Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals – particularly those who use Auslan as their primary language – face enormous barriers when trying to access mainstream mental health services.
Additionally, there are a range of specific mental health challenges that many Deaf and hard-of-hearing face. Examples of these can include insufficient development of emotional regulation skills, insufficient knowledge of strategies for good mental health and lack of knowledge about what mental health support can offer. Generally, these result from the language deprivation that many deaf children experience because they do not share a language with their families of origin.
Often the lived experience of Deaf people experiencing mental health challenges is quite different to that of other communities. For some, the experience is one of trying to put together a puzzle without knowing what it should look like.