Appropriate services for the deaf and hard of hearing, sometimes referred to as “culturally affirmative approaches,” are those services that entail specialized knowledge in working with this population. Specialized knowledge includes appropriate skill and training in the language, culture, and community values of the deaf and hard of hearing population. Such a specialized skill set requires years of specific training that focuses on accommodating to the health care needs of this population.
There are ethics codes and laws that stipulate that when there are culturally appropriate services available to a specific minority population that requires a specialized skill set, provisions should be made to provide the individual with such service.
Yes! Years of scientifically rigorous research has proven that psychotherapy works and can be of great benefit to your overall health. You may wonder why a therapist or health professional may be needed to help individuals work through various problems. While it is true that many people can take care of their own problems, there are some situations in which professional help may be beneficial.
Consider for example if you fall down and experience a minor scrape or bruise. You can easily take care of these scrapes and bruises on your own. However, for more significant physical injuries, a visit to a doctor’s office would be appropriate. In the same way, a visit to a psychologist can help an individual to resolve more difficult issues. Psychotherapy can also be used for self-exploration and general personal growth.
Getting help for mental health care needs should not be considered a sign of weakness, but rather as a strength as it can indicate that you are aware of your own needs and of those around you.
ASL interpreters are an essential communication accommodation for individuals with hearing losses. In situations involving psychological health care, however, it is important that communication be done in the individual’s primary language. Additionally, it is important that the provider have the cultural training of working with the deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind population.
When an interpreter is used, the language and cultural competencies are likely missing from the provider, which often results in misdiagnoses and ineffective treatment outcomes. It should also be recognized that when using interpreters, even the highest levels of preparation, quality, and professionalism will not resolve all of the concern related to the complex process of diagnosis and treatment. As such, the decision to use an interpreter should not be a casual one.