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Training & Professional Development

Professional Development

START professional development trainings are evidence-informed and based on START principles and approaches. Trainings are regularly reviewed, evaluated, and revised to ensure that methods, practices, and tools are valid and reliable.

Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Professional Development Series

The National Center for START Services’ Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD-MH) Professional Development Series is designed to build expertise in professionals through evidence-based instruction and best practices. These courses are targeted to specific roles within human service delivery to enhance the ability to provide effective services for people with IDD and mental health needs. The IDD-MH Professional Development Series course instruction is provided by experts in the field from both professional and lived experience perspectives.

Target audience for current virtual course offerings:  Mobile Crisis Responders, Care Coordinators/Managers, and Direct Support Professionals. Click on the buttons below to learn more about each course.

Course for Mobile Crisis Responders

Course for Care Coordinators & Case Managers

Course for Direct Support Professionals

Methods include adult learning and core START principles including:

  • Strengths-based practices

  • Positive psychology

  • Wellness-based

  • Biopsychosocial

  • Trauma-Informed

  • Cultural competence

  • Person and family centered

All MHIDD courses have the following shared attributes:

  • Six (6) live sessions facilitated via Zoom;

  • Each session is 105 minutes: 75 minutes of instruction followed by 30 minutes of facilitated interactive dialogue

  • Facilitated by expert NCSS staff with decades of experience in IDD-MH; the perspective of persons with lived experience/family members is represented through guest speakers & co-facilitators

  • Sessions are recorded and are accessible to course participants following each session.

  • Offered twice a year (Fall & Spring cohorts)

  • Additional materials targeted toward improved application of practices provided include: worksheets, articles, and other resources.

  • Courses involve pre and post surveys as well as session evaluations.

  • UNH CEUs offered

  • Certificate of Completion in IDD-MH Training for [Mobile Crisis Responders/Care Coordinators/Direct Support Professionals]

START National Online Training Series

The START National Online Training Series on the Mental Health Aspects of IDD is designed to build capacity of IDD-MH professionals by providing innovative, evidence-based online training. Presentations are pre-recorded and released once a month, September through April. Presentations are typically 50-60 minutes in length. A live Q&A session with each month’s presenter is held on the 3rd Friday of the month from 1-2pm eastern/10-11am pacific. NCSS often offers additional Special Presentations to the START Network as part of their subscription to the Training Series. View the 2022-2023 Schedule or Contact us to learn more.

START National Training Institute

The START National Training Institute (SNTI) is an annual in-person training event that brings together hundreds of START team members, self advocates, families, and national & international leaders in the field of IDD-MH to share expertise, tools, and best practices. The training spans two and a half days and features keynote addresses, panel discussions, breakout sessions, a judged research poster session & professional networking event, and other special events & presentations. 

Training Partnerships

Georgia State University-LEND Training
Dates of Service: July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2026 

The National Center for START Services has partnered with the Georgia State University LEND program to provide five years of graduate-level training . NCSS will provide GA LEND trainees with access to: 1) the National Online Training Series on Mental Health and IDD (monthly presentations from September-April); 2) three asynchronous IDD-MH training modules per year including a post-quiz & certificate of completion and; 3) access to (up to) 3 office hours per month with CSS national team members for discussion and consultation regarding the training modules.

Georgetown-LEND Training
Dates of Service: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2026

The National Center for START Services has partnered with the Georgetown University LEND program to provide graduate-level training to achieve their goal of building the capacity of interdisciplinary team members to identify, diagnose, and serve children with autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities (ASD/DD) and their families. NCSS will provide LEND trainees with access to: 1) the National Online Training Series on Mental Health and IDD (monthly presentations from September-April) and, 2) IDD-MH Professional Development Series with 6-week courses designed for care coordinators/case managers, direct support professionals, and mobile crisis responders.