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Mental health is as critically important as physical health. The status of one’s mental health can be greatly impacted by environmental, social, psychological factors, and traumatic experiences that interfere with daily living. Deaf populations who utilize American Sign Language (ASL) for daily communication face a unique set of obstacles to accessing quality mental health care, and the lack of access to effective counseling due to linguistic barriers can contribute to the deterioration of mental health symptoms. This paper will guide non-D/deaf mental health clinicians to become more familiar with deaf culture and will underscore the potential of language accommodation to relieve burdens felt by deaf individuals.
Disclaimer: “Deaf” will be used interchangeably with “deaf” to demonstrate inclusivity with the multiplicity of deaf identity; the D iscapitalized to show affiliation to a cultural community and hard-of- hearing people who primarily use ASL for communication.
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