A collaborative project between the Texas Education Agency and the Educational Resource Center on Deafness at Texas School for the Deaf
To raise awareness of the unique challenges of assessing and responding to deaf and hard-of-hearing youth when mental health needs are present and to provide training to address these needs effectively.
Teachers, school counselors, clinicians, behavior specialists, vocational rehabilitation staff, and other health care professionals who serve deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) youth. Trainings designed to emphasize parent/student interests may also be offered.
Historically, Texas has struggled to provide adequate services, resources, programs or professional development to address the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing youth when mental health issues are present. Because there are far too few professionals with expertise in this area those students with needs along the continuum of mental health issues may not be receiving appropriate services in their schools or communities.
The Texas Initiative for Mental Health for Deaf Youth has grown from an effort to introduce mental health awareness to parents, educators, educational interpreters and other professionals working with youth who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to a program annually offering multiple trainings across the state. As more people become familiar with the project, there are increased requests for training and larger numbers of participants at each event. With no question regarding the need for even rudimentary training to address mental health issues, this project has been met with enthusiasm and appreciation. Evaluations completed at the end of each event are consistently favorable with multiple requests to provide more training in the future.
For more information, please contact Theresa Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org