Suicide in the Deaf population (all forms of deafness included)
Background: There is evidence that mental illness may be more common amongst the deaf population than amongst the hearing population. Deaf people also face additional difficulties in accessing health services. We still don’t know for sure how many deaf people commit suicide? A review was done at The Centre for Suicide Prevention at the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK by Oliver Turner, Kirsten Windfuhr and Navneet Kapur. There is little evidence and study of suicidal behavior among deaf people available.
What did the review discover?
• Only 0,2% of persons with suicidal behavior had a hearing loss.
• Persons with tinnitus had a higher percentage of suicidal behavior.
• Suicidal behavior in schools and collages for deaf has differed from 1,7% to 18% and over all it has been 30%.
Risk factors for suicide in the deaf population:
• Deaf persons had a higher percentage of depression than the general population.
• Deficiency of deaf role models.
• Family, peer and relationship problems.
• Anger and self-esteem issues.
• No definite effective treatment strategies were found.
• Prevention strategies are:
- Improve understanding of the incidence, prevalence and risk factors
- Better training of personel
- Deaf awareness
- Receive health care support
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