Deafness and Mental Health Statewide Consultation and Liaison Service
The Deafness and Mental Health Statewide Consultation Service strives to promote appropriate and accessible mental health care for Deaf and hard of hearing people throughout Queensland. This service is the only one of its kind in Australia.
It is estimated that 1 in 6 Australians experience some degree of hearing loss and estimates the signing Deaf community range between 6,500 and 15,400.
It is also reported that up to 70% of adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have hearing problems and deafness, often relating to poorly managed childhood infections.
The mission of the service is to assist people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to access culturally affirmative and inclusive mental health care and treatment.
This is facilitated through:
- providing education and training
- supporting mental health clinical staff and other service providers
- support for Deaf and hard of hearing mental health consumers
- the development of prevention strategies
- providing consultation services.
The service offers assistance to treating teams and private practitioners in their consultations with adults who are Deaf or hard of hearing who may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness.
This can be provided as a face-to-face service or via video conference.
Consultations focus on:
- being sensitive to a person’s unique communication and mental health needs
- assessing their current mental health and treatment
- exploring treatment options.
To make a referral, download the Deafness and Mental Health Service referral request form (PDF 241 kB) for your GP to complete. Forms can be submitted via fax to 07 3317 1296.
The service provides a variety of online training modules, in-services and face-to-face workshops.
The topics provide information on:
- understanding the culture of Deaf people
- language and assessment issues
- hearing loss and the implications for mental health
- how to book interpreters and why it is important to use them.
The online training modules are free to Queensland Health staff via iLearn or external users via https://ilearn.health.qld.gov.au/
- Deafness and Mental Health—Introduction
- Deafness and Mental Health—Intermediate
- Deafness and Mental Health—for Administration staff
Please note, modules 1 and 2 are prerequisites into the Advanced Clinical Workshop with a low cost of $99.
- View the workshop flyer: 2023 Supporting Deaf Individuals (PDF 213 kB)
- Register: 2023 Supporting Deaf Individuals with complex needs in mental health—Advanced Clinical Workshop
It is highly recommended clinicians register for this training.
Therapy programs and counselling
The service offers limited therapy programs and counselling that are culturally and linguistically appropriate. The team works with other health professionals, including psychologists and counsellors, to assist them to provide sessions that meet the needs of Deaf and hard of hearing people.
- Service brochure (PDF 248 kB)
- Queensland Government langauge services policy
- Guidelines for working with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing (PDF 1188 kB)
- Support for older persons with hearing loss/deafness (PDF 254 kB)
- Interpreter Self-Care information (PDF 187 kB)
Educational resource booklets
- Alcohol (PDF 1795 kB)
- Anxiety (PDF 1952 kB)
- Bipolar Affective Disorder (PDF 2585 kB)
- Cannabis awareness (PDF 2509 kB)
- Depression (PDF 1827 kB)
- Domestic violence (PDF 2657 kB)
- Medication safety (PDF 2283 kB)
- Methamphetamine awareness (PDF 1950 kB)
- My Australian Indigenous Deaf Well-being (PDF 1588 kB)
- Relationships (PDF 2502 kB)
- Schizophrenia (PDF 2176 kB)
- Sexual health (PDF 1373 kB)
- Disability and carers information helpline about coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Masks and face coverings (COVID-19) (PDF 279 kB)
- Mental Health Q&A for the Deaf community (video playlist)
New research project
A research project is currently being undertaken by the Deafness and Mental Health Service. The research project involves older Deaf people who use Auslan in Australia.
Deaf people over the age of 50 are encouraged to download this flyer (PDF 760 kB) and follow the prompts to register their interest in a memory test. The memory test aims to assist the Deaf community in the future to have a culturally validated tool that will test for memory decline, equal to that for hearing people.
You can also watch the Mind and Memory Research for Older Deaf People EOI video on YouTube.