SOAR State Plan
In 2012, Mississippi Department of Mental Health (MDMH) created a Division of Community Living and hired a Director for this new Division. It was decided that both PATH and SOAR fit within the scope of this new division. MDMH worked with other team members in Mississippi (MDMH, SSA, DDS, MS State Hospital, PRA, PATH grantees) to draft a plan for implementing SOAR in Mississippi.
SOAR Plan basics
Be more strategic as to who needs to be SOAR-trained
Identify/clarify the key players
Determine where SOAR fits best in the Mississippi service delivery system
SOAR Techniques in Mississippi
Following the development of a basic Mississippi SOAR Plan in 2012, MDMH identified need to incorporate SOAR into Mississippi’s mental health system to be included in the overall MDMH Recovery initiative. A key component of Mississippi’s SOAR plan is the implementation of SOAR in the State psychiatric hospitals while individuals are receiving inpatient services that will lead to discharge back into the community. SOAR trainings were conducted and MS State Hospital (MSH) was identified as the initial site for addition of SOAR to the hospital’s Social Services Department. In 2014, MS Department of Mental Health received a SAMHSA CABHI-States grant award. Part of the Mississippi CABHI plan includes implementation of SOAR into the state’s comprehensive mental health community services plan.
Inpatient Psychiatric Facility SOAR Techniques Used in Mississippi
The SOAR Specialist in the Social Services Department at MSH collaborates with the Field Office of Social Security and with the Disability Determination Local Offices to facilitate the initial SSDI/SSI Claims for individuals receiving inpatient services. If a benefits application reached the Denial/Reconsideration/Hearing Level, the MSH SOAR Specialist actively participates in the process of resolving claims issues at these levels. The SOAR Specialist maintains contact with the individual SOAR applicant while they are hospitalized and continues to follow-up and correspond with the individual and their community service provider following discharge regarding approvals or non-approvals as needed.