How the DMH System Works

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is a State agency that serves consumers with three different types of mental health needs: serious mental illness, alcohol and drug use, and developmental disabilities. DMH contracts with private mental health agencies or county services boards to provide most services, but some services are provided at state-operated facilities.

The DMH system is a safety net for consumers with the most serious needs. Individuals must meet eligibility requirements to receive services.

Serious Mental Illness

Comprehensive psychiatric services are for people with a serious mental illness that results in serious functional limitations in at least two major life areas. To request services, please contact your local Community Mental Health Center (CMHC).

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may also contact a Deaf Services Specialized Outpatient Center to find out how to receive specialized mental health services in sign language, or find out if your local CMHC has a Deaf Services Advocate you can contact.

Alcohol and Drug Use

Substance use treatment services are for people with an alcohol or drug use problem. Different programs are available to meet different needs based on age, gender, and type of substance use. Treatment for compulsive gambling is also available. To learn more, see How to Get Help.

Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disability services are for people with a developmental disability like intellectual disability, autism, cerebral palsy, head injuries, and genetic syndromes that start before age 22 and result in serious functional limitations in at least two major life areas.

Individuals with a serious functional limitation in at least three major life areas may be eligible to receive a broader array of services designed to maximize independence and self-determination through one of four Medicaid Waiver programs.

To request services, please contact your local DD Regional Office.

Crisis Services

For immediate assistance in all crises, call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

DEAFline Missouri Crisis Hotline

DEAFline Missouri is a 24-hour crisis hotline providing free and confidential assistance for deaf and hard of hearing individuals statewide. Individuals may call or text for support with family troubles, homelessness, loneliness and depression, and a wide variety of other problems. DEAFline is also for mental health providers to use when serving deaf individuals.

  • Toll Free Voice/VRS/TTY: 800-380-3323
  • Videophone (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.): 573-303-5604
  • Text HAND to 839863 (Standard message and data rates apply. Text STOP to opt out.)

Access Crisis Intervention Hotline

Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in mental health crisis or seeking services may also contact Missouri's Access Crisis Intervention (ACI) system through VRS, TTY relay (dial 711), or voice.

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 the St. Louis and Lee's Summit areas. For more information, please contact your closest SOC.

BJC Behavioral Health
Deaf Services Team
Laura Shapiro, MSW, ACSW, LCSW
3165 McKelvey Road, Suite 200
Bridgeton, MO 63044
Voice: 314-206-3499
VP: 314-266-2636

Deaf Services Team
Brandy Haddock, MS, LPC
1535 NE Rice Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64086
Voice: 816-966-0900

The SOCs also provide individual counseling/therapy statewide through telehealth. To access these services, consumers must enroll through their local Community Mental Health Center.

The Office of Deaf Services also works with all DMH-contrcted providers to ensure the availability of culturally appropriate and linguistically accessible services.

Deaf Services Specialized Inpatient Units

Specialized Inpatient Units (SOCs) provide inpatient psychiatric services from mental health professionals who are trained in Deaf culture and mental health needs of Deaf consumers.

Acute Care

Truman Medical Center at Hospital Hill (TMC) provides adult acute (short-term) inpatient services with an interpreter. Admissions are through Truman's emergency room or by transfer from another hospital. For more information, contact:

TMC Deaf Services Unit
Robert Ellis, Program Director
1000 E 24th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Voice: 816-404-3800

Intermediate & Long Term Care

St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (SLPRC) provides intermediate and long-term inpatient services. Some services are provided with an interpreter, and some services are available directly in American Sign Language. Admissions are through your local Community Mental Health Center. For more information, click below or contact:

SLPRC Deaf Services Program
Peter Scheers, MS, Program Director
5300 Arsenal Street
St. Louis, MO 63139
Voice: 314-877-5945

Deaf Services Advocates Program

Deaf Services Advocates are employees of Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) or substance use treatment providers who have received specialized training from the Office of Deaf Services to support the provision of culturally appropriate, linguistically accessible services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals at their agencies.

To learn more about the program and find out if there is a Deaf Services Advocate in your area, see Deaf Services Advocates Program.

Office of Constituent Services

DMH clients and family members may contact the Office of Constituent Services regarding concerns about mental health facilities or community providers in various ways. Please use the above link for additional information.