Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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NYSTART, Crisis Prevention and Response


NYSTART is a community-based program that provides crisis prevention and response services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who present with complex behavioral and mental health needs, and to their families and others in the community who provide support. NYSTART is not a separate system and does not replace existing services.

The NYSTART program offers training, consultation, therapeutic services and technical assistance to enhance the ability of the community to support eligible individuals and focuses on establishing integrated services with providers.  Providing supports that help individuals to remain in their home or community placement is NYSTART’s first priority. 

As each of the NYSTART teams are established and become fully operational the services provided will include:

  • Community partnerships and systems linkages;
  • Systemic and clinical consultation and training;
  • Community training and education;
  • Clinical Education Team training meetings;
  • Cross Systems Crisis Prevention and Intervention Planning;
  • Mobile crisis support and response for individuals enrolled in NYSTART services;
  • Outreach and follow up; and 
  • Comprehensive Service Evaluations 

The NYSTART team will clinically assess individuals enrolled in NYSTART services to determine the need for the provision of:

  • Therapeutic in-home support services for NYSTART-enrolled individuals age 6 and over
  • Therapeutic emergency or planned Resource Center services for NYSTART- enrolled individuals age 21 and over

      NYSTART services are available to individuals age 6 and over with intellectual and developmental disabilities who present with complex behavioral and mental health needs. An OPWDD eligibility determination is required in order to receive the full array of NYSTART services. 

The START model, which was first developed in Massachusetts, is being launched across New York State in phases. If you would like to learn more about START, please contact the OPWDD START Liaison in your region.

Expanding Resources for Crisis Centers

OPWDD is seeking federal funding to continue essential Crisis Services for people with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities in regions throughout New York State. A draft selective contracting waiver is available for review. 

Download the draft waiver.