NEW START is designed for adult clients with major mental illness combined with substance abuse and language or learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, cognitive communication difficulties and/or traumatic brain injuries. It is a highly interactive, multi-sensory, personalized curriculum focused on skill building. The curriculum is self-contained and presented in sequence - one skill builds on another. Classes consist of not more than 10 participants co-led by two leaders who facilitate the learning of skills through the use of discussion, role-plays and activities. The program consists of 22 sessions (44 hrs) with five components: Self Awareness and Identity (Personal Profiles), Strategies for Coping with Special Needs Anger Management, Problem Solving and Decision Making, and Mental Illness Recovery Skills.
NEW START integrates START's program with substantial revisions and addition of original materials developed by Napa State Hospital staff to address the needs of adult forensic clients with mental illness. Napa State Hospital provides training and mentoring for the California State Mental Hospital system in replication of New START.
At the conclusion of NEW START participants showed:
Enhanced prosocial skill competency and overt prosocial behavior
Reduced level of impulsiveness
Increased ability to manage anger
Decreased acting out behaviors (both in frequency and intensity).
Because of the basic skills taught in NEW START
Clients are free from penalties
Staff are free of possible containment injuries, stress and the mountain of paperwork incidents cause.
"Anger: It's Powerful, it's energizing, it can be deadly and
it can be Managed"
Correctional News, Margaret Lalich,
Napa State Hospital