How to use the internet for self help for hard of hearing people
Hard of hearing and deaf people have a higher prevalence rate of depression, possibly due to the difficulties we experience navigating in a hearing world. Difficulties communicating can lead to lowered self-esteem, emotional distress and a feeling of hopelessness.
In 2004, there were 5,863 deaths as a result of suicide in the UK, with evidence that depression may be more common in the deaf population.
However, the internet has demonstrated to be an effective and dependable tool for self help for hard of hearing people. This is likely due to the ease with which deaf individuals can connect with other hard-of-hearing people and the variety of websites available to helping us find health information and ways to improve communication.
In this article, I’d like to share some of my favourite websites and how to use them as a source of self-help.
How to use the internet as a source of self-help
It has been proven time and time again that people experiencing emotional distress do not seek help. They suffer in silence while life passes them by, no pun intended.
The use of self-help websites and health information available on the internet has led to a heightened awareness of the difficulties hard of hearing people experience in their daily lives. Communities and support groups are being used to encourage people to ask questions or, in serious cases, to seek professional help.
The Internet is constantly growing and has become one of the most popular used tools for gathering information. Self-help information, especially concerning medical info, is considered one of the most frequently inquired topics on the Internet.
Here’s how you can use the internet for self-help and support
Searching for information
Information on how other hard-of-hearing people are dealing with stress and communication problems are readily available. Simply type your query into your favourite search engine and select the result you’re looking for.
A word of caution when using the internet for self-help or personal development:
• Check the credibility of the source.
• Read the comments and customer testimonials.
• Make sure it’s not a sneaky way to advertise quick fixes and useless products.
Exposure to a variety of answers
Many websites allow you to ask questions and leave comments or they provide access to discussion forums. This is a great way you can learn from what other hard of hearing people are struggling with and how they cope.
The possibility of valuable interactions
The Internet provides a cost-effective way of interacting and establishing connections. Check if the website has social media networks available and join a group. Benefit from their conversations or start your own. I can’t emphasise enough how important a support group is.
Online education and training
If you need help to further your education or upgrade your skills, internet-based learning is a great option. Search for online courses that use proper open-captioning and transcription services for all their audio and video content.
Tina’s top choices of internet sources for hard of hearing people
Self-help for hard of hearing people: An Australian website that provides hard of hearing people with advice and support while promoting public awareness and encouraging fellowship.
Leslie Edwards Trust: A wonderful website that inspires hard of hearing people to reach their full potential. Leslie’s company not only provides valuable self-help information, but they also provide local deaf people with the skills and strategies to effectively communicate with family, friends and at work.
Superhuman Hearing: This website has a great blog providing guidance and hope to hard-of-hearing people. Frequently they’ll publish an interview with a deaf role model demonstrating how they have coped and thrived despite not being able to hear.
Living with hearing loss: This blog is dedicated to people with hearing loss. It provides constant support and guidance to help us achieve things we would never have thought possible. If you’re looking for people who will understand what you’re going through, then this blog is for you.
BSMHD – The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Although their main focus is on those who prefer sign language, they provide mental health support for all deaf people.
Mind: Mind helps millions of people, hearing and deaf, gain access to information about depression, stress and anxiety. With their guides, tips, and research you have a wealth of information at your fingertips.
If you’re struggling to cope with living in a hearing world and don’t feel comfortable discussing your feelings, I encourage you to use the internet to start reducing feelings of anxiety and depression. Find a discussion forum, social network or online support group.
When you’re ready, and if needed, contact Samaritans, Action on Hearing Loss helpline, Breathing Space (Scotland) or Deaf Adult Community Team (DACT) and Deaf Enhanced Support Team (London).
Self help for hard of hearing people using the internet is possible. The best part is, it’s accessible. Try some of my top website picks and see which ones provide you with the most value.
Please share any blogs and websites you frequently visit and believe will benefit other hard of hearing and deaf people in their journey to emotional empowerment.