Greater hearing loss support needed


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Older people with hearing loss are more than twice as likely to develop depression compared with those without the condition, Action on Hearing Loss has revealed. Highlighting the growing body of research linking mental health and hearing loss, Action on Hearing Loss has published a new report calling for more action on the matter. It wants to see hard-ofhearing individuals given the support they need, rather than allowing mental health problems to slip under the radar and go untreated.

Evidence shows that losing your hearing can result in unemployment, isolation from friends and family and even a trauma reaction. “Decades of research show a clear link between hearing loss and mental health and yet mental health services are often inaccessible for deaf people,” said Action on Hearing Loss senior researcher Laura Matthews. “As a charity we are concerned there is such little recognition by audiology services for the need to support people with a hearing loss emotionally.”

The charity, which published the report to mark World Mental Health Day, is calling on the NHS to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services for adults who lose their hearing. It wants everyone to be offered the health services they need and to make sure mental health services are accessible to all. Last year, a quarter of NHS trusts in England did not have a hearing therapist in post or could provide a referral to one.

Source: Action on Hearing Loss

Victoria Adshead, editor in chief of Audio infos UK