Kristin Lupfer

In Therapy and Thriving

Fifteen years ago, when I was just starting social work school, one of my professors recommended that we should all see a therapist, that we needed to know what it was like for our future clients, and maybe it would be good for us too. I was skeptical. I wasn’t going to be a clinician.… Read More


Iron on ironing board

We all talk about cultural competence. It is part of our professional development and values. But what does it mean and how do we really put cultural competence into practice? One way to operationalize cultural competence is by modifying Evidence-based Practices (EBPs). I am reminded how cultural differences can have an impact across the spectrum… Read More


SOAR Child Curriculum

Over the course of the past year, we have been developing the SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum. It has been a challenging and rewarding undertaking.  SOAR for Children is going to be an incredible addition to the work of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center and an important resource for the field. The staff of the… Read More


Blown dandelion

As we kick off the 10th year of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, I am reminded and encouraged of the incredible impact the SOAR initiative has on individual lives and communities. I get goosebumps when I hear about the ways that SOAR spreads like a good pollinator. Through a wonderful partnership with the Grand Challenges… Read More


White cloth-covered book on a wooden table

Bryan Stevenson has written a painful and powerful book, Just Mercy, chronicling his creation of the Equal Justice Initiative and his (and others’) fight for justice and redemption. The PRA Cultural Competence Committee selected this book for our Spring Book Club. The consensus after our book club discussion was that we were all grateful to… Read More


I had the privilege to attend NatCon18, the annual conference of the National Council on Behavioral Health. The conference is busy. The agenda and hallways are packed. There was an interesting juxtaposition playing out in those convention center halls. Plenary speaker after plenary speaker spoke about the plague of loneliness. Meanwhile, over 5,000 conference attendees… Read More


School Desk

I have always really loved learning. My mom was an elementary school teacher and I grew up surrounded by ceiling-high shelves of books. I truly enjoyed college and graduate school, and the idea of going back for more is always in the back of my mind (raising two children and working full-time pushes that a… Read More


Pink, Yellow, and Orange Cake with stars sprinkles

This post originally appeared on the SOAR Voices blog. We have been collecting SOAR outcomes for 11 years now and as tedious as data collection can seem, it never gets old. Every application, every approval, every dollar saved, and cost reimbursed represents a life changed, a system improved, and a difference made. I look at… Read More


Coffee Shop

I had the great opportunity to attend SAMHSA’s Homeless Programs Branch Grantee conference this past August 15-17. It felt so much like a family reunion because the conference brought together so many people united around the same purpose and so many people that I have known for years, feel forever connected to but don’t get… Read More


Yoga - RS Division Retreat

It was a last-minute substitution for a long and carefully planned event.  Disappointment over the cancellation quickly faded into gratitude for the experience we all had together at our last Recovery Supports (RS) Division Retreat. On February 17, 2016, 18 of us participated in a 1-hour yoga class at 365 FIT next door to our… Read More


Flock of birds

In observance of national Social Work Month this March, I have been thinking about what it means to me to be a social worker. Every time someone asks me “what do you do?” I hesitate and have an internal debate. Do I tell them that I am a “social worker” and let them assume that I… Read More


Photo: Clasped Hands by Rhoda Baer for National Cancer Institute, an agency part of the National Institutes of Health What do ALGEE and a koala bear have to do with mental health? I spent 5 days in Charlotte, NC learning just what a difference they both can make.   Mental Health First Aid USA is an interactive 12-hour… Read More