START is recognized as a crisis intervention and prevention program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and co-existing mental health or behavioral health concerns. But, what is a crisis?

START identifies crisis as a situation without the tools to address it. Crisis situations can be scary for everyone involved and START has a 24-hour,
365-day a year phone line available, designed to help the teams of individuals who are in crisis.

When experiencing a crisis, team members can reach a START Coordinator in the Western Fingerlakes Region at 844-567-8278 .

START emphasizes an in-person response and help a system through:
  • Assistance: If a crisis situation is occurring when a START Coordinator arrives, the START Coordinator can offer recommendations and help to deescalate. 
  • Assessment: The START Coordinator will ask questions and complete assessments to help determine what stressors may have caused crisis. 
  • Planning: Based on assessment, the START Coordinator will work with team members to make recommendations on how to provide enhanced support around an individual moving forward; this is to avoid returning to a state of crisis and plan for a better day/evening ahead. 
  • Re-connection: Crisis situations are stressful for everyone involved. Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between a supported individual and their support system after a crisis. START Coordinators can help to re-establish a connection between the individual and support system, this may take the form of brief mediated conversation or offering knowledge/tools around a diagnosis or identified stressor so that the support system feels confident in continuing to provide support.