2021 News Releases


Show Me Hope and Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development team up to create “HappierU”

Collaborative effort aims to help with stress management and coping mechanisms

September 20 2021 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) and Missouri Department of Mental Health have partnered with the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development to create HappierU; a series of digital videos, podcasts, and content that provide science-based tips, strategies, and coping mechanisms for stressful situations. This initiative was created to be a resource for everyone, but tries to relate most to those who are currently in school and thinking of going or already committed to postsecondary education or training programs for job placement.

HappierU aims to give everyone ways to focus on positivity for a healthier and happier you. This includes video exercises that can be accessed on demand and shared on any digital platform. By accessing the HappierU content hub here, Happier U (wistia.com) individuals can view all of the latest content, subscribe for updates, and more. The content is free and available to any individual who would like to access.

As always, remember that anyone in a crisis or who needs to speak with a counselor can text MOSAFE to 741-741 or by dialing 1.800.985.5990. You’re not alone, there is help available.

For questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the Missouri Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program at: 573-526-7821, showmehope@dmh.mo.gov.

Facebook: @MoShowMeHope & Twitter: @MOShowMeHope


Governor Parson Proclaims September 5-11 as Suicide Prevention Week

Missourians are encouraged to promote awareness of suicide prevention

September 03 2021 - Jefferson City , MO —

Governor Parson has proclaimed September 5 – September 11, 2021, as Suicide Prevention Week in Missouri. (See attachment.) The Department of Mental Health (DMH) in partnership with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DOLIR), other state agencies, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are committed to sharing resources, helping those in need, and promoting suicide prevention awareness.

In Missouri, more than 1,100 die by suicide each year, an average of one person every seven hours. Suicide rates are also significantly higher in the industries of mining, construction, agriculture and forestry, and transportation and warehousing.

“Taking a pro-active approach to suicide prevention by learning risk factors and warning signs is one of the ways we can all work to reduce suicide attempts and deaths,Governor Parson said. “This public health issue is a tragedy that impacts not only individuals and families, but entire communities. Suicide can disproportionately impact Missouri’s youth as well as some of our leading business sectors. It’s important to always check on your loved ones, have the tough conversations, and seek help – lives could be at stake and the loss preventable.”

Those in immediate crisis can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or by texting “MOSAFE” to 741741.

For more information contact Debra Walker at 573-751-1647 or debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.


Real Voices – Real Choices Consumer Conference going virtual, August 30 & 31.

August 17 2021 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Real Voices – Real Choices Consumer Conference is going virtual! It’s a two day event, August 30-31, 2021, with the aim of empowering individuals across the state of Missouri. The free and open conference is administered jointly by the Missouri Mental Health Foundation and the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

The virtual programming will include 15 presentations across a variety of topics from neurodiversity and public guardianship to personal finance and mentoring along with a keynote from speaker Susan Badeau.

Badeau is a nationally known speaker, writer and consultant with a heart for children and families. Having worked for many years in child welfare, Badeau currently serves on several national and international boards including the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment (ATTACh), Justice for Families and Imara International.

The Department of Mental Health is dedicated to enhancing consumer voices, expanding public education, promoting mental health, preventing substance misuse, and helping people with disabilities live their lives to the fullest,” said Mark Stringer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

The Real Voices – Real Choices conference is a priority event for the department, even during these challenging times,” added Stringer.

The conference, which has been held annually since 2008, aims to unite, inform, and empower individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental and intellectual disabilities, and those in recovery for substance use disorders.

During my time with Real Voices – Real Choices, I have been deeply honored to make connections with incredible individuals who come from all walks of life and have beautifully unique backgrounds," said Kristina Cannon, conference coordinator. "Hearing their amazing stories of perseverance and victory in the face of great adversity is extremely inspiring!”

This year's virtual event includes a lineup of presentations that can be watched live at the Missouri Mental Health Foundation's Facebook page, YouTube page or website. Each session can also be viewed after the event on the Foundation’s website.

Free registration is encouraged but not required to attend the virtual conference. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are available for attendees. Those seeking CEUs must pre-register.


About Missouri Mental Health Foundation

The mission of the Missouri Mental Health Foundation is to raise awareness and public understanding of issues impacting individuals and families living with mental illness, developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. Our efforts battle stigma and discrimination, promote care and treatment, and foster inclusion in the community and the workforce.

