PRA’s Alphabet Soup: S-Z

This is part three of the Alphabet Soup blog. Read part one to learn the A through I acronyms, and part two to learn the J through R acronyms!

Our work at PRA is filled with acronyms – we have one for just about every program, practice, and training, which can be challenging for newcomers who are trying to keep up with the verbal Ping-Pong in the office.

Frequently, acronyms do not transfer over to the work of a different division, or even project; so, deciphering the letters can be a challenging task. We’ve conferred across PRA to find the most common acronyms used in the office, and listed them alphabetically with a small overview of the information. Now you have a handy reference tool to get you through any PRA staff meeting!

  • SAMHSA – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
    • The agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation.
  • SBIRT – Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral to Treatment
    • A comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with or at risk for developing substance use disorders.
  • SEP – Supported Employment Program
    • This program seeks to increase evidence-based, supported employment programs for individuals with co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.
  • SIM – Sequential Intercept Model
    • This model presents a framework for communities to examine the cross-systems “flow” of persons with mental health and co-occurring disorders as they come into contact with the criminal justice and behavioral health systems.
  • SMI – Serious mental illness
    • Serious mental illness among people ages 18 and older is defined at the federal level as having, at any time during the past year, a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • SMVF – Service Members, Veterans, and their Families
    • Often used when referring to the SAMHSA’s SMVF TA Center, which works with states and territories to strengthen their behavioral health systems for SMVF.
  • SOAR – SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery
    • Often used when referring to the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, which is designed to increase access to the disability income benefit programs administered by SSA for eligible adults who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness, medical impairment, and/or a co-occurring substance use disorder.
  • SRO – School Resource Officer
    • Police officers who work in school settings.
  • SSA – Social Security Administration
    • SSA deliversSocial Security services that meet the changing needs of the public.
  • SSDI – Social Security Disability Insurance
    • SSDI, administered by SSA,pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
  • SSI – Supplemental Security Income
    • SSI, administered by SSA,pays benefits based on financial need.
  • SSVF – Supportive Services for Veteran Families
    • This program provides grants to organizations that provide supportive services to very-low income Veteran families living in transitional or permanent housing.
  • SUDs – Substance Use Disorders
    • SUDs occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
  • SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
    • A planning exercise to help a group evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a particular idea or project.
  • TA – Technical Assistance
    • Technical assistance is targeted support to an organization/agency/group with a specific development need or gap.
  • TTT – Train the Trainer
    • This training model coaches individuals on the aspects of a specific training program. These individuals will then go on to train individuals in their communities on that program.
  • VA – U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
    • The VA fulfills President Lincoln’s promise “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan” by serving and honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans.

Are there other acronyms that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Behavioral health, Benefits, CFC, Co-occurring disorders, Criminal justice, Crisis intervention, Disability, FCN TA Center, GAINS, Homelessness & housing, Jails & Prisons, Juvenile justice, Mental Illness, NCMHJJ, PAW, Peer, Recovery supports, Sequential Intercept Mapping, SMVF, SOAR, Training & Technical Assistance, Treatment courts, Wellness    

The views expressed by the blog post author are their own and do not necessarily represent the official views of Policy Research Associates, Inc.

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