WVLA History and Background

The West Virginia Leadership Academy for Consumers and Families (WVLA) has been in existence in West Virginia since 1995. The curriculum was initially developed in Idaho and was adapted to serve West Virginia adults and families who are living with mental/behavioral health issues. Leadership Academy materials have been utilized in most states and in several foreign countries. The WVLA is a nationally recognized training program designed for people to take more responsibility in community planning and improvement. WVLA is a project of the WV Behavioral Health Planning Council.

The WVLA is recognized as an exemplary self-advocacy training – participants become leaders and advocates for service system improvements. The project assists participants by introducing concepts for taking an active role in practicing values, which influence supports and services affecting their lives. Anticipated outcomes include transformation and success in participants’ respective communities through self-determination and collective civic participation.

WVLA is a series of structured learning modules designed to assist participants’ critical knowledge, skills, and attitudes for successful community involvement, social connectedness, and collective self-determination. The Leadership Academy facilitates citizenship and group action-planning, creating positive systems-change in one’s community.

The West Virginia Leadership Academy for Consumers and Families is led by Dave Sanders and Ardella Cottrill, Project Coordinators. For more information contact:

Dave Sanders, PR
(681) 222-7008

Ardella Cottrill

WV Leadership Academy
PO Box 8885
South Charleston, WV 25303

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