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Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) Major Activities

Learn more about BRSS TACS funding opportunities, events, and other activities.

BRSS TACS Funding Opportunities

Each year, BRSS TACS issues subcontracts, on a competitive basis, to peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations, states, territories, and tribes to support efforts to promote recovery and improve collaboration across stakeholders.

2016 Peer Education Efforts Regarding the Implementation and Support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

The overall purpose of the subcontracts is to increase peer-run organizations/recovery community organizations’ (PRO/RCOs) knowledge of and participation in ACA-initiated health care activities in their state, district, territory, or federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribal jurisdiction.

Subcontractors will engage with existing networks or, where appropriate, form new networks to increase knowledge of healthcare policies and the related changes in the health care systems in their state, district, territory, or federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native tribal jurisdiction.

Networks can include PRO/RCOs, service and healthcare providers, governmental agencies, and other entities that contribute to or benefit from the implementation of the ACA. The collaboration on this initiative may begin with two or more PRO/RCOs submit joint—rather than competing—capabilities statements. Subcontractors can select from one of two activities:

  • Develop and disseminate a guide to ACA implementation efforts undertaken by PRO/RCOs; state, territorial, or tribal governmental entities; healthcare and social service providers; and others in the subcontractor’s state, territory, or federally recognized tribal jurisdiction. The guide may take the form of a hard copy, a web-based resource, or a combination of both approaches. The guide will include information on how efforts to implement and support the ACA address the needs of people with mental and/or substance use disorders. This includes describing outreach and enrollment strategies that focus specifically on these individuals. Projects may also provide an index or resources to help enrolled individuals access health care and supportive services.
  • In states or territories that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, subcontractors may highlight the impact of Medicaid expansion on individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders. Educational materials on Medicaid expansion may take the form of a hard copy, a web-based resource, or a combination of both approaches. Information will be provided on resources and tools to assist Medicaid beneficiaries. Subcontractors will find it useful to provide information on state Medicaid waivers and changes to reimbursement and other payment mechanisms that facilitate integration of care and increase access to behavioral and other healthcare and recovery supports, including peer support services. For example, the per-member fee paid to some health homes has increased opportunities for peer specialists, recovery coaches, and others to join interdisciplinary care teams.

Up to six subcontracts in the amount of $40,000 each will be to PRO/RCOs in states, territories, and tribal jurisdictions. The period of performance is six months, beginning on March 1, 2016, and ending on August 31, 2016. BRSS TACS will provide guidance and support on project activities during the subcontract period, including convening a learning community to exchange ideas, resources, challenges, and lessons learned.

Capabilities statements must be received by 8:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 22, 2016. Review the Request for Capabilities Statements (DOCX | 66 KB).

Access the previously recorded BRSS-TACS Informational Webinar for the 2016 Peer Education Efforts Regarding the Implementation and Support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Original air date: December 26, 2015.

For questions about the 2016 BRSS TACS Peer ACA Education Efforts, contact Rebecca Stouff of the Center for Social Innovation at (617) 467-6014, ext. 252, or  

2016 Collegiate Wellness and Recovery Capacity-building Opportunity

The overall purpose of the 2016 Collegiate Wellness and Recovery Capacity-building Opportunity is to promote and support capacity building, outreach, education, engagement, collaboration, training, and communications among Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) and Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRCs), in order to increase supports for college students with behavioral health conditions. Subcontractors will work within their universities and local student communities to carry out one or a combination of the following:

  •  Expand the reach of CRPs/CRCs within their collegiate communities by engaging more students in need of wellness and recovery supports; reducing negative perceptions about people with mental and/or substance use disorders, including co-occurring disorders; and promoting health and wellness through positive communications and events. Activities might include targeted public health messaging, outreach and engagement activities, and other efforts to increase access to programming and environments that promote wellness and recovery among the student body.
  • Increase the access of CRPs/CRCs to recovery supports through strategic partnerships with community-based peer-run organizations (PROs), recovery community organizations (RCOs), and collegiate health and student services departments. Subcontractors may cultivate partnerships with PROs, RCOs, collegiate health and student services departments, and relevant community-based resources that will advance peer involvement and engagement while increasing recovery supports. Activities may include increasing the availability of peer recovery supports for students in both their collegiate and living environments, training and supervising young adult peer leaders, engaging young adult peer advisory councils that contribute to recovery-focused activities for young adults, or developing sustainability plans for integrating recovery-focused peer support into existing student services.
  • Expand the reach of strategic partnerships with existing student services centers to broaden support for students in recovery from mental and/or substance use disorders. Activities may facilitate the collaboration of PROs, RCOs, and campus-based health and student services, under the umbrella of a collegiate recovery program or community, in order to integrate peer engagement in the provision of behavioral health recovery and wellness supports throughout the collegiate environment. Activities might also support capacity and infrastructure development, the use of recovering peers in collegiate environments to enhance outreach and engagement, the creation of safe harbors for students with behavioral health conditions to access recovery supports, or increased awareness and safe access for students interested in learning more about addressing or maintaining their behavioral health recovery.
  • Enhance student behavioral health through the creation of multiple pathways that encourage wellness and recovery. Activities should help to develop or further augment a comprehensive array of peer recovery supports and services that promote diverse pathways to recovery for students with behavioral health conditions, including but not limited to peer recovery coaching; peer support groups; all-recovery groups; life-skills training; employment coaching; health and wellness activities, such as Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) services; recovery planning; drug-free socialization activities; and supports.

