SOAR Enhances Recovery by Empowering Local Communities

Registration is now open for our June 27 webinar!
Registration is now open for our June 27 webinar!
May E-News

SOAR Enhances Recovery by Empowering Local Communities

Since 2009, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center has worked collaboratively with communities, using a grassroots approach that empowers each locality to identify its needs and receive individualized assistance to work towards its identified goals.
Through this approach, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center has:
  • Delivered on-site technical assistance to over 169 localities across the United States
  • Reached over 5,070 stakeholders
  • Provided skills training and mentorship to 613 SOAR Local Leads
  • Supported over 25,000 trainees enrolled in the SOAR Online Course and completed over 8,500 comprehensive, individual reviews of trainees' work
  • Assisted communities in tracking over 28,000 SOAR-assisted SSI/SSDI applications using the SOAR Online Application Tracking program

Find out more in our new infographic (or view the text alternative) and share with your community partners!
We will be highlighting successful community SOAR initiatives in our upcoming newsletters. Want us to feature your community? Tell us about it!
Submit Your Community SOAR Initiative Success

Olivia Meunier, SOAR Liaison

Welcoming New SOAR Liaison Olivia Meunier

Please extend a big SOAR welcome to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center's new SOAR Liaison, Olivia Meunier! Prior to joining the SOAR TA Center, Olivia worked as a Project Associate for SAMHSA's GAINS Center and as a SOAR Specialist in Rhode Island. In addition to her role with the SOAR TA Center, Olivia works on the GAINS Center's Supported Employment Program.
In her new role at the TA Center, she will serve as a liaison to states. She is also a subject matter expert in employment. Olivia can be reached at Welcome to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, Olivia! We are so happy to have you join us!

You May Want to Check Out These SOAR Resources

There are a number of new and updated SOAR tools you can use to enhance your SOAR applications. Bookmark these tools and add them to your SOAR toolbox!

SOAR and Coordinated Entry

Incorporating SOAR screening and referral into your Coordinated Entry System helps prioritize access to benefits assistance for those who are most vulnerable. Helping those most in need to quickly obtain income increases your ability to help them access appropriate housing.

SOAR for Adults Who Have HIV/AIDS

The SOAR curriculum focuses on individuals with serious mental illness and co-occurring disorders. However, SOAR critical components can also be used effectively for adults who also have HIV/AIDS. This article provides additional information that will be helpful when assisting this population.

SOAR for Children Who Have HIV/AIDS

Children who have HIV/AIDS often have multiple disabling conditions, such as serious mental illnesses, cognitive disorders, and other chronic physical health conditions. SSA disability benefits provide income, and health insurance, making it possible for many to gain access to housing, treatment and other supports.
Boston Leadership Academy Graduates
Graduates of the Boston Leadership Academy

Boston, Massachusetts Leadership Academy Recap

From April 26-28, 2018, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center facilitated a SOAR Leadership Academy in Boston, Massachusetts. Matt Canuteson, Abigail Kirkman, Dazara Ware, and Olivia Meunier facilitated the training. There were 27 participants representing 21 states and Washington DC (AZ, CA, HI, ID, IN, KS, MD, ME, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OR, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WA). Throughout the 3 days of training, there was enthusiastic participation and commitment to SOAR, a testament to the participants' dedication to use SOAR to achieve their goals of ending homelessness in their communities. Congratulations to our new graduates! We are excited to see you SOAR!


