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Deafness and Mental Health

It is estimated that one in six Australians experience some degree of hearing loss and estimates of the signing Deaf community range between 6,500 and 15,400.

It has been reported that up to 70% of adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have hearing problems and deafness, often relating to poorly managed childhood infections.

The Deafness and Mental Health Statewide Consultation Service is the only service of its kind in Australia. Deaf and hard of hearing mental health consumers in Queensland have not previously had access to this type of service before.

The Deafness and Mental Health Statewide Consultation Service strives to promote appropriate and accessible mental health care for Deaf and hard of hearing people throughout Queensland.

Our mission

The mission of the service is to assist people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to access culturally affirmative and inclusive mental health care and treatment.

This is facilitated through:

  • providing education and training
  • supporting mental health clinical staff and other service providers
  • support for Deaf and hard of hearing mental health consumers
  • the development of prevention strategies
  • providing consultation services.

Resources

Consultation services

The service offers assistance to treating teams and private practitioners in their consultations with adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness.

This can be provided as a face-to-face service or via video conference.

Consultations focus on:

  • being sensitive to a person's unique communication and mental health needs
  • assessing their current mental health and treatment
  • exploring treatment options.

Education

The service provides a variety of online training modules, in-services and face to face workshops.

The topics provide information on:

  • understanding the culture of Deaf people
  • language and assessment issues
  • hearing loss and the implications for mental health
  • how to book interpreters and why it is important to use them.

 Online courses

Therapy/counselling

The service offers limited therapy programs and counselling that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The team works with other health professionals, including psychologists and counsellors, to assist them to provide sessions that meet the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Feedback

Give us feedback on our services.

Last updated 19 November 2019
Last reviewed 17 May 2015