START is an evidence-based, community crisis prevention and intervention service model for individuals aged 6 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and mental health needs (IDD-MH). The START model is person-centered and solutions-focused, employing positive psychology approaches and other evidence-based practices.

START Stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment.  

National Center for START Services™

The National Center for START Services™ (NCSS) is an initiative that works to strengthen efficiencies and service outcomes for people with IDD and mental health needs in the community. The National Center was established at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability in 2011 to provide technical assistance, clinical expertise, 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