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Mental Health Services for the Deaf
Doris L. Dickens
Psychiatric Services 1978; doi:
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Mental Health Program for the Deaf, St. Elizabeths Hospital, 2700 Martin Luther King, Jr., Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20032

American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

The mental health program for the deaf at St. Elizabeths Hospital offers comprehensive services to adolescents and adults who were born deaf or who became deaf early in life. A staff of 49, six of whom have impaired hearing, provide services to about 33 inpatients and about 71 outpatients. Activity therapies that do not require oral communication, such as occupational therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, and psychodrama, play an important role in the program, as does group psychotherapy. The program provides training, field experience, and consultation for workers throughout the U.S. and from foreign countries. Some guidelines for communicating with the deaf are given.

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