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Mental Health

  • By: Candace A. McCullough
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Mental health is the state of psychological well being in which an individual is able to enjoy life, cope with everyday stressors, and function to optimal capacity in the world. As a consequence of societal audism and paternalism, Deaf people face unique challenges when it comes to mental health. Historically, they have been underserved and misdiagnosed in the mental health system. Very few professionals have the necessary qualifications and background to serve the Deaf community’s mental health needs; even fewer clinical programs specifically cater to this population. Like members of other minority groups who deal with oppression on a day-to-day basis, Deaf people are at greater risk for certain mental health issues. The implications of being pathologized not merely once for being Deaf, but again ...

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