Disaster Services


The Office of Disaster Services (ODS) conducts planning and development activities to support a coordinated mental health response for Missourians in disaster situations.

To strengthen the Department’s capacity to respond to the mental health needs of Missouri citizens the Office of Disaster Services coordinates efforts with numerous state agencies including, Homeland Security, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), and the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). Funding for ODS is currently through a partnership with the DHSS using Federal Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) funding to provide the behavioral health components needed in comprehensive planning. The Office of Disaster Services also develops and administers the FEMA Crisis Counseling Program grant when there is a federal declaration in Missouri.

The Office offers preparedness training in disaster mental health-psychological first aid to health and mental health care providers, school personnel, community-based volunteer organizations, emergency responders, law enforcement personnel, mental health consumers, and the faith-based community. It also develops informational fact sheets about the emotional impact of disasters on different populations and common reactions to disaster.

The Office of Disaster Services is involved in ongoing initiatives such as mental health emergency planning , planning for the needs of children, and continuity of operations planning.

For more information call: (573) 751-8136 or email: Beckie.Gierer@dmh.mo.gov.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the impact of a disaster in your area and need immediate crisis assistance, the following web address will link you to the phone number of your county: Access Crisis Intervention Map.

Disaster Distress Helpline
Phone and Text: 800/985-5990 

The toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic incident. This is a free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.

     Disaster Distress Helpline Brochure

Disaster Services

Additional Resources

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