Abstract and Keywords
While the majority of deaf people are mentally healthy and able to pursue self-actualizing lives, this chapter addresses critical issues in providing mental health services to deaf adults in need. It covers the history of research in mental health and the evolution of service delivery for this population. Information on the incidence and assessment of psychopathology outlines past findings and current issues. Psychological evaluations continue to be an area of concern due to the need for fluency in the deaf client’s preferred language as well as the challenges in arriving at accurate diagnoses. In turn, treatment approaches now focus on cultural relevance; however research on best practices is still in its infancy. The results of public policy advocacy are beginning to influence trends in program development and administration. Opportunities for training have improved, particularly for upcoming clinicians who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. Despite the difficulties in providing mental health services, the long-term economic benefit of keeping people mentally healthy as opposed to neglecting their mental health needs should serve as justification for service enhancements.
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