Better hearing, mental health care should be made available to all - www.jewishaz.com: Wellness

Better hearing, mental health care should be made available to all

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7:53 am

With more than 1 million individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in Arizona and more than 48 million nationwide, it is natural to assume that access to quality health care for those with a hearing loss would be the same as for those whose hearing is intact. The reality is that it is not. May is both Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) and Mental Health Month (MHM), and together, both causes connect on an important issue within the deaf and hard of hearing communities.

Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are an underserved cultural and linguistic population within the nation’s mental health system. Unfortunately, it is all too common that a cultural, language or communication issue is mistaken for a developmental delay or mental illness. Additionally, there is evidence to show that those who are deaf or hard of hearing are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, cognitive decline and social isolation.

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