PA START Allegheny

PA START Allegheny is a specialized mental health support service for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and behavioral health needs. START stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment. Our goal is to provide stability and prevent disruptive crises in participants’ lives. With trained experts in IDD and mental health, we adopt a strengths-based perspective. Participants typically engage with START for 12-18 months. START is a little different than other services (respite, intensive in-home). What sets us apart is our collaboration with various providers (schools, healthcare providers, psychiatrists, etc.) to align goals and support systems. We do not replace existing providers. Our aim is to enhance the system of care and help providers understand how to support individuals with complex needs, even after their involvement with START ends.

Services include:

  • 24/7 on-site or remote crisis response and consultation.
  • Prevention and intervention, clinical consultation, education, and training.
  • Coaching for caregivers and paid staff to improve their ability to support individuals with complex needs.
  • Opportunity for formalized community partnerships and system linkages.
  • Comprehensive assessment and evaluation of support needs, existing services, and available resources.
  • Systemic analysis, consultation, and support.

A Referral to PA START Allegheny should be made if the individual:

  • Is currently in crisis.
  • Has been hospitalized in a psychiatric facility during the past 24 months.
  • Has a history of multiple community placements over the past 12 months.
  • Has complex mental health needs that have required crisis intervention within the last 12 month.
  • Has an unclear diagnosis and treatment formulation.
  • Is at risk of losing their work or home placement.

Referrals can be submitted by:

  • Hospitals
  • IDD-MH recipients
  • Providers
  • Families
  • Mental Health providers
  • IDD providers
  • Mobile crisis teams
  • Law enforcement
  • Schools
  • Service coordinators
  • Support coordinators
  • Case Managers


  • Michael Usino, Regional Director
  • Tiffani Kerber, MS, Clinical Director
  • Ashle’ Hall, MSW, LSW, Clinical Team Lead
  • 412-723-1774
  • [email protected]
  • 221 Penn Avenue, Suite 2100, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221

Mission Statement

The National Center for START Services™ improves the lives of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs and their families through an emphasis on local, person-centered, positive, multidisciplinary, cost-effective, and evidence-informed practices. Our participants and their families are our most valued partners. START stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment.

PA START Allegheny aims to inspire and collaborate with mental health providers delivering services to people with Intellectual Disabilities and Autism from a cross-systems, strength-based, and positive psychology approach with the goal of closing the gaps through empowerment, education, and linkages.

Job Openings

Click the links below to learn about joining the PA START Allegheny team, and help us bring meaningful change in our community.

START Therapeutic Coach

START Clinical Coordinator