On 9 February 2018, our community became aware of an enormous tragedy – the death of Ben Souter. Ben was a highly skilled and experienced interpreter, interpreter trainer and mentor. He was passionate about creating a mental health hub for deaf people because he felt strongly that deaf people, especially Auslan users, had incomplete access to mental health information and services.

In memory of Ben, Karli Health Centre – a service dedicated to the provision of mental health services to deaf and hard-of-hearing people – has established a Trust Fund with the aim of providing grants to individuals who wish to contribute to growing the resources aimed at deaf and hard-of-hearing people. Grants will be to promote awareness and education in deaf mental health and deaf mental health interpreting.

This Trust Fund will make available funds to either individual or group projects that focus on encouraging more conversations, awareness and education about the very real and specific issues affecting the mental health of people in the Deaf Community whether they be deaf, hard-of-hearing, deafblind, interpreters, parents of deaf kids, children of deaf adults, teachers, doctors, anyone that has a connection to deaf people.

Click here to download an information sheet

At this time, our grants will not be large so your project may not be able to be fully funded by us. There are many options for what a project can include. Some examples are:

  • create a short video,
  • set up a Facebook live event,
  • attend a specific course about mental health,
  • explain what language deprivation means, or
  • get some mental health resources translated into Auslan

In 2020, our first two grants ($500 each) were awarded to:

  • Darlene Thornton for her project to introduce the concepts of Deaf Anxiety and Deaf Fatigue to the Australian Deaf Community, and
  • Sam Martin for his project to increase awareness about mental health issues for people who identify as LGBTQI+

Karli Health Centre wishes to acknowledge the support of many in the community, making this Trust possible.  We also wish to acknowledge the Deaf Mental Health Trust Fund team:  Karli Dettman, Claire Black, Neil Wood and Teresa Cumpston Bird.