Founded in 1984, STARS began providing student assistance services at one school site in Nashville.
In 1988, STARS expanded from a single-issue student assistance program (SAP), focused on alcohol and drug abuse, to a broad-brush SAP addressing youth mental health, social and emotional issues.
In 2006, STARS expanded to grades K-12 when Kids on the Block, the nationally known puppet program, successfully merged with STARS. That same year, the Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee’s Youth, Alive and Free program also merged with STARS.
In 2008, STARS formalized a strategic partnership with Hazelden Publishing, the leading publisher of evidence-based programs and curricula for youth substance-use prevention and violence prevention. This partnership makes STARS Tennessee’s go-to resource for Hazelden’s best-selling and award-winning prevention programs.
In 2009, STARS and the Oasis Center opened the Youth Opportunity Center, which houses eight nonprofit organizations that work together to assist youth.
In 2011, STARS adopted three programs of the former Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee: Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA), Recovery Support Services, and the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Program, which targets a population that is statistically more likely to have alcohol- and substance-abuse issues.
In 2012, STARS Student Assistance Program is recognized by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Practices & Programs (NREPP).
In 2015, STARS launched the new Enhanced Student Assistance Program (ESAP), DHH Literacy and KOB Literacy programs.
In 2017, STARS began a new Opioid-misuse Prevention Program.
In 2019, CARF International announced that STARS has been accredited for a period of three years. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.
Today, STARS provides award-winning, evidence-based programs and services in the Middle Tennessee area. In addition, STARS provides nation-wide training and consultation services on various mental health, social and emotional issues.
STARS supports young people in overcoming social and emotional barriers through creative and innovative programs centering on prevention, intervention, treatment, training and compassion. , to .
To learn more about STARS current plans, please review our latest Strategic Plan, which is updated every three years.