Professional Psychotherapy &
Sven Schild, PhD, TCC
PROVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO DEAF INDIVIDUALS USING TELEHEALTH
The deaf population has traditionally been marginalized and underserved when it comes to mental health services. This inequity is partly due to a general lack of knowledge about hearing loss and a shortage of linguistically and culturally qualified clinicians in most parts of the United States. Connecting via video conferencing technology with qualified clinicians has been proposed as one possible solution to this problem. This article describes the unique characteristics of the Deaf community, explores the benefits and challenges in using telehealth with the deaf population, and discusses current research in this area. The main goal of this article is to educate mental health professionals, stakeholders, and administrators regarding a heretofore untapped video phone infrastructure that exists for the deaf population. The authors also emphasize the need for further research to better understand and service the unique needs of deaf individuals.