The Center for Social Innovation will issue up to seven subcontracts in the amount of $40,000 each. Capabilities statements must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. EST on February 3, 2016. Review the Request for Capabilities Statement (DOCX | 75 KB).

2016 BRSS TACS Policy Academy

The 2016 Policy Academy is focused on building and enhancing sustainable recovery-oriented systems and services. The Policy Academy will assist eligible states, territories, and tribal governments to build their capacity by bringing together stakeholders and change agents from different backgrounds and agencies to build communication, remove barriers, and develop action plans.

Development of recovery-oriented integrated crisis prevention, response, and postvention capacity within mental and substance use disorder service systems will be emphasized as a focus. SAMHSA seeks proposals to develop or enhance integrated crisis prevention and response capabilities that can effectively serve the full range of people with or in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions. Proposals must respond to the needs and goals of both people with/in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions. Activities could include but are not limited to peer support, including recovery coaching/services and support from peer specialists; warm lines to critical services; peer bridger programs, recovery community organizations, and peer-run organizations; peer respite programs; advance directives; Wellness and Recovery Action Planning (WRAP); employment and housing, and a range of other services and supports. Other examples include relapse and overdose prevention, response, and postvention; mobile outreach teams; contingency planning to respond to natural disasters or other events that can disrupt access to services and medication; and face-to-face training and education, webinars, or links to webinars on crisis principles.

Eligible states, territories and federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes and tribal organizations are encouraged to submit a capabilities statement. Please note that past participants in the SAMHSA BRSS TACS Policy Academy are not eligible.

Five teams were selected to participate in the 2016 Policy Academy. Teams will have access to expert facilitation and support and will be eligible to receive a $75,000 fixed-price subcontract to help support action plan implementation upon timely completion of an approved action plan.

The submission period for this funding opportunity is currently closed. Visit the BRSS TACS Funding Spotlight to learn more about the selected organizations.

Expert Panels

BRSS TACS Expert Panels seek to highlight key areas of interest in the effort to promote recovery supports in States, Territories, and Tribes. Expert panels bring together content leaders, researchers, service providers and administrators, families, and people in recovery to share knowledge, point to gaps in understanding, and develop recommendations for future activities.

Learn More

National Symposium

Through the Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) organized the National Leadership Summit on Youth Recovery as part of SAMHSA’s commitment to engaging young people in developing policies and practices that promote recovery for youth and young adults. A total of 106 participants from across the United States, which included 86 youth and young adult leaders from prevention, substance use disorder recovery, and mental health recovery. Additional participants included government officials, leaders in the recovery movement, and family advocates. The Summit included innovative methods to engage the participants, including an Innovations Expo, questions on the wall to elicit discussion, and the use of a live Twitter feed with the #youthrecover hashtag. The use of social media allowed participants to stay engaged in multiple ways throughout the Summit. Over the course of the 2-day summit, there were approximately 900 tweets by 169 contributors using the #youthrecover hashtag; these tweets reached an estimated 128,111 unique Twitter accounts/users with over 1,000,000 impressions. View the report from the National Leadership Summit on Youth Recovery (PDF | 15.5 MB), held August 5-6, 2013 in Bethesda MD.

Shared Decision-Making Tools

Through the BRSS TACS project, SAMHSA is creating shared decision making (SDM) tools. Shared decision making tools are an emerging best practice in behavioral and physical health. Shared decision making (SDM) helps people have informed, meaningful, and collaborative discussions with providers about their treatment and services. It involves decision support tools and resources that provide objective information and opportunities to weigh that information against personal preferences and values. These tools help empower people with information, encourage active participation in decision-making about treatment, and support dialogue between service providers and those they serve.

To see another SAMHSA shared decision-making tool, visit: Considering the Role of Antipsychotic Medications in your Recovery Plan.

Resources and Tools

Resources, including webinars, online learning tools, and a Recovery Resource Library, are updated frequently. Find resources on the Resources and Tools page or in the Recovery Resource Library at the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 02/23/2016