Mental Health Services NZ and USA


– Hello, I’m Sheli Barber. – Hello, I’m Monica, and this is my sign name. – Where are you from? – I’m from New Zealand. We are next to Australia. – The both of us are here to discuss access to mental health services in different countries. There’s approximately 450 million Deaf
people around the world. In the USA, there’s between 5-10 million Deaf people. And only 2% can access mental health services, including counseling. – In New Zealand there’s approximately
7,000 Deaf people. But, I do not know what percentage of
them have access to mental health services. But I think it is a serious issue. Quite possibly
a small percentage do have access. In New Zealand’s South Island, Deaf people
do not have access to those services. Only those in the North Island’s Auckland
have access to Deaf mental health services. – Here in the USA, Deaf people are able to access counselors in a variety of ways: via VP [videophone] e.g. to DCC –
Deaf Counseling Center; by going to a therapist who can sign
or is Deaf themselves; if they aren’t available, then an appointment can be made to see a hearing therapist, with interpreters. Or, they do not see a counselor at all. – In New Zealand, we do have Deaf
counselors but they are in Auckland, not easily accessed by Deaf living around the country. There is a lot of isolation experienced, as there is no Deaf therapists, and other things like in the USA. This means Deaf often have to use interpreters at their appointments with hearing professionals. Often at those appointments there is miscommunication because of interpreters staying within their role, So in those cases we might have another Deaf person in the sessions to further breakdown the information. Those Deaf people are ‘Support Workers’. This means that information from the professional goes through at least two people to the Deaf patient. This is not smooth & effective communication between the Deaf patient and the professional. – Similarly here in the USA, many Deaf mention they do not like using interpreters in those situations, because of exactly that – the number of people involved and passing the information on. Same issue. – In NZ 4 people are involved – Deaf client, Deaf Support Worker, interpreter, and the professional. This also means the session can be
long due to all the translations. Also, the hearing professionals do not
understand Deaf culture, Deaf way. And this can be quite stressful for Deaf
people, or make them feel anxious. – Deaf in the USA face many similar
issues to that experienced in NZ. For example, depression, anxiety, feeling down, TSD, etc. So some similarities there. Deaf people also experience impacts
of language deprivation, and the after effects of that, such as growing up experiencing oppression, frustrations. – Same in NZ. Also, people don’t understand Deaf way, that they have often been oppressed, or are lonely. So we are finding that there’s a lot of Deaf Awareness training needed for the professionals. – Isolation? – Yes, loneliness is experiened by many Deaf, especially the older Deaf people, because they do not have the technology that can keep them connected to
others, or after they finish school they are “lost”. – A lot of similarities between NZ and the USA. The only difference is access; here in the USA, we have more counseling & therapy available that is accessible. Services can be accessed via VP — – That is fantastic, allowing Deaf patients to have direct contact with Deaf professionals through videophones. – Nothing like that in NZ? – It’s starting to be used in NZ.
The issue is – who pays for this? – One last question from me. I’m curious to know about the healthcare system in NZ. How is counseling paid for? Through insurance? – Right, you have insurance. In NZ, those who can afford it, have health insurance. There are many people who don’t have insurance because they can’t afford to pay it. So this is a barrier for them. It depends on the doctor they see and if they agree to refer to counseling. The system is still not working for Deaf people. There is a new system that is coming
out in a few years time I hope. The Government are setting up EGL – Enabling Good Lives – where funding is given to individuals such as Deaf people, and empowers them to make decisions about what to spend the money on. They could decide to use their funds for counseling, or on something that will help improve things for them. I hope this new funding system will improve access for Deaf – they could pay for services that are Deaf-friendly, such as Deaf counselors, or Deaf therapists, and
use VP if they wish to. I hope it starts soon. – Here in the USA, there is health insurance which can cover the costs of counseling services. However, not all health insurances do cover this. There’s also Medicare & Medicaid which does cover the costs of counseling, however be aware that they do not cover the costs of VP counseling. – Oh! Why not? – No, not covered at all. – So, people who live in rural communities, for example, and don’t have Deaf organisations or Deaf counseling services nearby are stuck. That’s a challenge we have, with providing
services to all Deaf people in the USA. – I hope the USA can look at what is happening in NZ with the new funding system (EGL). Funding is distributed to all Deaf people of all
ages, to give them access to health services. I hope you will be able to see that. It’s already been
rolled out in Australia, where it is called NDIS. NDIS stands for something like Deaf—Disabled Health Services – No, “National Deaf Insurance Scheme”. So that’s fairly new in Australia and I wonder how
that is going, as we have copied that for NZ. – OK, thanks for watching this! Hope you can share your experiences from different countries. – (BOTH) Thank you, goodbye!

3 Comments

  1. Sheli: Hello, I'm Sheli Barber. 
     
    Monica:  Hello, I'm Monica, and this is my sign name. 
     
    Sheli: Where are you from? 
     
    Monica:   I'm from New Zealand. We are next to Australia. 
     
