The START Model was developed and implemented in 1988 by Dr. Joan B. Beasley and her team to provide community-based crisis intervention for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health needs. The model is evidence-informed and utilizes a national database. It is a person-centered, solutions-focused approach that employs positive psychology and other evidence-based practices.  START Stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment.

News & Stories

NCSS Approved for $4.86 Million in Research Funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

August 16, 2021 - The funding will support a 5-year study on the evaluation of telehealth services on mental health outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Learn More About this Project

START Model Overview

Featured Resource

IDD-MH Prescriber Guidelines

These guidelines offer an overview of integrated health and psychopharmacological guidelines in the treatment of patients with IDD and ASD. This project was made possible with funding from the WITH Foundation.

View the IDD-MH Prescriber Guidelines

START Documentary Film

National Center for START Services

The National Center for START Services is an initiative that works to strengthen efficiencies and service outcomes for individuals with IDD and mental health needs in the community. The National Center was established at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability in 2009 to provide technical support, clinical expertise, and training and consultation services that support the development of:

  • Comprehensive evaluation of services & systems of care

  • A systems linkage approach to service provision

  • Expert assessment & clinical support

  • Outcomes-based research & evaluation

  • Short-term therapeutic resources & opportunities

  • Cross-systems crisis prevention & intervention planning

  • Family support, education & outreach

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration


Projects & Initiatives