Mono Bar
Main page content
STAR Awards

STAR Awards


SAMHSA is now accepting nominations for the SAMHSA Trailblazers in Advancing Recovery (STAR) Awards. The STAR Awards honor leaders in recovery with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use conditions including youth and family members whose lives have also been affected. In addition, the STAR Awards recognize organizations for exceptional efforts to promote recovery and elevate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. SAMHSA will host an award ceremony on September 24, 2024 to celebrate those who have significantly contributed to raising awareness about mental health and/or substance use recovery and wellness. There will be no monetary awards distributed.

The STAR Awards are organized by the SAMHSA Program to Advance Recovery Knowledge (SPARK), a program of SAMHSA's Office of Recovery (OR), with support from SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT).

STAR Awards Ceremony

Join the STAR Awards Ceremony to help us celebrate recovery, resilience, innovation, and equity by weaving together stories of triumph and progress.

During the ceremony, SAMHSA’s Gallery of Hope will showcase a virtual exhibition featuring works by talented artists in recovery.

Save the Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2024, 1 - 3 p.m. ET

Award Categories

Nominations for STAR Awards will be accepted in the following categories:

  • Equity Champion of the Year
  • Young Adult Leader of the Year
  • Peer Support Worker of the Year
  • Advocate of the Year
  • Family Leader of the Year
  • Wellness Champion of the Year
  • Innovator of the Year

All categories are open to individual or organization nominations! See below for information on eligibility, verification, and review processes.


Nominations must meet the following requirements:

  • Individuals and organizations may be nominated for noteworthy contributions and accomplishments in advancing recovery-oriented mental health and/or substance use services and supports between January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023.
  • Nominations must succinctly identify up to four (4) examples of documented contributions and outcomes of the individual or organizational nominee.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Nominations in multiple categories will not be allowed.
  • Group nominations are not allowed unless they are from a unit or group of individuals within an organization.
  • SAMHSA employees, SPARK staff, and members of the SPARK National Faculty Steering Committee are not eligible for nomination.


  • Individuals nominated must be leaders in recovery who have lived experience with mental health and/or substance use conditions, including youth and family members whose lives have been affected.


  • Organizations eligible for nomination include peer-run, recovery community, family-led, youth- and young adult-led organizations focused on mental health and substance use conditions and offering recovery support services such as peer support, advocacy, housing, employment, wellness and more.
  • Group nominations are allowed for a unit or group of individuals within an organization.
  • Eligible organizations must have demonstrated commitment to promoting equitable and inclusive access to wellness and recovery supports for individuals with mental health and/or substance use conditions.
  • Nominated organizations must have provided recovery services and supports from January 1, 2023 - December 31, 2023, and been in operation for at least one full calendar year as of December 31, 2023.

Nomination Submission Process

  • Nominators must ensure completion of the appropriate form corresponding to their nominated award category. Nominations should highlight the nominee's contributions, suitability for the award, and impact within the category.
  • Nominators are responsible for ensuring that nominee information is correct and accurate.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applications are due Thursday, July 18, 2024, by 8:00 p.m. ET.
  • All completed nomination applications should be emailed to with the subject line "STAR Awards" for submission.

Nomination Review Process

  • SPARK staff will screen nominations for completeness and verify that nominated organizations have been in operation for at least one year.
  • Winners will be selected by a panel of people with lived experience of mental health and/or substance use conditions, and in-depth knowledge of recovery-oriented systems.
  • SAMHSA employees will not participate in the review process.

Nomination Applications

Questions? Call SPARK at 781-247-1724 or email us.

Last Updated
Last Updated: 06/25/2024
Last Updated