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Social Relations, Mental Health, and Deaf Learners

Social Relations, Mental Health, and Deaf Learners

Approaches to Intervention

(p.389) 17 Social Relations, Mental Health, and Deaf Learners
Educating Deaf Learners
Johannes FellingerDaniel Holzinger
Oxford University Press

Mental health, in the broader context of mental well-being, includes realization of one’s own potential and having positive relationships with others. The high rates of mental health problems in deaf and hard-of-hearing children reflect the challenges they must overcome to achieve these goals. This chapter describes mental health care programs provided by multidisciplinary clinical teams in Austria. Mental health care is provided in a transdisciplinary way by all staff members, including a deaf professional, and treatment includes development of self-efficacy and enhancement of social relationships. Teaching social communication skills is considered especially important in deaf education with respect to mental health. Preventive measures include screenings for mental health problems and psychoeducational programs. Experts in the field of mental health and deafness use individual and group therapeutic intervention. There is a need for research on the effectiveness of these interventions guided by the vision of a healthy, socially competent deaf child.

Keywords:   mental health, children, deaf, hard of hearing, prevention, therapeutic interventions, transdisciplinary

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