How are you?
Have you had the chance to really ask yourself that lately?
We are used to others asking us that we tend to fail to intentionally check in on ourselves. It is not a common practice, but it should be.
Our mental health is important and everyone is
different from each other. There are people who don’t have to think about it or put time into their well-being on an emotional, psychological, and behavioral level.
Mental health is a very large topic in the world today and personally in my community. However, mental health in the deaf community has a very small focus in research and in awareness. I discovered that mental health in the deaf community does not compare to mental health in the hearing community.
In my research, I came across an article by Sandra Mueller called Mental Illness in the Deaf Community: Increasing Awareness and Identifying Needs. In the article, she states that 90% of deaf children are born into hearing families. Many of these children do not receive an accessible language input during the critical language acquisition period of brain development.
While there are differences in development, mental diagnoses remain similar such as depression, and anxiety. Professionals often have limited knowledge of deaf culture which seriously impacts their ability to accurately assess and treat them.
Eventually, language is developed but, talking about mental well-being in the deaf community is not.
So, whose responsibility is it?
Mental health goes beyond professionals; to effectively understand mental health it starts with our loved ones and ourselves. The world may be slow with understanding the culture within the deaf community. But, something I have come to understand is that we need to have the conversation with each other, with yourselves, note how you are feeling, and dedicate the time to understand.
Asking a simple question goes a long way in developing a mentally stable relationship with yourself.
So, how are you? Why?
Resources for help: