Firstly, I wanted to draw people’s attention to the incredible statistic that deaf children and young people are 70% more likely to suffer from mental health issues than their hearing peers and around 50% of deaf children and young people are said to suffer from some kind of mental health problem.
These topics and information include: sexual health (STIs etc), relationships, teen pregnancy, drugs, bullying, mental health… The list is endless, I could go on for hours!
I think a great example of this lack of “information” is the knowledge about “sexual language” of deaf teens. I know in the past one parent of a deaf teenager has approached me with concerns about their teenage daughters lack of understanding but as well as this I can draw on my own painfully embarrassing experiences of being the last person to understand the terms LGBT, or f**k. Hearing children and young people learn these phrases often in the play-ground or lunch hall by word of mouth and overhearing other people’s discussions. Yet for many deaf children and young people this is not possible – or certainly more difficult than for other hearing peers!
Here are a number of links to sites/charities/information that I’ve found over the years 🙂
National Deaf CAMHS (Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services).
Deaf E.A.R.S – education and advice on relationships and sexual health for deaf people in sign language or speech, subtitled videos etc.
NDCS Buzz – information about a range of issues including bullying, family and school aimed at deaf children and teenagers.
Ni is a deaf teen in mainstream school. This year she was on the NDCS Youth Advisory Board and as well as this she runs a Youth Group for Worcestershire deaf teens called “Deafinity.” She started writing a blog (www.nigallant.blogspot.com) a couple of months ago about life from a deaf teenagers perspective and says that “somehow what I said resonates with other young people – so I carried on!”
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