RHA Behavioral Health is home to a nationally recognized program of behavioral health services for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. This year alone we have provided consultation to the states of Georgia, Wisconsin, and Minnesota on service delivery and program development for services to this population. The RHA Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) program is presenting at BreakOut, the only national Mental Health and Deafness conference in the nation, later this year.
The RHA DHH Program began with a Coastal Care contract in the Wilmington area in 2010. Smoky Mountain Center (SMC) soon followed suit, contracting with RHA to serve the western part of the state in 2011. OPC (Orange, Person and Chatham Area Program contract) was added to the SMC contract in 2012. Alliance contracted with RHA in 2013, making the DHH program statewide.
RHA Health Services was granted a contract with the State Division of Mental Health to administer the DHH program. Initially, the contract was for $1.4 million. The contract grew to $1.6 million in the fiscal year 2018 and additional staff positions were added throughout the year.
There are a total of nineteen positions within the RHA DHH program; ten licensed clinical therapists, including two licensed psychologists, six outreach consultant coordinators, one business manager, one administrative support person and one director. All are fluent in both English and American Sign Language. Most of the team is Deaf or hard of hearing. DHH staff is located in offices or can be available to see consumers in Asheville, Lenoir, Charlotte, High Point, Burlington, Raleigh, Lumberton, Fayetteville, Wilson, New Bern and Wilmington. In addition, polycom services are available throughout the state with Deaf and hard of hearing consumers connecting with clinicians from the location nearest to them through polycom.
RHA Behavioral Health’s DHH Services include comprehensive clinical assessment, case coordination and consultation, mental health and substance abuse counseling and therapy, outreach, as well as education and referral services. During this fiscal year, Peer Support Services have been added at three locations. Additionally, a statewide online video NA meeting for the deaf has been launched.
Regardless of the type of behavioral health services needed by someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing, DHH staff can provide assistance with determining communication needs, finding resources related to hearing loss, and assessing the cultural impact of deafness on treatment. No matter the type of program you work in or services you provide, if you are serving someone with hearing loss, the DHH program can serve you! Contact us with any question or concerns you might have.
Remember, anyone can contact the DHH program to refer consumers or request information or consultation – and we encourage you to do so!
Watch our Brief Video overview about the DHH program