Global Initiatives

Via Hope is expanding our global footprint with opportunities abroad


In October 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR)  jointly launched new guidance to improve legislation addressing human rights abuses in mental health care. This comprehensive legal guidance aims to address a global need for training and support in the areas of the legal system, government officials, and multiple health organizations, with an emphasis on peer support.

Inspired by the virtual global launch of this event and our commitment to promoting and expanding wellness and recovery through peer support, Via Hope is excited to be part of the global movement towards increasing access to rights-based and community-based mental health care. 

Via Hope’s first international training

In May 2024, Via Hope facilitated our first international training to an audience of 22 individuals who will supervise Reentry Peer Specialists in Uruguay. “Uruguay Reentry Peer Specialist Oversight” provided guidance on formalized peer support and the Reentry Peer Specialist role, in which formerly incarcerated individuals help each other through the recovery process. This training is part of a broader initiative by the U.S. Embassy to change the stigma around incarceration and achieve more equitable outcomes for system-impacted individuals.

Via Hope is proud to provide training and expertise that inspires evidence-based, recovery-oriented programming across the globe!

Uruguay U.S. Speaker Program: Community Responses for Successful Reentry

In November 2023, the U.S. Embassy invited Via Hope’s Vice President, Dr. Sandra Smith, to Montevideo, Uruguay, where she presented on our Reentry Peer Specialist certification training program.

The audience included several government agencies, the Ministry of Social Development, the Office for Persons Released From Prison, and individuals who were formerly incarcerated.

By speaking from the wisdom of her own lived experience with incarceration, Dr. Smith joined the global discussion on mental health and substance use among people involved with the legal system, with the goal of inspiring recovery-oriented programming similar to Via Hope’s work.

Click here to watch a video interview with Dr. Smith and learn more about our time in Uruguay.

Health 2.0 Conference in Dubai

Via Hope joined the Health 2.0 Conference in Dubai to learn more about the present-day challenges effecting healthcare at a global level and engage with other organizations working towards change.

In addition to being selected for an Outstanding Leadership Award, our Vice President (Dr. Sandra Smith) joined a panel titled Urbanization And Mental Health: Examining The Relationship Between City Living And Psychological Wellbeing, where she spoke about the importance of emphasizing lived experience in conversations about mental health. Click here to watch a recording.

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