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National Center for START Services

The START (Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment) model serves people diagnosed with intellectual/developmental disabilities and co-occurring behavioral health conditions.

This comprehensive model of service supports optimizes independence, treatment, and community living for individuals with IDD and behavioral health needs. It promotes person-centered approaches and training for individuals, families, and caregivers by applying core principles of positive psychology, utilization of therapeutic tools, provision of multi-modal clinical assessments, promoting enjoyable therapeutic recreational experiences, and optimal utilization of existing resources through:

  • Linkages with partners
  • Engagement of service user, family, and other circles of support involvement
  • Promotion of improved expertise across systems of care
  • Utilizing services designed to fill gaps

START has been providing person-centered clinical services and therapeutic emergency and planned services since 1988 when it was founded by Joan Beasley, Ph.D. in Northeast Massachusetts. START was first cited as a model program by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office in the 2002 report, CLOSING THE GAP: A National Blueprint to Improve the Health of Persons with Mental Retardation. 

Click Here to Visit the National Center for START services webpage!

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