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Otitis Media (OM) is a major cause of hearing loss among many Indigenous people in Australia. OM is an ear disease of the middle ear and can be caused by an infection, bacteria or virus.
Otitis Media is more commonly associated with a mild to moderate hearing loss. If it is not successfully treated or diagnosed early, OM can permanently and severely affect hearing for life.
Many people are unaware they have a hearing loss or ‘are reluctant to admit to a hearing loss and it is commonly referred to as one of the hidden disabilities.' The long term effects of hearing loss can be associated with a number of problems that may impact on the social and emotional well-being of the person.
The Deafness and Mental Health Statewide Consultation Service offers a program that aims to promote better mental health outcomes for Australian Indigenous people with a hearing loss.
The service provides:
Workshops offer information to health professionals and carers about deafness, and its implications in the mental health field. The workshops create awareness amongst providers to become more ‘deaf-friendly’, and in doing so improve outcomes for Indigenous Deaf or hard of hearing people.
Depending on the audience, we offer workshops ranging from 1 hour to a full day and provide information on:
Costs may apply for non Queensland Health employees to attend the workshop.
For more information contact Jennifer D’Ath on (07) 3167 8430 or via email at jennifer_d’firstname.lastname@example.org.
A DVD has been created called 'Be Strong', a film about Social and Emotional Well-being in the Indigenous Deaf Community. You can view the full version below or on YouTube.
The film hopes to assist with raising awareness among Indigenous Deaf people to the concepts and terminology used in mental health. It also an excellent resource for health professionals to be used as an educational tool.
'Be Strong' is an important mental health resource that is produced in Auslan with open captions. It provides informative descriptions of Social and Emotional Wellbeing (SEW) that include the four areas of wellbeing - spiritual, physical, social and emotional - as well as definitions of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.
The Deafness and Mental Health Service has also developed an education booklet called My Australian Indigenous Deaf Wellbeing (PDF, 548.82 KB).
The booklet was created as an education resource that displays positive aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island social and emotional wellbeing (SEW) and complements the 'Be Strong' DVD resource.