the program
Number of staff members and volunteers who are consumers: Majority
How often do consumer staff and volunteers participate in program decisions? Always
Number of administrators or board members who are consumers: Some
Program Training/ Technical Assistance Materials Available: Individual training, Program brochure, Guides/Manuals, Website
Cost for materials? Sometimes
Program Goals: Pathfinder�s is a program of Mental Health America of Virginia (MHAV) that is specifically designed for today�s veteran. This four- day leadership training program provides veterans with the tools necessary to educate policy makers, participate in system reform, serve as change agents in their community and effectively advocate for self and others. Participants also learn about self-care and recovery, health and mental health care delivery systems, learn about legislative advocacy and develop leadership and action planning skills.
Have any outcomes for this program been assessed through internal or external research? Yes
If Yes, details: Pathfinder�s was evaluated using Perceived Competence of Functioning Index (PCFI) assessments prior to initiating training and at the end of each subsequent training date. Assessments were independently scored and analyzed by Prairie Process Solutions of Newton, Kansas. Preliminary data of the pilot Pathfinders program suggest overall group gains in motivational, cognitive, affective and relational competencies and the general level of functioning (GLF). While our initial data is promising, additional observations and evaluations of Pathfinders programs are required to substantiate our positive findings. Post program feedback from our pilot program participants has also been positive. These participants have stated that they have experienced a renewed sense of community and the importance of peer support. Many have commented that they learned from each other�s life experiences and a wealth of knowledge and resources was shared. Participants were eager to return to their communities and start peer support and other services for fellow veterans as well as becoming active citizens at the local, state and federal level. Our Pathfinders discovered that they can effectively advocate not only for themselves but also for their peers. They came believe in their own human potential and personal ability to effect change for themselves and their community.
Additional Information: The Pathfinder program models and creates a rich learning atmosphere that highly values each participant. We create a safe environment for dialogue, interactive team building activities and relationship building. Our program values include responsibility, accountability, equality, self determination, human potential, human value, human rights, autonomy, community, the value of democracy, individual differences and cultural diversity.

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