European Mental Health Week and Hearing Loss

European Mental Health Week and Hearing Loss

European Mental Health Week and Hearing Loss

From the 13 of May to the 19 we celebrate the European Mental Health Week. It is a pan-European initiative to raise awareness on mental health.

People with hearing loss and hard of hearing people ask EU Commission and European Member States to give a spot to hearing loss in the review of EU priorities for the years 2024-2029.

We know that living with hearing loss can add additional costs to maintain individual  independence: hearing aids, cochlear implants, maintenance. But it could also imply facing many barriers and challenges in accessing information and services essential for their well-being, and all this impacts on their mental health.

Some research showed that hearing loss and mental health are closely linked, due to anxiety, depression, loneliness and social isolation which are part of their lack of access to social life because of hearing loss.

It is important to address the mental health of hard of hearing people and provide them with inclusive mental health support and services.

Therefore, it is also important to create an inclusive environment, both in person and online, for people with a hearing disability and their families.

EFHOH is calling this Mental Health Week to:

  • To implement universal design principles and standards that can ensure the accessibility and usability of physical and digital environments and services for people with hearing disabilities;
  • To provide accommodations that can address the needs and preferences of people with a hearing loss in different situations;
  • To use accessible ways of communication that can facilitate the exchange of information such as hearing loops and captioning.
  • To involve people with hearing loss and hearing disabilities to plan, design and deliver services that affect them.
  • To promote awareness and education about people with hearing disabilities.
  • To enforce laws and policies that can protect and promote the rights and interests of people with a hearing loss.

To build a Europe where all people are treated as equals it is necessary to remove barriers that affect people with any kind of disability, including hearing loss and deafness.