May is National Mental Health Awareness Month

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

adulthood.”

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

cultural competency.



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.


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