Within the Department of Mental Health (DMH) are services for deaf and hard of hearing residents of Missouri. Deaf Services is a long running program that serves 3,500 deaf or hard of hearing individuals yearly.
Deaf Services offers the majority of its newer and expanded services through both behavioral health and developmental disability areas of DMH. There are two inpatient units to help treat needs, one in Kansas City at Truman Medical Center for acute care cases and the other in St. Louis at St. Louis Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center for long-term or intermediate levels of care.
Elijah Buchholz, director of Deaf Services, said that there is a great need for programs geared toward deaf or hard of hearing consumers who also need substance abuse or psychiatric services.
There are also two newly formed socialized outpatient centers. One at Truman Medical Center and another in St. Louis with BJC HealthCare. Those programs provide substance abuse care, counseling, case management, and other similar services. The programs employ deaf employees who speak to clients using their language and who understand the deaf culture. For those in need of the outpatient services in other areas of the state, Buchholz said there is a tele-health program that will assist them with counseling services.
There are also newly released standards for working with the deaf in mental health settings. All DMH providers have received this information and are held accountable to follow them.
Deaf Services also offers various types of trainings to the public and other mental health services. Training includes Working with Interpreters, Understanding the Deaf Culture, and more.
Posted: September 19, 2013