2020-2021 National Online Training Series: START Therapeutic Coaching Strategies for Supporting Individuals with IDD and Suicidal Ideation

Friday, September 18, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm


Presentation Title: START Therapeutic Coaching as a Suicide Prevention Tool for Individuals with IDD


  • Meredith Dangel, MS, CRC – NC START Central CRMH Intern
  • Maggie Robbins, MA, LCAT, RDT – Clinical Director, NC START Central
  • Rémy Jodrey, MS, LCMHCA - Therapeutic Coaching Team Leader, NC START Central


This presentation explores best practices in support of individuals with IDD who experience chronic suicidal ideation. Presenters will review a history of literature that identifies risk factors, strategies for support and intervention. It will highlight the framework that START Therapeutic Coaching programs utilize to implement proactive, supportive strategies and explore a case example to illustrate how these approaches have positively impacted START recipients. This presentation brings together the lenses of positive psychology and adapted DBT as supportive strategies for those experiencing suicidal ideation.

Learning Objectives:

After viewing this training, participants will be able to:

  • Identify risk factors for suicidality for individuals with IDD
  • Identify 3 best practices of therapeutic support for an individual expressing suicidal ideation.
  • Describe proactive strategies for emotion recognition
  • Utilize an adapted DBT strategy to lessen distress during moments of crisis

Presenter Bios:

Rémy Jodrey, MS, LCMHCA, has been a part of the NC START Central team for the past four years and is currently the team lead for the Therapeutic Coaching program. Rémy's values of promoting empowerment and agency inform their work as STC team lead as they work with coaches, individuals with IDD, and their systems to develop the skills and stability necessary to achieve higher quality of life, heal from trauma, and access greater community inclusion. Some of Rémy's additional clinical interests include providing education to providers on the prevalence and presentation of complex dissociative disorders in childhood trauma survivors, and the intersection of transgender identity and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Rémy's lived experiences as a survivor and person with multiple disabilities fuels their passions to make our communities safer for vulnerable populations and more accessible for all individuals living with disabilities. 

Maggie Robbins, MA, LCAT, RDT, is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and Registered Drama Therapist who currently resides in Raleigh, NC. Maggie has utilized Drama Therapy for the past eight years to promote well-being, creative therapeutic expression and the advancement of psychotherapeutic goals for individuals with diagnoses of Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury and those in acute mental health crises. Maggie serves as the Clinical Director for NC START Central where she infuses her love of drama therapy into her work supporting systems, individuals, and START team members with strengths based approaches. She has enjoyed utilizing her clinical skills as a drama therapist to promote the START model with those she serves.

Meredith Dangel, MS, CRC  | Meredith's research interests include the comorbidity of autism spectrum disorder and depressive disorders, the increased risk of substance use with autism spectrum disorder, and the mental health and wellness of caregivers. As the parent of a child with autism, she brings a unique perspective, skill set, and empathy to her practice. She aims to join clients in the journey to achieve their goals with a person-centered cognitive-behavioral approach to problem-solving and emotional wellness, along with other mental health goals.


Bardon, C. (2020). Understand and prevent suicide in persons with an I/DD: Lessons learned from a collaborative research program [Webinar]. In AAIDD Webinar Series. Retrieved from aaidd.org.

Cassidy, S., Bradley, P., Robinson, J., Allison, C., McHugh, M., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger’s syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: a clinical cohort study. The Lancet Psychiatry1(2), 142–147. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215036614702482?via%3Dihub