    Sheli: The both of us are here to discuss access to mental health services in different countries. There's approximately 450 million Deaf people around the world. In the USA, there's between 5-10 million Deaf people. And only 2% can access mental health services, including counseling. 
     
    Monica:  In New Zealand there's approximately 7,000 Deaf people. But I do not know what percentage of them have access to mental health services. But I think it is a serious issue. Quite possibly a small percentage do have access.  In New Zealand's South Island, Deaf people do not have access to those services. Only those in the North Island's Auckland have access to Deaf mental health services. 
     
    Sheli: Here in the USA, Deaf people are able to access counselors in a variety of ways: via VP [videophone] e.g. to DCC – Deaf Counseling Center; by going to a therapist who can sign or is Deaf themselves; if they aren't available, then an appointment can be made to see a hearing therapist, with interpreters Or, they do not see a counselor at all. 
     
    Monica:  In New Zealand, we do have Deaf counselors, but they are in Auckland, not easily accessed by Deaf living around the country.  There is a lot of isolation experienced, as there are no Deaf therapists, and other things like in the USA. This means Deaf often have to use interpreters at their appointments with hearing professionals. Often at those appointments there is miscommunication because of interpreters staying within their role, so in those cases we might have another Deaf person in the sessions to further breakdown the information. Those Deaf people are 'Support Workers'. This means that information from the professional goes through at least two people to the Deaf patient. This is not smooth & effective communication between the Deaf patient and the professional. 
     
    Sheli: Similarly, here in the USA, many Deaf mention they do not like using interpreters in those situations, because of exactly that – the number of people involved and passing the information on. 
     
    Monica:  Same issue. In NZ 4 people are involved – Deaf client, Deaf Support Worker, interpreter, and the professional. This also means the session can be long due to all the translations. Also, the hearing professionals do not understand Deaf culture, Deaf way. And this can be quite stressful for Deaf people or make them feel anxious. 
     
    Sheli: Deaf in the USA face many similar issues to that experienced in NZ. For example, depression, anxiety, feeling down, PTSD, etc. So, some similarities there. Deaf people also experience impacts of language deprivation, and the aftereffects of that, such as growing up experiencing oppression, frustrations. 
     
    Monica:  Same in NZ. Also, people don't understand Deaf way, that they have often been oppressed, or are lonely. So, we are finding that there's a lot of Deaf Awareness training needed for the professionals. 
     
    Sheli: Isolation? 
     
    Monica:  Yes, loneliness is experienced by many Deaf, especially the older Deaf people, because they do not have the technology that can keep them connected to others, or after they finish school they are "lost". 
     
    Sheli: A lot of similarities between NZ and the USA. The only difference is access; here in the USA, we have more counseling & therapy available that is accessible. Services can be accessed via VP 
     
    Monica:  Nothing like that in NZ? It's starting to be used in NZ. The issue is – who pays for this? 
     
    Sheli: One last question from me. I'm curious to know about the healthcare system in NZ. How is counseling paid for? Through insurance? 
     
    Monica:  Right, you have insurance. In NZ, those who can afford it, have health insurance. There are many people who don't have insurance because they can't afford to pay it.  So, this is a barrier for them. It depends on the doctor they see and if they agree to refer to counseling. The system is still not working for Deaf people. There is a new system that is coming out in a few years’ time, I hope. The Government are setting up EGL – Enabling Good Lives – where funding is given to individuals such as Deaf people and empowers them to make decisions about what to spend the money on.  They could decide to use their funds for counseling, or on something that will help improve things for them. I hope this new funding system will improve access for Deaf – they could pay for services that are Deaf-friendly, such as Deaf counselors, or Deaf therapists, and use VP if they wish to. I hope it starts soon. 
     
    Sheli: Here in the USA, there is health insurance which can cover the costs of counseling services. However, not all health insurances do cover this. There's also Medicare & Medicaid which does cover the costs of counseling, however, be aware that they do not cover the costs of VP counseling. 
     
    Monica:  Oh! Why not? 
     
    Sheli: No, not covered at all. So, people who live in rural communities, for example, and don't have Deaf organizations or Deaf counseling services nearby are stuck. That's a challenge we have, with providing services to all Deaf people in the USA. 
     
    Monica:  I hope the USA can look at what is happening in NZ with the new funding system (EGL). Funding is distributed to all Deaf people of all ages, to give them access to health services. I hope you will be able to see that. It's already been rolled out in Australia, where it is called NDIS. NDIS stands for something like Deaf—Disabled Health Services – No, "National Deaf Insurance Scheme".  So that's fairly new in Australia and I wonder how that is going, as we have copied that for NZ. 
     
    Sheli: OK, thanks for watching this! Hope you can share your experiences from different countries. 
     
    (BOTH) Thank you, goodbye!

  2. Video description:  Monica (l) and Sheli (r) are sitting outside on a windy day with trees, cars, and the occasional pedestrian walking behind them. They are both wearing glasses and short-sleeved black shirts and signing their conversation.

  3. 굿

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