Graduate project

Status of state-wide planning for mental health services for deaf persons in the United States

This research project presents and analyzes data collected from 36 states and U.S. Territories regarding the status of state-wide planning for mental health services for deaf people. Types of data examined include: whether or not such planning has begun and who is in charge of the planning process; the extent to which deaf people have been involved in the planning process; what groups or organizations have been involved in the planning process; the status of planning/implementation in seven specific related mental health areas; sources of funding; and deaf clients currently being served. Findings indicate that an increasing number of states and territories are engaging, at least on a limited basis, in some type of state-wide planning in this area. Data from each state is examined in the context of four geographic regions indicating states in the Northeast are generally further advanced in such planning efforts and Western states lagging significantly behind. Major hurdles to increasing the availability of services in this area identified in the research include: funding; technical expertise in the planning process; lack of qualified interpreter services; and lack of professional mental health professionals with knowledge about deafness and manual communication skills. Suggestions are made for further research in the area of mental health and deafness.

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