Fri. Sep 30th, 2022
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“Recent
academic research undertaken in partnership with the
Coalition1 pointed to a lack of Deaf cultural mental health
services as being a significant barrier to accessing
appropriate support. Given that the self-reported need among
Deaf people in Aotearoa for support with depression and
anxiety is around four-times the national average2, the Just
a Thought courses could play an important role for many Deaf
people”.

Deafradio’s director Sonia Pivac, who is
Deaf, assisted in the production of these courses as a
cultural advisor and translator.

She says she hopes
the courses will give people in her community confidence and
autonomy around managing their own mental health, as well as
easy access to support in a way that works for
them.

“Despite being an official language for 16
years, access to health information, including mental
health, is still rare in NZSL, especially information
designed to accompany a viewer through a process or journey.
Face-to-face support certainly has its place in the Deaf
community, but given that Deaf people have largely missed
out on decades of mainstream destigmatisation towards mental
illness, being able to access this material privately,
online and in your own home, is of real
benefit.”

“Many of the concepts and resources on
the courses were of broad value, our Seeflow translation
team learnt a lot while working on this project,” says
Sonia.

Just a Thought general manager Charlie David
says he hopes these courses will go some way in bridging the
gap for the Deaf community for accessible and effective
mental health support.

“For the past three years
since launching, we’ve been on a mission to make mental
wellbeing support available to every New Zealander. The New
Zealand Deaf community is no exception.”

“Both
courses are free and available online – so they can be
accessed anywhere, anytime. Removing any further barriers to
support.”

A series of free wellbeing resources have
also been translated into NZSL and can be accessed from the
Just a Thought website.

To view the free resources or
sign up for one of the courses, please visit: https://www.justathought.co.nz/nzsl
 

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Source: https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE2209/S00071/free-online-therapy-courses-released-in-new-zealand-sign-language.htm

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