About the Department of Mental Health

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) serves approximately 170,000 Missourians annually through state-operated facilities and contracts with private organizations and individuals. The department is composed of three divisions: the Division of Behavioral Health, the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Administrative Services, as well as seven support offices. Its vision is for all Missourians receiving mental health services to have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and live as valued members of their communities.


New Medical Director named at Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center

July 06 2021 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) and Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center (NMPRC) are pleased to announce Dr. William Enochs as the new Medical Director, effective July 1, 2021. 

Dr. Enochs is board certified in psychiatry and an experienced leader who has been a member of the DMH family for six years.  He is an innovative problem-solver who is passionate about advancing the mission of NMPRC and DMH.   

We also recognize the tremendous contributions of Dr. James Reynolds who served as Medical Director at NMPRC for more than 19 years.  His service and dedication to improving the well-being of individuals with mental illnesses has blazed a trail for others to follow for many years to come.

For more information contact Debra Walker at debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov or 573-751-1647 or Dr. Tara Tubbesing at tara.tubbesing@dmh.mo.gov


Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling extended to support Missourians’ emotional needs due to COVID-19

Behavioral health outreach continues through end of 2021!

June 21 2021 - Jefferson City , MO —

The Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program (CCP) grant is receiving additional funding through the end of December 2021. This extension will allow crisis counselors to continue to provide psychological services to help build hope and resiliency in Missourians who have been affected by COVID-19. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently awarded a $3.8 million grant extension for the CCP Regular Services Program (RSP) to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for service delivery and outreach services through participating mental health agencies (listed alphabetically below). 

Show Me Hope crisis counselors are connecting Missourians statewide with local mental health resources. Any individual experiencing stress or emotional strain because of the pandemic may call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-985-5990.


The Crisis Counseling provider agencies are:

ALM Hopewell Center: 314-531-1770

St. Louis City, St. Louis County.

Arthur Center: 573-582-1234

Audrain, Callaway, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Ralls.

BJC Behavioral Health:  314-206-3700

Iron, Jefferson, St. Francois, St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Washington.

Bootheel Counseling Center: 573-471-0800

Mississippi, New Madrid, Scott, Stoddard.

Burrell Behavioral Health:  417-761-5000

Boone, Carroll, Chariton, Christian, Cooper, Dallas, Greene, Howard, Moniteau, Morgan, Pettis, Polk, Randolph, Saline, Stone, Taney, Webster.

Clark Community Center:  417-476-1000

Barry, Dade, Lawrence.

Community Counseling Center:  573-334-1100

Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Perry, Ste. Genevieve.

Compass Health Network:  660-885-8131

Bates, Benton, Camden, Cass, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Dent, Franklin, Gasconade, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Laclede, Lafayette, Lincoln, Maries, Miller, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski, St. Charles, St. Clair, Vernon, Warren. 

Family Counseling Center:  573-888-5925

Butler, Carter, Dunklin, Pemiscot, Reynolds, Ripley, Wayne.

Family Guidance Center: 816-364-1501

Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Clinton, DeKalb, Gentry, Holt, Nodaway, Worth.

Gibson Recovery Center:  573-332-0416

Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Madison, Mississippi, Perry, Ste. Genevieve, Scott.

North Central MO Mental Health Center:  660-359-4487

Caldwell, Daviess, Grundy, Harrison, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Putnam, Sullivan.

Ozark Center:  417-347-7600

Barton, Jasper, McDonald, Newton.

Phoenix Programs:  573-875-8880

Boone, Carroll, Chariton, Cooper, Howard, Moniteau, Morgan, Pettis, Randolph, Saline.

Places for People:  314-535-5600

St. Louis City, St. Louis County.

Preferred Family Healthcare:  660-665-1962

Adair, Caldwell, Clark, Daviess, Grundy, Harrison, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Mercer, Monroe, Pike, Putnam, Ralls, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan.

Southeast MO Behavioral Health:  573-756-5749

Butler, Carter, Crawford, Dent, Douglas, Gasconade, Howell, Iron, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, Shannon, St. Francois, Stoddard, Texas, Washington, Wayne Wright.

Tri-County Mental Health Services:  816-468-0400

Clay, Platte, Ray.

Truman Medical Center Behavioral Health:  816-404-5700



For local detail, questions, comments, or concerns, please contact the Missouri Show Me Hope Crisis Counseling Program at: 573-526-7821, showmehope@dmh.mo.gov.

Facebook: @MoShowMeHope & Twitter: @MOShowMeHope


New Developmental Disabilities Division Director Named

Bax to provide new leadership for DMH

April 08 2021 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is pleased to announce Jessica Bax as the new Director of its Division of Developmental Disabilities (DD), effective May 10, 2021. 

