Recovery Statement

“Recovery is a personal and life-altering journey that provides hope for a better future by overcoming the barriers and obstacles that you may encounter.”

Recovery Calendar


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10 11 12* VOCAL Central Peer Connect at 12:30 pm
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Recovery Specialists

 Contact the Recovery Specialists at

804-751-2297 (phone)

804-768-9205 (fax)

Donnie Redford

Donnie Redford

Hi, my name is Donnie Redford and I am a Recovery Specialist. I have been trained to work with individuals with a mental illness. One of my other qualifications is that I have been diagnosed with a mental illness myself. I have had my share of dark days and troubled thoughts, however, I have been working a good recovery for many years now and I am continuing to grow and move forward in my life. I once defined myself by my illness, now I know I am a person first and can be seen as a person first by others in my life. I have worked hard to get to this point in my recovery and I will have to continue to work hard to keep the things in my life that I value the most and still strive to attain my own goals and aspirations for the future. I have more good moments than bad moments which leads to more good days than bad. This, if you ask me is the most important thing in my life! I feel I have a duty to be happy in my life and feel other people with a mental illness can find happier lives while dealing with their barriers.

There are many things that can be done to cope better with mental illness, many resources and lots of personal choices that can be made that empower us. Please take the time to find your own resources and exercise your decision making abilities. The CSB is a huge resource so USE IT! Feel free to call me or other Recovery Specialists if you’d like our help in your journey of recovery. I’d like to leave you with a line I stole from Alcoholics Anonymous,

“It works if you work it, so work it, you’re worth it!”

Sylvia Bey

Sylvia Bey

Before I became ill with a mental illness I went to college at VCU, I was a licensed cosmetologist and I taught cosmetology to others. I am also the mother of two, Charles and Camora.

I first got involved in Recovery when I joined Chester House in 2007.  While there I attended many groups and participated in a lot of activities. Little by little, by being around caring people I began to feel better and feel better about myself. I took the WRAP class and was trained in CELT.

This year I got a job as a Recovery Specialist. I now co-facilitate groups such as the Peer to Peer group, Personal Stories, Peers Empowering Peers and the Anti-Stigma Group. I feel that now I have a lot to give to other people on their own journey of recovery.

Michele Doyle

Recovery is an awesome, amazing, miraculous journey. It’s one of the hardest things you’ll do and it takes all you’ve got – but it can be done!

My recovery started around 2005 when I had my second child. I had been depressed and psychotic for 7 years before this. My last hospitalization was a fight to live. I knew I had to fight to get out of there. Through the support of my family and staff at the CSB I slowly got stronger and began to enjoy life again. I hope I never go back.

Now I’m a Peer Specialist in the Supported Living program here at the CSB. I help others in their recovery by sharing my own story and assisting and advocating for them in their journey in recovery. If I had only known then what I know now my own recovery would have happened a lot sooner.

Amy Prewett

As a recovery specialist I have had the privilege of working with my peers to help me move forward in my recovery journey. I have progressed to a point I never thought possible when I first contacted the CSB five years ago. At that time my life was in shambles. Mental illness had destroyed everything- I had lost my job, my dreams, and everything that mattered to me. I coped with the overwhelming feelings in dangerous and destructive ways.

But with medication, compassionate therapists, various educational groups, and the support of my peers, I have begun a process of rebuilding my life. I have learned that this is not a passive process that my therapists or anyone else can do for me, but something I have to take responsibility for and work at. It has not been smooth sailing and there have been setbacks, but I’ve learned that this too is part of the recovery process. I just have to keep showing up. I have gained the belief I can recover by watching my peers move forward and learning the skills and ways they have used to manage their challenges. They have inspired me and through their example I have learned that recovery is a unique and individual process and that people with mental illness can not only survive, but thrive.