Mental health. It’s a term that has gained a lot more popularity in the last few years, but
what exactly does it mean? According to mentalhealth.gov, “Mental health includes our
emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It
also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental
health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through
Thrive Together is dedicated to connecting the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
community to resources, information, and local mental health professionals. We care
about YOU. You matter.
The National Deaf Center states, “Studies show that deaf individuals experience
social‐emotional difficulties at a rate as high as two to three times that of their hearing peers.”
Mental health struggles can be a result of: trauma, social isolation, experiencing discrimination,
grief, stress, and many other factors. Specifically for the Deaf/Hoh, mental health may be
compounded by familiar isolation, communication barriers, and the hearing world’s lack of
How can we help? Let’s start with resources. If you are concerned about your current
mental health, but are unsure how to seek help, consider these resources:
1. If you are an ASL user, you have medical rights that include access to information
through an interpreter. Here is an advocacy letter from the National Association of the
Deaf, that you can give to medical care professionals (including mental health)
reminding them of their responsibilities to provide an in-person interpreter or VRI (video
remote interpreting) services.
2. If you are suicidal and in urgent need of assistance, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline has
TTY accessibility. More information can be found here.
3. For local support, here is the UnityPoint page for mental health services. UnityPoint uses
an interpreter service with iPads for virtual interpretation (it has been recommended to
request the virtual interpreter ahead of time whenever possible). With enough notice, in-
person ASL interpreters are also available.
This month, we hope you’re able to treat your mind as you would any part of your body, with
love, patience, and healing.