Directory of Consumer Driven Services
Program Information
Program Name: VOCAL CO-OP (Consumer Owned & Operated Programs)
Agency Name: VOCAL
Year the Program was Started: 2000
Public Contact Person: Cassandra Nudel, VOCAL CO-OP Co-founder & Brian Parrish, VOCAL CO-OP Program Director
Address: P.O. Box 1248
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Telephone #: 434-243-7878
Email Address:
Website URL:
Program Category: Technical Assistance
Target Participants:
Program Setting:
Program Owned or Leased Facility (leased store front, community residence)
Annual Program Budget: $40,000-$70,000
Number of staff: Paid Full-Time: 1-2
Paid Part-Time: 1-2
Volunteers: 5-10
Consumer involvement in the program
Number of staff members and volunteers who are consumers: All
How often do consumer staff and volunteers participate in program decisions? Always
Number of administrators or board members who are consumers: All
Program Training/ Technical Assistance Materials Available: Individual training, Program brochure, Guides/Manuals, Website, Other
Cost for materials? No
Program Goals: The VOCAL CO-OP is a collective of peer-run mental health programs in Virginia. Over the past 5 years, the CO-OP has worked with over 25 peer-run groups throughout the state.

Our past projects include free trainings such as The Art of Leadership, Cookbook for Consumer-Run Programs, Tools for Organizational Assessment, Fear of Filing (501c3), and The Art of Grant Making.

We have also published two guidebooks: The Grant Seeker’s Treasure Map & Orienteering Guide, and Blueprints for Change: Step-by-Step Guides to Building Peer Programs, which are all available for free downloading in the Publications area of our website.

As advocates for mental health system transformation, the VOCAL CO-OP designed, initiated, and found funding to launch two new statewide programs: VOCAL’s REACH program and the VOCAL Network.

The CO-OP has given presentations at statewide and regional conferences, organized over 40 statewide meetings of mental health advocates, and served on planning councils to help guide the Virginia Mental Health System towards transformation and recovery-based services.

In past years, the CO-OP also ran a mini-grant program, called Two People Two Chairs. Through Two People Two Chairs Mini-Grants, grassroots groups in Virginia have started a bilingual warm line, an art & performance coffee house, a free clothing “thrift shop” at a drop-in center, a prototype for agoraphobia groups, a recovery speaker’s bureau, several support and recovery groups, and a job skills training series.
Have any outcomes for this program been assessed through internal or external research? Yes
If Yes, details: Surveys, outcomes and reports about our projects are available on our website in the "portfolio" section.
Program Mission Statement: The VOCAL CO-OP is part of the Virginia Organization of Consumers Asserting Leadership (VOCAL, Inc). VOCAL is a statewide organization dedicated to mental health recovery, empowerment, and leadership.

VOCAL and the VOCAL CO-OP are 100% peer-run – all our staff, board and members self-identify as people in mental health recovery.
Additional Information: We offer free trainings, publications, and opportunities for peer-run programs in Virginia. The best way to find out about upcoming opportunities is to join our free email newsletter on our website Or, if your group is a peer-run program in Virginia, you can write us for a CO-OP membership application. VOCAL, P.O. Box 1248, Charlottesville, VA, 22902. If you are an individual (not a program), you can join our sister program, the VOCAL Network (listed seperately in this directory)

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