Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 649–657 | Cite as

Perspectives of People Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing on Mental Health, Recovery, and Peer Support

  • Linda Cabral
  • Kathy Muhr
  • Judith Savageau
Original Paper


This qualitative study sought to better understand the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing individuals with accessing recovery-oriented mental health services and peer support via a focus group and interviews. Cultural brokers were used to facilitate culturally-sensitive communication with study participants. Findings indicate that access to adequate mental health services, not just recovery-oriented and peer support services, is not widely available for this population, largely due to communication barriers. Feelings of isolation and stigma are high among this population. Public mental health systems need to adapt and expand services for various cultural groups to insure recovery.


Mental health Recovery and peer support Deaf and hard of hearing community Cultural brokers 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support for this project from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Office of Medicaid. Vivian Nunez, Valerie Ennis, and Marnie Fougere served as cultural brokers for this study and we thank them for their valuable contributions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Health Policy and ResearchUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolShrewsburyUSA

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