SOAR Voices


SOAR Turns Ten!

By Deborah Dennis, former Project Director of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center


Liaison Spotlight: Pamela Heine

Name: Pamela Heine

Title: Senior Project Associate

Pam Heine

Specialty area: Appeals

Location: Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey

How long have you been working for the SOAR TA Center?  3.5 years

What states do you work with?


Paying it Forward with SOAR

By Amy Hassa of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey in Atlantic County


Poverty Is Bad For Mental Health - No, Really, It Is!

Spoiler Alert: Readers of this article will learn that research proves it is difficult to recover from behavioral health disorders if you have no money!

Having started my career being a front-line peer substance abuse and mental health worker, one of the first things I noticed was that both treatment fields were centered on goals that did not consider the major elephant in the room -- almost all of the people we were serving were living in poverty!


Liaison Spotlight: Abigail Kirkman

Name: Abigail Kirkman

Title: Project Associate

Abigail Lemon

Specialty area: Transition-age youth

Location: Delmar, NY

How long have you been working for the SOAR TA Center?


Top 10 SOAR Myths Debunked!

Through our work at the SOAR TA Center, we’ve come across some interesting (and sometimes funny) misunderstandings of SOAR terminology and process. We wanted to set the record straight, and correct some of the most common “myths” of SOAR.


SOAR Critical Components

One of the key elements of the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery (SOAR) approach to completing Social Security Administration (SSA) disability benefits applications is the use of five “critical components.” These components of application assistance include:


A South Carolina Success Story

By Beth Argent, Benefits Specialist/Homeless Outreach at the Mental Illness Recovery Center, Inc. (MIRCI) in South Carolina


Using Students to Expand the Reach of Rhode Island’s SOAR Program

By Megan Smith, Rhode Island SOAR Program 

Over the past few months, Rhode Island's SOAR program has expanded its reach by training and providing ongoing support to local university students acting as SOAR case managers. While this initiative is still in its pilot phase, it has demonstrated itself to be of benefit to all involved. Utilizing students allows the program to serve a greater number of clients, offers a timely and positive process for applicants, and provides a unique learning opportunity for students.


SOAR & Criminal Justice

Just imagine going to bed knowing that your bills are paid, your health care is covered, and that you have no worries of what you will eat the next day, only to awake with none of that certainty.  Then, imagine that in addition to these uncertainties, you are now required to enroll in and pay for classes that will help to “rehabilitate” you.  You must also find a job, although the likelihood of getting one that will sustain housing is bleak, especially when you have previously struggled to maintain employment.



The views, opinions, and content expressed in SOAR Voices do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors.

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