Disaster Services

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

ODS offers preparedness training in disaster mental health such as 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 fact sheets about the emotional impact of disasters on different populations and common reactions to disaster.

ODS is also involved in ongoing emergency planning for mental health needs, the needs of children, and continuity of operations.

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


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Partnerships and Funding

To strengthen the Department’s capacity to respond to the mental health needs of citizens, ODS coordinates efforts with other agencies like 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 DHSS using Federal Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) funding. This provides the behavioral health components needed in comprehensive planning. ODS also develops and administers the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Crisis Counseling Program grant when a federal declaration for a disaster in Missouri.

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