What is START

Family members providing care to a relative with dementia often become anxious or depressed, but there are very few interventions available that will help improve their mental health. A team of researchers at University College London (UCL) led by Professor Gill Livingston, developed START (Strategies for RelaTives) for family members of relatives with dementia and found it was very successful in reducing depression and anxiety in the short and long term.

START is an eight session, manual-based one-to-one programme for family members, currently delivered within the NHS by supervised psychology graduates. Together with stakeholders in the Third Sector, and members of Minority Ethnic (ME) groups we are currently looking at ways to make START more widely available.

START covers the following areas:

Session 1 Stress and Well-Being

Session 2 Reasons for changes in behaviour

Session 3 Making a behaviour plan

Session 4 Behaviour strategies and unhelpful thoughts

Session 5 Communication

Session 6 Planning for the future

Session 7 Pleasant events and your mood

Session 8 What works? Using skills and strategies in the future