Overview and Eligibility

Who Is Eligible for START Services?

Individuals in NH who are eligible for Area Agency services that also experience mental health or behavioral health challenges, ages 6 and up, are eligible for NH START services.

Community Bridges believes in person-centered thinking and planning. Our  first step is to provide an intake assessment with the family and the individual. We then evaluate where and how our services can best help the individual in an efficient and timely manner. Our START Coordinators work with teams closely to develop a Cross systems Crisis Plan to prevent crisis and respond to crisis in the most effective manner and this support in itself is critical for many individuals and families.

Ongoing Professional Development for Staff

So that we can best serve your family, Community Bridges and NH START staff receive regular trainings from experts in the field of intellectual/developmental disability and mental health.  Ongoing education ranges from online meetings and trainings to in-person consultation. We have regular access to the National Center for START Services’ team of experts in the field. This keeps us on top of the latest developments, giving us a broader range of knowledge, and strengthening our systems of care for individuals and families. This also enables us to serve and support your family better as you experience challenges.

Support and Clinical Expertise

There are two sides to the START program. The Clinical Program and the START Resource Center. Every eligible individual benefits from a customized START plan crafted by engaged, caring START Coordinators focusing on the systemic, therapeutic, assessment, respite, and treatment options that are appropriate for them. The START Coordinator helps individuals and teams determine which START services will support the individual’s mental health needs. Some of the services provided by the clinical team are as follows:

  • Cross Systems Crisis and Intervention Planning
  • Comprehensive Service Evaluations
  • Clinical Education trainings
  • Specialized IDD/MH consultation to the team
  • Positive identity development/positive psychology
  • Multidisciplinary evaluations at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Linkage agreements between community organizations and NH START

This is how Community Bridges and START work together to provide services and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities along with mental health concerns and their families throughout New Hampshire.

Primary Contacts - START Program

Valerie Tetreault, M.A.A.P  START State Director 603-631-2053 

Barb Drotos, LICSW  START Clinical Director 603-717-6801

Bill Baker, Director of START Resource Center 603-975-0022 

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