Ms. Bax joins the DMH team with more than 16 years of experience in state government at the Department of Health and Senior Services.  She began her tenure in 2005 working in the Division of Senior and Disability Services. She served in various roles in the Division Director’s office including Constituent and Emergency Services Manager and Bureau Chief of Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports.  Ms. Bax worked her way into leadership roles becoming the Deputy Director and then ultimately the Division Director in 2018.

Ms. Bax has extensive experience and knowledge of Medicaid and social service programs as well as the budget and legislative process. She works collaboratively with state and local agencies and successfully built partnerships with stakeholders.  Ms. Bax has excellent networking and research connections to identify national best practices.

Ms. Bax has a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Lincoln University and a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Ms. Bax is replacing Valerie Huhn who was named Deputy Director of DMH in October 2020. 

For more information contact Debra Walker at (573) 751-1647 or debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.


Governor Mike Parson Joins the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families

April 01 2021 - Jefferson City , MO —

Continuing the state’s efforts to prevent suicide, Missouri Governor Mike Parson has agreed to participate in the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide among Service Members, Veterans and their Families, a partnership through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The Governor’s Challenge is designed to provide intensive technical support and assist states in implementing best practices around suicide prevention for service members, Veterans, and their families.

“Although Missouri has already begun to implement suicide prevention efforts, participation in this initiative will allow us to further implement best policies and practices and advance our suicide prevention efforts for service members, Veterans, their families and all Missourians,” said Governor Parson.

As part of this initiative, Missouri has developed a team to ensure cross-agency collaboration. Members of the state team include Legislators and representatives from Department of Mental Health, Missouri Veterans Commission, Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, Department of Social Services, Department of Corrections, University of Missouri – St. Louis: Missouri Institute for Mental health, American Legion – Missouri, St. Louis VA System of Care, Missouri AgrAbility Project, Missouri Office of State Courts Administrators, Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare, and other community providers.

Missouri is one of only eight states selected for the Governor’s Challenge in 2021. To learn more about the Governor’s Challenge visit www.samhsa.gov/smvf-ta-center/mayors-governors-challenges.

For more information about the program contact Jon Sabala at  jon.sabala@dmh.mo.gov or Debra Walker at 573-751-1647, e-mail debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.


Telemedicine Partnership with StationMD Extends

Residents with Disabilities will receive services through February 2022

March 22 2021 - , MO —

In April of 2020, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities launched a partnership with StationMD to ensure that all 15,000 Missouri residents with disabilities who are on a Medicaid Waiver have 24/7 access to a doctor anytime they need.

After nine months of successful utilization of StationMD’s specialized telehealth service across the state, the Division has awarded a new request for proposal to StationMD, extending the program through February 2022.

StationMD is a physician practice that uses telemedicine to deliver urgent/emergency clinical care diversion and coordination care services exclusively to people with disabilities—including intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). As one of the only physician practices in the country where every doctor in the group is specially trained to manage care specifically for people with disabilities, StationMD provides a unique offering.

According to an alarming study just released by the New England Journal of Medicine, having an intellectual disability is one of the highest risk factors other than age for COVID-19 mortality. The chances of dying from COVID-19 are higher for those with an intellectual disability than they are for people with congestive heart failure, kidney disease or lung disease, so the impact of the state’s collaboration with StationMD extends beyond convenience. The service has been a life-saving measure for both individuals and support staff.

Venturing out to the doctor’s office or hospital for non-life-threatening medical concerns is challenging for many people with disabilities on a regular day. Given the pandemic, masking requirements and mandatory quarantine periods, people with disabilities are often forced to forego their medical care altogether. Bringing the doctor upstream and keeping individuals in their home setting, protects the patient and the ecosystem of support professionals and family members who may be involved with their care.

StationMD can be utilized for urgent matters like fever and vomiting, a seizure, a rash, or a fall, but also for someone who has a medical question or needs a prescription refilled. StationMD doctors can also help with behavioral and mental health issues in many circumstances. In ~90% of StationMD’s virtual consultations, the doctor can address and individual’s medical issue without them ever leaving the comfort and safety of home.

Valerie Huhn, Division Director and Department Deputy Director, said, “Keeping people out of the ER when they don’t need to be there not only relieves pressure off of hospitals that are stretched thin treating both regular emergencies and COVID patients, but it offers a huge savings to patients and to the state. We have been able to optimize taxpayer dollars and the result is that Missourians with IDD are receiving medical attention they need from their homes.”

