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Peer Recovery Training Set for March 14-18

Posted 02/15/22

Photo for Peer Recovery Training Set for March 14-18


For Immediate Release
Contact: Betsy Bethel-McFarland, 304-218-2894,

WHEELING — Youth Services System Inc. and the YWCA Wheeling are hosting a free training March 14-18 for people interested in learning how to provide peer-to-peer support for people in recovery from substance use disorders.

The CCAR Recovery Coach Academy is a five-day, evidence-based training created by the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery.

The training includes learning about the stages and components of recovery, interpersonal skills, ethical and boundary issues, recovery coach techniques and cultural awareness.

Trained recovery coaches serve as mentors and guides to people who are navigating the new terrain of life in recovery. They provide moral and practical support, from offering a listening ear to helping prepare for a job interview or purchase a car.

“Graduates of the Recovery Coach Academy are employed by local agencies serving as recovery coaches in a variety of Ohio Valley nonprofit and governmental agencies, as quick response team members, and recovery advocates,” said academy co-leader Valery Staskey.

Recovery Coach Academy graduate Travis McBride is now a certified WV Peer Recovery Support Specialist employed by the YSS Recovery Homes. He is in long-term recovery and feels he has “found his calling” by helping others. A recovery coach doesn’t have to be a member of the recovery community, but many are.

The academy was instrumental in his journey, McBride said.

“Without the academy I don’t think I would have the knowledge and the resources that I have today. They helped me get a better understanding of what a real recovery peer can look like,” McBride said.

This will be the seventh year YSS and the YWCA have offered the training. They have trained 169 individuals during that time and are looking for up to 30 people to register for the March session.

The training is important now more than ever, Staskey said.

“Overdose deaths have reached an all-time high during the pandemic, so it is imperative that we get more people trained to assist their fellows living with substance use disorders. We can help pave the way to treatment and recovery. Our job is to help keep people alive so they can recover,” she said.

Lunch is included in the free training. Continuing education units are pending for social work and addiction professionals. The training will take place 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Youth Services System, 87 15th St.

Registration is required by March 7. To register, email Valery Staskey at or call 304-218-2843.