This Tuesday on Not Alone we spoke with representatives from the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Did you know that American Sign Language is the third most spoken language in the US, yet mental illness in deaf people is often undiagnosed or untreated for lack of mental health professionals capable of communicating with deaf patients?
Only about 15% of parents develop the ASL communication skills necessary for meaningful conversations with their child. Because of communication challenges, deaf children are frequently misdiagnosed with mental retardation or thought disorders. According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five teenagers now suffer from some form of hearing loss, a 31% raise since the mid 90s. This rise is attributed not to an increase in ear infections, but rather an increase to exposure to loud noises. An alarming trend given that other studies show that even mild hearing loss in youth can affect academic performance, social interactions, and language developments.
Our special guest this week on Not Alone was Dr. Peter Sieler, Executive Director of the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. As we concluded the broadcast, Dr. Sieler, through his ASL interpreter, thanked us for having him on our broadcast, and remarked that he had never been invited to appear on a radio program before. Then, with a twinkle in his eyes, he commented, “but then, I’ve never heard a radio program, either.”
Click on the button below to listen to the October 19 Not Alone broadcast featuring the Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing or download the file and listen later. To listen to past broadcasts, visit The Kim Foundation Web site Not Alone Archive page.
Airing every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (CST on station KCRO, channel 660 AM based out of Omaha, Neb.), Not Alone is a live talk radio program focused on behavioral health and recovery. Developed by The Kim Foundation through the support of C&A Industries, Inc., Not Alone works to reduce the stigma often associated with mental illness. The show seeks to assure individuals, families, and communities that they are not alone, mental illness affects us all, hosting a variety of guest from across the country.