Deaf, deafened and Hard of hearing (HoH) people are more likely to have mental health problems at some point in their lives. In the deaf and HoH community – 1 in every 2.5 people (40%) is struggling with a mental health problem.

Probable causes include;

  • Loneliness, Isolation and Deprivation – lack of integration, exclusion, inability to express feelings or inability to emotionally regulate.
  • Communication Barriers – hard to access mainstream mental health services as they are not accessible (no interpreters or booking system is telephone based)
  • Poor Education – lack of resources, specialist teachers, and services in schools and colleges leading to poor learning support and lack of opportunity to self-learn
  • School Environments – residential/ boarding, deaf units in hearing schools, not fitting in, bullying, leaving secure attachments and families
  • Lack of accessible information – on TV, Radio, leaflets regarding health advice/ support etc as many deaf people use BSL as their main form of communication and can not read English so are unable to improve health. (Only 10% of NHS choices website is BSL Interpreted)
  • Obstacles in Education and Employment – Deaf or HOH people are 4 times more likely to be unemployed than hearing people.
  • Lack of understanding of Deaf culture – by health professionals and GPs 
  • Family Life – not being understood, being told “it’s not important”, invalidating environments, poor communication within the family unit.

Even when we have the most supportive family and friends, we can find it difficult if not impossible to explain why we feel this way, through lack of communication, lack of external resources (money, access to education, and health care) and lack of self-awareness of feelings and emotions. However, you do not have to be alone in your crisis or on the verge of one. Before choosing to have therapy you may be experiencing underlying feelings of dissatisfaction with life in general or be seeking a balance in your life, all of these reasons and more will bring the deaf community to therapy. 

 FACTS

  • 1 in 7 people in the UK (10 million) are deaf or hard-of-hearing (14 per cent) is four times more likely to be unemployed than a hearing person.
  • About 3.7 million people of working age (16 – 65 years) are deaf or hard-of-hearing. 900,000 of these are severely or profoundly deaf.
  • About 2 million people in the UK have hearing aids but only 1.4 million use them regularly.
  • There are at least another 4 million people who do not have hearing aids but experience significant hearing difficulties in everyday life. They would be likely to benefit from hearing aids.
  • 900,000 people in the UK are registered deaf
  • 840 babies are born in the UK each year with significant deafness. The vast majority of these are born to hearing parents. Around half of those children with a permanent deafness have inherited it from one or both of their parents.
  • There are 45,000 children aged 0 to 15 who are profoundly deaf.

General disability facts

  • There are 9.4 million disabled people in England, accounting for 18% of the population.
  • 45% are males.
  • 55% are females.

The North East of England has the highest proportion of disabled people, accounting for 22% of the population. The prevalence rate of disability rises with age − around 1 in 20 children are disabled, compared to around 1 in 5 working age adults, and almost 1 in 2 people over state pension age.