The mental health service needs of the Deaf and the development of a National Plan
Bridgman, Geoff; McPherson, Brent
Citation:Bridgman, G., & McPherson, B. (1998, October). The mental health service needs of the Deaf and the development of a National Plan. Paper presented at the Community Mental Health Conference "Building Bridges", Christchurch.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1971
Issues surrounding the mental health of Deaf people receive little attention from practitioners in mental health services. International studies have shown that Deaf people are vulnerable to misdiagnosis of mental illness, denial of services and inappropriate services. In particular mental health services are unwilling or unable to recognise the relationship between Deaf culture and language and the delivery of adequate mental health promotion, and prevention and treatment of mental illness in the Deaf population. At present, most Deaf clients requiring mental health services only have access to those services provided by hearing professionals, the majority of whom have only superficial knowledge of Deaf culture, New Zealand Sign Language and the dynamics of the Deaf community. In Auckland and Northland, there are no qualified Deaf mental health professionals to deal with major illness such as schizophrenia, depression, and substance abuse and personality disorders within the Deaf community.