star center toolbox
The STAR Center provides Support, Technical Assistance and Resources to assist consumer-operated and consumer-supporter programs in meeting the needs of
under-served populations. Specifically, the STAR Center’s focus areas are cultural competence and diversity in the context of mental health
recovery and consumer self-help and self-empowerment. Although we are a national technical assistance center, the following regions have been designated
as STAR Center focus regions/states: Washington DC, Rhode Island, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
In pursuit of this mission we offer a broad array of technical assistance to consumer operated and peer run programs, including technical assistance materials
and tools, informative newsletters and listservs, national teleconferences, consumer networking and resource sharing opportunities, and support in the form of
mini-grant awards for creative recovery-based activities, scholarships for Alternatives conferences.
Alternatives 2013 Update: Scholarships now Available!
The National Empowerment Center has announced that the Alternatives 2013 scholarship application is now available.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hopes to provide financial support to current and past consumers of mental health services to attend the Alternatives Conference.
The application deadline is July 22, 2013. Answers to most scholarship questions and the application are available at This Link
Hotel Registration Begins Now
Another great way to keep up to date is to join the Alternatives Conference Announcements Facebook page at
The National Empowerment Center has proudly announced Alternatives 2013. The national mental health conference organized by and for those in the mental health consumer/survivor/peer recovery movement will be held at the Hyatt regency in Austin, Texas, from Wednesday, December 4, to Saturday, December 7, 2013.
Famous for its lively creative scene and progressive social climate, Austin is a fitting location for a conference focused on revitalizing ourselves and our communities. Austin's friendly accepting culture of individual expression has made it a vibrant and eclectic creative center and haven for people of all walks of life.
The theme of Alternatives 2013 is Building Inclusive Communities: Valuing Every Voice.
Our individual and collective wellness is enhanced through creating caring, resilient, and strong communities that honor and embrace diversity. This year's theme reflects the importance of valuing each individual as we build inclusive communities. Alternatives 2013 will serve as a catalyst for reenergizing our communities by providing opportunities to share skills and information about innovative peer-delivered supports, community-building initiatives, mental health recovery, wellness, and systems change.
Presentation submissions are due June 28 and you should be able to submit online by the end of the week at:
Our Strength and Support: Celebrating National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month
A panel of inspiring presenters will share their perspectives on mental health in minority communities, emphasizing the strengths of our cultural communities to come together to find support and carry a banner of hope for all individuals touched by mental illness.
The Consumer Operated Service - Side by Side video is up on SAMHSA’s YouTube Channel. The video discusses the origins and evolution of the evidence based practice of Consumer Operated Services, the proven positive outcomes, and the overall benefits to consumers, supporters, and the overall mental health community.
Boston Marathon Tragedy: Providing Psychological First Aid to Those Affected
This mental health awareness toolkit provides first responders-whether they are disaster response workers, parents, caregivers, or teachers-with specific tips for responding effectively to people in the wake of a disaster. The information is meant to help alleviate painful emotions and promote hope and healing.Get the Disaster Response Kit
Crisis Counseling via Phone or Text
Call 1-800-985-5990 | Text "TalkWithUs" to 66746
Join the conversation on the SAMHSA's GAINS
SAMHSA's GAINS Center's Virtual Learning Community is an online forum established to foster conversation, information sharing, and dialogue among the various SAMHSA-funded grant projects supported by the GAINS Center and the larger behavioral health and criminal justice communities.
For the SAMHSA grantee programs, this learning community provides a venue to discuss project management, peer involvement, implementation, obstacles, and innovation with one another.
For others passionate about behavioral health and criminal justice, this community provides a space to share ideas on topics such as trauma-informed care, and obtain and access a variety of resources that may improve the way you do business.
To join the GAINS Center Virtual Learning Community, please visit Virtual Learning Center Link.
Star Center News
STAR Center independent consultant Juan Velez Court and Angel Morales of the Puerto Rico PAIMI (Protection and Advocacy for
Individuals with Mental Illness) program visited a local Puerto Rico radio station on April 15th to share information regarding
a reasonable accommodations event taking place on April 25th, at the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey precinct. "El Acomodo es un
Derecho" is an annual commitment by PAIMI's consultative council to deliver free information regarding mental health consumer
rights to professors, students, clinicians and any other member of the community that supports those with a mental illness.
Webinars and Teleconferences:
Latest Star Center Resource:
Find resources by community:
Links to resources in languages
other than English.
Visit our event archive for audio files, transcripts, and reports on previous STAR Center events.