Division of Recovery Support Services

Offices of Consumer Affairs (OCAs) were first established in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Only two offices existed in 1990, but by 1993 there were 14. Today the vast majority of State Mental Health Authorities (SMHAs) have established an Office of Consumer Affairs or Recovery Services in various stages of development and with various titles. In 1995 the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) within the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), established an Office of Consumer Affairs to promote and facilitate meaningful peer participation in all aspects of federal programs.

With the assistance of NASMHPD in 1993, directors of OCAs founded The National Association of Consumer/Survivor Mental Health Administrators (NAC/SMHA). The organization was made up of the then current directors who led the OCAs in their states. For over 25 years NAC/SMHA provided opportunities for directors to meet and discuss issues, plans, and practices, as well as opportunities for networking and peer support.

NAC/SMHA had a long history of providing expertise and guidance to NASMHPD on policies and publications such as the Mortality and Morbidity Medical Directors’ Technical Report, the Smoking Cessation Toolkit, and various other Peer Support resources.

When NAC/SMHA was founded, there was general OCA consensus not to be a formal part of NASMHPD, but to remain a separate supporting organization through a MOU. In the past decade, the need for the OCA representatives to be a separate part of NASMHPD has diminished as the number of leaders with lived-experience within SMHAs nationwide has grown and their positions have become more integrated within executive leadership. 

Following this new state of affairs, the members of NAC/SMHA reorganized to become the NASMHPD Division of Recovery Support Services in the late spring of 2019. NASMHPD’s need for expertise and guidance from those with lived-experience remains the same. Through this new division, NASMHPD will be able to enhance and continue its long history of ensuring that the voices of those with lived-experience are promoted, heard, and considered in policy, planning and practice development.

Executive Committee (as of August, 2019)

Chairperson1/1/24 – 12/31/25Amanda SaakeNY
Vice Chairperson1/1/24 – 12/31/25Kelly StaplesME
Secretary1/1/24 – 12/31/24MJ ClausenOK
Member-at-Large1/1/24 – 12/31/25Elsa WardCT
Past-Chairperson1/1/22 – 12/31/23Alexia WolfeDE
Regional Coordinators
West1/1/24 – 12/31/24Mo BaileyWA
Midwest1/1/24 – 12/31/24Nanette LarsonIL
Northeast1/1/24 – 12/31/25Treasure GallagherPA
South1/1/24 – 12/31/25Lisa RaganTN



Amanda Saake (NY)


NASMHPD Division Administrators:

Amy Brinkley

Recovery Support Systems Coordinator, NASMHPD




Justin Volpe

Peer Support Coordinator