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The Texas Mental Health Initiative for Deaf Youth is a collaborative project with the Texas Education Agency. The initiative works to:
- Raise awareness of the unique challenges of assessing and responding to deaf and hard-of-hearing youth when mental health needs are present
- Provide training to address these mental health needs effectively
Training is available to the following professionals:
- School counselors
- Behavior specialists
- Vocational rehabilitation staff
- Other healthcare professionals who serve those who are deaf or hard of hearing
Parents or students interested in training may request customized training to fit specific interests and needs.
Responding to the Need
Historically, Texas has struggled to provide adequate services, resources, programs, or professional development to address the mental health needs of youth who are deaf or hard of hearing. Because there are far too few professionals with expertise in this area, students may not be receiving appropriate services in their schools or communities.
The initiative for deaf youth grew from an effort to introduce mental health awareness to parents and professionals working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing to a program with training available across the state. A mental health symposium is hosted annually, bringing together professionals and families to exchange the latest information on mental health.