Dr. Maulik Trivedi, MD, Chief Strategy Officer at StationMD said, “This partnership with the Division has enabled the health system to flex to be more patient-centric and to meet the needs of people in both rural and urban areas who have unique challenges and require specialized medical care. The Division is truly visionary in its pandemic response and has implemented a solution that not only protects this vulnerable population from COVID-19 but eases the burden on Missouri’s entire health system.”

All 15,000 of Missouri’s Medicaid Waiver recipients are already enrolled to use StationMD’s service. Once the system is activated with a phone call, they can reach a StationMD doctor anytime they need to through the app or a designated 800 phone number. If StationMD determines any patient physically needs to see a doctor, they coordinate with local emergency departments to prepare for their arrival and coordinate with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure continuity of care. 


Department of Mental Health Receives 988 State Planning Grant from Vibrant Emotional Health

Grant Will Prepare Missouri for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 Dialing Code, Effective July 2022

February 04 2021 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) is pleased to announce it received the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s 988 State Planning Grant through Vibrant Emotional Health, the nonprofit administrator of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). The grant allows DMH to participate in the development of strategic plans for Missouri in preparation for the projected infrastructure needs, volume growth, and access to the Lifeline’s new 988 number. Vibrant has awarded grants to 49 states and territories. 

In July 2022, 988 will become the national three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, replacing the current phone number of 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Americans needing support should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) until then.

“Access to mental health and crisis support has never been more critical for Americans,” said Kimberly Williams, President and CEO of Vibrant Emotional Health.  “Vibrant is committed to providing the states and territories with some of the resources they'll need to plan for the implementation of 988 and to support their local crisis centers. By working together, we will increase access to care, reduce the stigma around mental health and, ultimately, save lives.”

DMH and partnering agencies will develop clear roadmaps to address coordination, capacity, funding, and communications surrounding the launch of 988. DMH will collaborate with state leadership, suicide prevention experts, people with lived experience, and others to create a 988 implementation plan and support the Lifeline’s operational, clinical, and performance standards that allow access to care. 

Vibrant believes the new 988 number, once implemented, will ensure the Lifeline will continue to be America’s mental health safety net by providing emotional support for people in distress, reducing suicides and mental health crises, and providing a pathway to well-being for all. 

About the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a leader in suicide prevention and mental health crisis care. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support and crisis counseling to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. The Lifeline is comprised of a national network of over 180 local crisis centers, uniting local resources with national best practices. Since its inception in 2005, the Lifeline has engaged in innovative public messaging, development of best practices in mental health, creative partnerships, and more to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention for all. suicidepreventionlifeline.org 

About Vibrant Emotional Health 

Vibrant Emotional Health is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and families achieve emotional wellbeing. For over 50 years, our groundbreaking solutions have delivered high-quality services and support, when, where and how people need it. We offer confidential emotional support through our state-of-the-art contact center and crisis hotline services that use leading edge telephone, text and web-based technologies and include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, NFL Life Line and NYC Well. Through our community wellness programs individuals and families obtain supports and skills they need to thrive. Our advocacy and education initiatives promote mental wellbeing as a social responsibility. Each year we help more than 2.5 million people live healthier and more vibrant lives. We’re advancing access, dignity and respect for all and revolutionizing the system for good. Visit vibrant.org. And follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Missouri Department of Mental Health merges adult St. Louis Psychiatric Hospitals

One Forensic Treatment Center, two campuses, brings staffing and operation efficiencies

January 08 2021 - Jefferson City, MO —

The Department of Mental Health (DMH) has officially merged the two St. Louis adult psychiatric hospitals into one entity called the St. Louis Forensic Treatment Center, with “North” and “South” as an additional designation for the campuses.  The North Campus is the former St. Louis Metropolitan Psychiatric Center on Delmar Street and the South Campus is the former St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center on Arsenal Street. 

The new name acknowledges that both facilities have a long history of providing specialty behavioral health treatment for individuals whose mental illness has brought them into the criminal justice system resulting in a commitment to DMH.

By combining the two hospitals for a total of 230 patient beds, the department will be able to take advantage of natural efficiencies across both campuses and the clinical expertise within each.  The single facility will provide improved services and continuity of care to patients as they progress through treatment and resolve their criminal charges, while assuring public safety concerns continue to be successfully addressed as individuals are reintegrated into the community.

For more information, contact Debra Walker at 573-751-1647 or email debra.walker@dmh.mo.gov.