- Ask for a referral from your insurance company or social service agency to a qualified mental health professional who has experience working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Communicate with a mental health care professional in a confidential and safe environment.
- Communicate with a mental health care professional in the language and mode of communication that is effective for you.
- Clearly understand the problem you have and the recommendations being made for your care.
- Clearly understand what medication you are being asked to take, what the possible side effects are, and what the medication will do.
In 2008, the NAD approved a new position statement on Mental Health Services for Deaf Children. The NAD also approved a supplementary position statement on Culturally Affirmative and Linguistically Accessible Mental Health Services. The supplementary statement is intended to be an update to the 2003 Position Statement on Mental Health Services for People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
These documents will provide guidance to state and federal agencies, consumers, state associations, and affiliates on appropriate mental health service delivery for deaf and hard of hearing children and adults. These documents reflect current trends in the field of mental health and are a model for all states and service providers. Service delivery for deaf and hard of hearing children poses particular challenges that are unique and different from those for adults. It is vital that optimal mental health care for deaf and hard of hearing children.
When you believe a mental health service provider has discriminated against you because you are deaf or hard of hearing, you have the right to file a complaint.