Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Missouri Association of the Deaf files lawsuit against state over inadequate mental health services

From The St. Louis Globe-Democrat:

Thirteen individuals who are deaf and the Missouri Association of the Deaf (MoAD)are suing the state of Missouri in federal court.

The thirteen individuals and MoAD accuses the state of failing to provide adequate mental health services to 1,100 persons throughout the state who are deaf, many they say are children.

The lawsuit was announced Monday with MoAD on the steps of the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. The lawsuit would force the state to alter its policies for helping deaf Missourians.

It would include state-run psychiatric hospitals, community mental health clinics overseen by the state, and providers of mental health services that receive payments under the state's Medicaid program.

The principal defendants in the suit are Keith Schaefer, director of the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) and Stephanie Winslow, director of DMH's Office of Deaf Services.