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SAMHSA Program to Advance Recovery Knowledge


Equity. Recovery. Lived Experience.

SAMHSA’s Program to Advance Recovery Knowledge (SPARK) is operated by SAMHSA’s Office of Recovery with support from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to advance recovery-oriented systems of care across the nation for people with mental health and/or substance use conditions. The SPARK is a national technical assistance center to support transformational, recovery-oriented change for every state, tribal, and territorial behavioral health system and promote equitable access to recovery supports in the United States. SPARK collaborations include people in recovery from mental health and substance use conditions, their family members and caregivers, as well as state, tribal, and local authorities.

SPARK Services

  • Support to implement and sustain recovery-oriented systems of care
  • Consultation and strategies to advance equitable access to recovery supports and services
  • Organizational and leadership development
  • Infrastructure and capacity development
  • Other consultation to advance recovery-oriented supports, services, and systems

SPARK provides training and technical assistance (TA) to expand recovery supports and services in states, tribes, territories, and communities.

Upcoming Events

Time: 12:30 - 2 p.m. ET


Join us for the next event in the quarterly SPARKing Recovery series on August 27, 2024 from 12:30 - 2 p.m. ET. During this event, SPARK and our local, state, and federal partners will offer presentations and dialogue on peer specialist workforce development with a focus on role integrity, retention, and quality. If you would like to request accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Lee Locke-Hardy at

Past Events

Watch a recording of this June 28, 2024 event (1 hour, 2 minutes).

In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, SAMHSA’s Office of Recovery hosted an event with support via the OR’s SAMHSA Program to Advance Recovery Knowledge (SPARK) to share how psychiatric advance directives (PAD) can promote community living! This event described the benefits and challenges of completing a PAD, highlighted the role peers can play in advancing PAD usage, and shared tools and innovations. Provider, advocate, and peer perspectives were included.

We invited people with mental health conditions, their families, peer support specialists, and health and behavioral health professionals—including state and county providers—who want to learn more about psychiatric advance directives. We provided opportunities for questions and answers and to connect with others around the country.

A psychiatric or mental health advance directive (PAD) is a legal tool that allows a person with mental health and co-occurring substance use condition(s) to state their preferences for treatment and services, particularly during crisis situations, and can protect a person’s autonomy and ability to self-direct care.


  • Ira Burnim, Senior Counsel, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Rayshell Chambers, MPA, Painted Brain
  • Elisha Coffey, MSW, CPS, Vice President of States Advocacy, Mental Health America
  • Matthew Federici, MS, CPRP, CEO, Copeland Center for Wellness & Recovery
  • Neeraj Gandotra, MD, Chief Medical Officer, SAMHSA
  • Harvey Rosenthal, CEO, The Alliance for Rights and Recovery
  • Kiran Sahota, Concepts Forward Consulting

SAMHSA’s Office of Recovery convened SPARK and local, state, and federal partners on Peer Specialist Workforce Development including growth, specialization, and emerging practice trends on May 22, 2024. Watch a recording of this event (1 hour, 29 minutes).

SPARK Resource Center

Access the SPARK Resource Center which includes current information focused on equitable recovery supports including recovery-oriented care, recovery supports and services, and recovery-oriented systems for people with mental health/substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.

Free Training & Technical Assistance

People and organizations working and volunteering to support recovery can request information, resources, training, and consultation about goals, ideas, and challenges that you have. We respond to many requests virtually and in a timely manner. Learn more and read examples of possible training and technical assistance.

Contact SPARK

For any questions about SPARK and our work, email or call us at 781-247-1724

Connect with SPARK

Subscribe to SPARK’s e-newsletter to receive information about training and technical assistance, upcoming events and webinars, new products and publications, and other updates and opportunities.

SPARK Partners


SPARK helps to embed recovery-oriented approaches in behavioral health systems and address systemic inequities that disproportionately impact access to recovery supports and services for underserved and under-resourced populations and communities. 

SPARK forges partnerships with all people, families, and communities impacted by mental health, substance use, and behavioral health conditions to support recovery, resiliency, and wellness.

SPARK Partners

SPARK is led by C4 Innovations with Faces & Voices of Recovery, Alliance for Rights and Recovery (formerly NYAPRS), and National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. Additional partners include the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Center for Applied Research Solutions, and Advocates for Human Potential, along with a national faculty and steering committee and other expert consultants.

Learn more about Recovery and Recovery Support and Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy.

Last Updated
Last Updated: 01/30/2024
Last Updated