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Statistics and Stories about Mental Health in the Deaf community

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, The Giving Cypress and Signed By Stories have partnered to underscore the need for awareness surrounding the high rates of suicide among deaf community members, and support for those afflicted. Summer shares their story and urges community members to pull together by sharing their own stories and participating in healing through peer support.


[TRIGGER WARNING: This video talks about mental health and mentions suicide.]

Deaf and hard of hearing people are 3-4 times more likely to experience emotional and psychological disorders compared to the hearing population. I am one of them.

Approximately 65% of deaf women have suicidal ideation. I am one of them. Approximately 40% of deaf and hard of hearing people will attempt to die by suicide in their lifetime. I am one of them.

At least 50% of deaf and hard of hearing people will consider dying by suicide at one point during their lives. I am one of them.

The chances of suicide are higher for deaf teenagers who identify as LGBTQIA+. I am one of them.

During the times where I feel anxious, my mind goes to a place of "giving up on life" and goes numb. Suicidal thoughts happen. I feel closed off. What do I do? I feel so alone.

Well, many others feel that way too. What has helped me is talking about it. Opening up. As I open up, I begin to notice, others feel the same as I do. I realize I’m not alone.

The impact of this realization has been so important for me. It has helped me to process and move forward on my journey through life. We all have different journeys with our mental health and different prescriptions. Some people benefit from talk therapy. Or, they find healing in expressive dance, movement, travel, and many other things! My 'safe place' is in Nature.

Knowing that I’m not alone helps me too. Maybe you feel the same…and you’re not alone. Many of us have our own journeys in struggling with mental health. By sharing our own stories, we give people the permission to do the same. Let’s talk about it! And let’s reduce the stigmatization of mental health issues. Let’s talk about it and share our stories!

Translated & Signed By Summer Crider

Voiced by Jessica Ennis

Transcript by Emma Hunt

Give yourself permission by honoring your journey. Your mental wellness is yours to share. In doing so, you may find healing in community with others. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month…

Follow @thegivingcypress and @signedbystories on Instagram.


Kushalnagar, P., Reesman, J., Holcomb, T., & Ryan, C. (2019). Prevalence of anxiety or depression diagnosis in deaf adults. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 24(4), 378–385.

Kvam, M. H., Loeb, M., & Tambs, K. (2006). Mental health in deaf adults: symptoms of anxiety and depression among hearing and deaf individuals. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 12(1), 1–7.

Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674–697.

Stevenson, J., Kreppner, J., Pimperton, H., Worsfold, S., & Kennedy, C. (2015). Emotional and behavioural difficulties in children and adolescents with hearing impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 24(5), 477–496.

Turner O, Windfuhr K, Kapur N. Suicide in deaf populations: a literature review. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Oct 8;6:26. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-6-26. PMID: 17922904; PMCID: PMC2093933.

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