National Center for START Services

National Center for START Services
National Center for START Services

The National Center for START Services 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/UCED in 2009 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

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.

NCSS Departments
Doctor speaking to a group of professionals
START Program Development
START Program Development

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Training & Professional Development
Training & Professional Development

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Research & Evaluation
Research & Evaluation

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START Model Overview

Presenter: 
Joan B. Beasley, PhD
Research Professor, University of New Hampshire
Founder & Director, National Center for START Services

This presentation provides a comprehensive overview of the START model, including its history, mission and values, approaches, and current implementation across the United States. 

For more information about NCSS and the START model, please contact us at start.iod@unh.edu.

START Documentary Film

NOW WE HAVE HOPE: The Strength of the START Community

The START Film, produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker Dan Habib and the Center for START Services, captures the unique and groundbreaking practices and philosophies of the START model. START’s impact is viewed through the perspectives of START clients, family members, and local service providers in Fort Worth, Texas, New York City, and Durham, North Carolina.