The Office of Deaf Services is an agency-wide policy and program development office for the Department of Mental Health (DMH). The Director of Deaf Services provides consultation and technical assistance to DMH facilities and contracted providers delivering mental health services to eligible individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. The Director also oversees policy development, evidence based practices, and program development informed by advisory input from DMH stakeholders. For individuals who are requesting service for psychiatric or substance use disorders or a developmental disability, the below links provide information about applying for services.
Deaf Services Specialized Outpatient Centers
Specialized Outpatient Centers (SOCs) provide culturally and linguistically affirmative Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation services from mental health professionals who are fluent in American Sign Language. Services are available on-site and in the community in St. Louis and Lee's Summit. For more information, please contact your closest SOC.
The SOCs also provide individual counseling/therapy statewide through telehealth. To access these services, consumers must enroll through their local Community Mental Health Center.
For more information on specialized services, see Information for Consumers & Families.
The Office of Deaf Services also works with all DMH-contracted providers to ensure the availability of culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible services.
Deaf Services Advocates Program
Deaf Services Advocates are employees of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) who have received specialized training from the Office of Deaf Services to support the provision of culturally appropriate, linguistically accessible services and the rights of Deaf and hard of hearing consumers to make informed decisions about services and communication options.
To learn more about the program and find out if there is a Deaf Services Advocate in your area, see Information for Consumers & Families.
If you are a CMHC employee looking for information on becoming a Deaf Services Advocate, please see the Training page.
Deaf Services Lawsuit Settlement
The Department of Mental Health has entered into a settlement agreement regarding services provided to deaf consumers eligible for Department services. Part of that settlement is an obligation to provide Notice to those affected by the settlement. For more information, see the Settlement Notice (Exhibit A) and/or Settlement Agreement.
Mental Health Services to Medicaid-eligible Deaf Persons
The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has established Clinical Standards of Care for Deaf Individuals for DMH operated facilities. These clinical standards of care detail the system of delivery of mental health services to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals who are eligible for services from or through DMH and/or the Missouri Department of Social Services. If a Medicaid or MO HealthNet provider is of the view that it is unable to meet the needs of a qualified individual, that provider may wish to consult with a DMH facility or administrative agent, to ascertain whether the facility or agent could provide services meeting such needs. Contact information for DMH facilities or administrative agents are available through the following links:
- Mental Illness - State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals and Facilities
- Mental Illness - Administrative Agents/CMHCs
- Developmental Disabilities - Regional Offices
Quick Links for Information
The Office of Deaf Services is a Department of Mental Health office and only addresses mental health needs. For more general information and resources related to Deafness, please use the following links.