START Opportunities -- We want to hear from you!

START stands for Systemic, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources, and Treatment. This model will help assess our resources and strengths in RI’s system of care and make recommendations for improvements. There three ways for you to participate in this program:

Survey – Deadline 11/15/2019
Phone Interview
Focus Group

Individuals and families can attend a one-hour focus group with START team members. Please notify your local provider or contact Ann E. Klein, MA, Director of Outcomes and Evaluation, The Center for START Services Institute on Disability/UCED, University of New Hampshire at (513) 377-1464 or

Director Boss Op-Ed
Director Rebecca Boss

Did you see Director Rebecca Boss’s Op-Ed in the Providence Journal about Disability Employment Awareness Month? October is designated as the month to raise awareness about the employment challenges faced by people with disabilities, as well as celebrate their contributions in the workforce.

Read the Op-Ed here.

2019 Joshua Wilkens Award
Joshua Wilkens Award

Eleanor Slater Hospital recently honored two exceptional volunteers at a small ceremony.


Read the story here.



DSP Recognition Week
DSP Story

It is Direct Support Professional (DSP) Recognition Week and a time to show our thanks and appreciation for the DSPs who support individuals with disabilities.

DSPs make a difference to thousands of individuals everyday…read the heartwarming story of a dedicated DSP who supports a man in his cookie and candy business here.

2019 Rate Review Process

The Division of Developmental Disabilities is conducting a Rate Review to take a closer look at how much we pay for Medicaid-approved services and the method we use to pay for them. This review will look at the funding structure used to pay private providers of services for adults with developmental disabilities. Click HERE to learn about our Rate Review.

The Division has engaged a contractor to oversee this important process, which will support the system transformation work that we are committed to.

We value and appreciate your input, suggestions and recommendations related to the rate structure under which providers are paid. Please share your thoughts at

To see list of current rates, click HERE.


Mental Wellness Coping Statement Cards
Mental Health Coping Cards

If you struggle with overwhelming thoughts, coping statements may help you. Healthy Transition Mental Wellness Coping Statement Cards are suitable for young adults and adults. Make your own set with our printable PDF and begin the transition to a healthy way of life.

Make your own cards here.

NAMI Family Support Groups
NAMI Groups

NAMI Family Support Group is a free, peer-led support group for family members, caregivers and loved ones of individuals living with mental illness. Most groups meet monthly for about 90 minutes. NAMI Support Groups leverage the collective knowledge and experience of all the participants.

You don’t need to register to attend.

For more information about Family to Family groups in your area, please visit our Programs and Services page, call them at 401-331-3060 or email at

BHDDH recognizes local effort to help
those with disabilities find jobs

It started with a chance encounter between a business owner and clients at a local nonprofit. Today, it’s a growing partnership that provides training for people with developmental disabilities and helps them to find jobs.

This special collaboration was on display last Thursday as David Ellison, owner of the Edge & End woodworking shop in Providence, and Joseph Martins, owner of neighboring JCM Design & Display, led state officials, other business owners and nonprofit leaders on a tour of their workshops.

He traces to conversations with clients from The Cove, a nonprofit located next to Edge & End on Manton Avenue, in Providence as the impetus of this partnership. “They really enhanced my coming to work every day,” Ellison said. “I’d be walking in and they’d be outside, and they’d say, ‘Hello, David.’ That’s really how it started.”

With a $40,000 grant from the Governor’s Workforce Board’s Real Pathways RI grant, Ellison created a training program in woodworking that had seven participants over the past year, including two who are now employed. The participants came from DD service providers The Cove, as well as West Bay, The Arc of Blackstone Valley and The Corliss Institute.

Edge & End was one of two companies that participated in the program during the past year, the other being Lorimer Studios (formerly owned by Ellison). Two additional companies — manufacturers JCM Design & Display, Inc and Truex Inc — will be joining the program in the coming year and expanding the focus to other lines of work.

Ellison said the program has generated interest from still more companies about participating and possibly hiring people who receive the training. “It really is resonating with people,” he said.

Director Boss said the program shows what can happen when people from a variety of sectors — nonprofits, local businesses and government agencies such as BHDDH, DLT and the Office of Rehabilitative Services — join forces for a good cause.

“I’m grateful for the work that you are doing here,” she said before reading a proclamation from Gov. Gina Raimondo about the importance of Disability Employment Awareness Month. “We all want to do something with our lives that we like and love, and I just find this to be an incredible partnership that has produced that outcome, as well as a positive business outcome.”

Among those on hand Thursday was Christopher Barboza, 42, of Pawtucket, who participated in the program and now works at Edge & End. For him, it’s been a dream come true, because his father also worked with wood.

Drug Take Back Day
Drug take back

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2019. National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. In April, Rhode Island collected 4,465 pounds of medication during the Take Back event.

Find a location near you here.

Helping Job Seekers with the
Nuts and Bolts, and the Vision
2019 Project Search Graduations

Project Search, a collaboration between developmental disabilities organizations and three state agencies — the Department of Human Services, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals, and the Department of Labor and Training - provides an all-encompassing approach to helping people with developmental disabilities transition to work. Read about it here.

She found her dream job, and it’s in retail
Stacey DeCosta

Stacey DeCosta has the job of her dreams.

Read about it here.


Director Boss’s Op-Ed in The Providence Journal
Rebecca Boss

The Providence Journal ran an op-ed by BHDDH Director Rebecca Boss to kick-off Mental Health Month.

Read it here.

2019 BHDDH Today

Want to know what the Department been working on?

Read the 2019 BHDDH Today to find out.

Updated Guide Books for 14 – 25 Year Old’s
Behavoral Health Guide

This Guidebook provides a roadmap to help 14 – 25 year old's in navigating the sometimes complex system of behavioral healthcare services. There are many resources listed to guide you, should you need them. "Take Charge of Your Behavioral Health: A Guide for Transition Aged Youth (TAY) in Rhode Island", recently revised August 2019, was created for youth and young adults with a great deal of community input. Each page was designed to stand alone so, for example, if you need information on Substance Use Disorders, you would simply print out page 15 and 16. The 24-page combined English/Spanish Guidebook are available in hard copy free of charge. For more information, contact Denise Achin at 401-462-0421