Kristin Lupfer

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

Brené Brown at NatCon 2018

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

Flock of birds

At the SOAR team meeting back in March 2012 we started brainstorming ways that we could engage with new communities and expand SOAR across the states in which we were already working.  We decided that the already existing HUD Continua of Care (CoC) structure would be a great way to reach out.  We released an… Read More

Flock of birds

There were a lot of factors that influenced my decision to become a social worker. It was in part my hope to affect real change in the lives of the people who had been forgotten.  I am grateful that my work with the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center gives me hope, gives our communities hope and… Read More

We’re excited to announce the arrival of a new way of keeping track of your SOAR-assisted SSA disability applications.  It’s web-based, easy to use and can be accessed anywhere.  Of course, I’m talking about the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center’s Online Application Tracking Program, also known as OAT.  So far 25 states and 300 different agencies… Read More