SOARing Over Lunch Conference Calls

May 8, 2018; 1:00 p.m. ET
The next SOARing Over Lunch Conference Call will take place May 8 at 1:00 p.m. ET! The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center hosts this series of informal monthly calls designed to help support SOAR efforts across the country. Participants can login to ask about any SOAR-related question they may have. 
Add SOARing Over Lunch to Your Calendar

SOAR Webinar Series on Completing Quality SOAR Applications

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center is hosting a webinar series on completing quality SOAR applications. This series will walk SOAR providers through two different aspects of a quality SOAR disability application—documenting work history information and using Social Security's Listings.
  • Using the Listings: June 27, 2018; 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. ET. Save the date for the next webinar in this series! More information will be released soon.
  • Understanding and Using Vocational Information for Quality SOAR Applications. This webinar, held on April 25, 2018 addressed strategies for obtaining accurate work history information. The slides and supplementary materials are now available for download.
Register for the June 27 Webinar Today!

Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog

SOAR Practitioner to SOAR TA Center Liaison
It's National Social Security Month!

Federal Updates

National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2018

Thursday, May 10, 2018; 7:00-9:30 p.m. ET
National Children's Mental Health Awareness Day 2018 is just a few days away! SAMHSA invites you to tune in to the live webcast of the Washington, DC, event on Thursday, May 10, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You also have the unique opportunity to be a part of the Awareness Day event. No matter where you live, you can join the event's town hall discussion by submitting questions about ways to make child-serving systems more trauma informed. The following participants will answer questions selected from those submitted:
  • Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
  • First Lady of Wisconsin Tonette Walker and First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper
  • Family and youth leaders and executives from the nationʹs leading professional health care organizations

Email your questions to by May 8. Please be sure to include:
  • Your first name
  • Your city and state
  • Your role in your community (e.g., parent/caregiver, health care professional, youth leader, teacher, clergy member, community leader, child welfare professional)

Choose Work SSA Blog: Skills for Living…and Working

As you transition to work, life skills, such as problem solving and decision-making, effective communication, financial management, and coping strategies become more important than ever. Many young adults age 18 through 35 are either living on their own or becoming more independent for the first time.

Release of HHS Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Action Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Action Plan, required by Section 13002 of the 21st Century Cures Act. The Action Plan includes recent and planned actions from HHS, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury related to ongoing implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 based on written comments from stakeholders and input from a public listening session held in July 2017.

Partner News

ABLE National Resource Center Announces Inaugural ABLE Advisor Group

The ABLE National Resource Center (ANRC) recently announced the launch of its inaugural ABLE Advisory Group. These 10 individuals in the first cohort consist of working-age adults with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts that have the potential to significantly increase the health, independence, and quality of life of individuals with disabilities, without jeopardizing eligibility for benefits provided through programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a very important mechanism as SOAR providers work to first help people access the benefits and then use the benefits as a launching pad for long-term recovery and financial stability. Learn about ABLE accounts.

HHRN Webinar: The Value of a Peer Workforce in the Homelessness System—Persons with Lived Experience Spotlight Series

May 23, 2018; 1:00-2:15 p.m. ET
The third webinar of the Person with Lived Experiences Spotlight Series will focus on a topic requested by respondents of the 2017 Spotlight Series evaluation. This webinar is hosted by SAMHSA's Homeless and Housing Resource Network (HHRN). The May 23 webinar will feature three members of the peer workforce talking about their experiences working in the homelessness system, along with the transformative roles peers play in supporting housing and reducing homelessness. Learn insights into client service strategies from someone who has walked in their shoes.  
Register Today
Now available from HHRN! Persons with Lived Experiences Spotlight Series archive recordings:

Funding Corner

SAMHSA Funding Opportunity: Assertive Community Treatment Grants

Applications Due: May 29, 2018
SAMHSA is accepting applications for its Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) grants. The purpose of the ACT grants are is to establish, expand, and maintain ACT programs. The ACT model provides around-the-clock support in the form of teams who are available to respond to a home or other setting and avoid crises caused by the symptoms of serious mental illness (SMI). SAMHSA expects this grant program will improve behavioral health outcomes by reducing the rates of hospitalization and death for people with SMI, and that the program will also reduce the rates of substance use, homelessness, and involvement with the criminal justice system among people with SMI.
Learn How You Can Integrate SOAR Into Your Application!