Deaf Services

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 serving people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Director also oversees policy development, evidence based practices, and program development informed by advice from DMH stakeholders. If you need help for a psychiatric or substance use disorder or a developmental disability, the links below provide information about applying for services.

988 Videophone Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you know is in a mental health, suicide, or alcohol or drug use crisis, help is available. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline has options for Videophone (VP), Chat, Text, and Voice calls. To call by TTY relay, first dial 711 and then 988.

Crisis specialists fluent in ASL answer videophone calls. Crisis specialists trained in the needs of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people answer most texts and chats in Missouri.

Reach a 988 crisis specialist now:

VP 988 or dial 988 from your VP  |  Text 988  |  Chat 988  |  Dial 988 by phone

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a free and confidential service available to everyone.

For more information, visit or

Deaf Services Specialized Outpatient Centers

Specialized Outpatient Centers (SOCs) provide services from mental health professionals who are fluent in American Sign Language and affirm Deaf culture. Services are available on-site and in the community in the St. Louis and Lee's Summit areas. Individual counseling is available statewide through telehealth. For more information, please contact your closest SOC.

BJC Behavioral Health Deaf Services
Laura Shapiro, MSW, ACSW, LCSW
1150 Graham Road, Suite 102
St. Louis, MO 63031
Cell: 314-210-4301

ReDiscover Deaf Services
Elijah Buchholz, MA, LPC, LCAC
1535 NE Rice Road
Lee's Summit, MO 64086
Cell: 913-709-5540

For more information on specialized Deaf mental health services, see Specialized Services.

The Office of Deaf Services also works with all DMH-contracted providers to ensure that culturally appropriate services and effective communication are available.

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. They support culturally appropriate services and effective communication for deaf and hard of hearing people served by 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.

If you are a CMHC/SUDT employee looking for information on becoming a Deaf Services Advocate, please see the Training page.

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:

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 for the deaf and hard of hearing, please use the following links.