OADS Behavioral Health Initiatives

DHHS enlisted the University of New Hampshire (UNH) National Center for START Services to conduct a Systems Gap Analysis (SGA), including recommendations for best practices to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and autism who require significant behavioral health support.

OADS is advancing the following initiatives in response to the report:

  • Training: OADS has partnered with the UNH National Center for START Services to offer training on the START model to IDD provider agencies, specifically case managers and Direct Support Professionals, beginning in the fall of 2023. This training will help providers build expertise and capacity for serving individuals with IDD, autism, and significant behavioral health support needs.    
  • Studying the prevalence of anti-psychotic prescriptions in the IDD population: Two OADS staff, Dr. Lauren Michalakes and Dr. Deborah Johnson, have developed a study to measure the use of anti-psychotic use among individuals with IDD. They are also compiling and analyzing data regarding the use of emergency departments and hospitalizations of individuals with IDD for psychiatric reasons. 
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: OADS is working closely with the Department’s Office of Behavioral Health and Office of MaineCare Services to ensure that individuals who have both IDD and behavioral health diagnoses will have access to outpatient services through Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs), which are under development in Maine. CCBHCs are expected to be offered statewide and will help improve access to outpatient behavioral health services for everyone, including those with disabilities.
  •  Becket IDD-Mental Health Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team: These wrap-around clinical support services assist individuals with significant behavioral health support needs, their families, guardians, and providers to support them to remain in their homes and local communities during and after crisis incidents.
  • Behavior Plan Stakeholder Group: OADS is leading a year-long stakeholder engagement to update the process for developing, implementing, and monitoring behavior plans