Behavioral Supports

Behavioral Supports is a service dedicated to assisting people with behavioral health issues that present risks to their health and safety or their integration into their home and community.

For More Information

To learn more about Behavioral Supports, check out our program brochure or contact Dennis Zellers, Behavior Specialist, at dzellers@mainstaylifeservices.org or 412.344.3642 ext. 334.

Treating the Person, Not the Diagnosis

Mainstay provides behavioral supports that promote the behavioral, emotional and social well-being of the individuals we serve and their support systems.

Mainstay’s behavioral supports program utilizes the philosophy of trauma-informed care with the approach of applied behavior analysis and positive supports.

Viewing an individual through their trauma history, experiences and backgrounds lends itself to more personalized care. In other words, we treat the person, not the diagnosis.1

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied behavior analysis is an evidence-based process in which behavior is defined and treated. It operates on seven basic principles:

  1. We focus on effective interventions that produce practical results for the person.
  2. Applied interventions focus on socially significant behaviors, which means the behavior is important to the everyday life of the person.
  3. The approach is behavioral.
  4.  Because behaviors are defined and measurable, they can be analyzed and improved.
  5. Behavior is generalized, so it can be used in all settings.
  6. All procedures are technological and are described in terms that can be easily implemented by caregivers.
  7. All procedures used are also conceptually systematic or based upon the principle that all behavior happens for a reason. It is not random or without cause.2

The reason for an individual’s behavior is determined by functional behavior analysis (FBA). An FBA is completed through interviews, record reviews, data collection, and observations and interactions with the individual receiving support. Given all this information, procedures are then developed to build skills, improve health and safety, but most importantly, provide caregivers the tools to maintain the person’s skills, health, and safety over the long term.

Behavioral Supports Eligibility

Behavioral Supports are available to any individual receiving waiver funded services in any of the following settings:

  • Residential with Mainstay or other agencies
  • Living with family or others in the community
  • Living independently or semi-independently
  • Employment settings
  • Community participation
  • Adult training or day program settings
  • Private pay

1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4884. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
2. Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis1. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91–97. doi: 10.1901 jaba.1968.1-91.