The Struggles of Getting Therapy while Deaf ft Rikki Poynter

CHRIS BOUTTÉ: I’ve had a lot
and I mean a lot of you asked me to make some videos about
dealing with mental health issues as well as a disability. So, that’s why in this video
I brought along a very special guest. What is up, everybody? This is Chris from ‘The Rewired Soul’ where we talk about the problem
but focus on the solution and if you’re new to my channel, my channel is all about mental health and what I like to do, typically,
is pull different topics from the YouTube community to try to teach you how to improve
your mental and emotional wellbeing. Something else I like to do
is get other YouTubers onto my channel to discuss different mental health topics. So, if you’re into that, make sure you subscribe
and ring that notification bell. So yes, I have brought on the wonderful,
the amazing Rikki Poynter. Alright, so before I pass,
before I pass the mic onto her, just a quick story,
when I first started this channel, I did a lot of research. I wanted to see who else out there
was talking about mental health, right? And I actually came across Rikki’s channel and I had like… probably less than
100 subscribers when I first found her and I was like, this is really cool, you know, because she talks about
a wide range of topics and all that. So, recently, within the last month or two,
I saw Rikki, I can’t remember if she, like,
tagged me in a tweet or commented on one of my videos,
well, I’m like, Oh snap, that’s Rikki Poynter.
I was like, “I know her!” So, we started chatting
and then we started talking on Twitter and I was like, “OK, cool.
Yeah, let’s do a collab”. I actually did a video
over on Rikki’s channel that will be linked at the end of this video
and in the info card. And I made a video for her channel
talking about dealing with, you know, the feeling of being alone,
like nobody understands. So, make sure that you go check that out
over on her channel and subscribe while you’re at it. So, personally, I always try to add captions
in all of my videos. I’m trying to do a better job of it too,
like just so you guys know when you guys support the channel, even if it’s just by watching my videos or when you’re like, you know, buying my books or you’re supporting the channel over on Patreon. I’m trying to get, you know, captions paid for now because typically I use
the auto-generated YouTube ones. I go in there, edit it a little bit
but I don’t spend a ton of time. So, what I’ve actually been doing with some of the money that I’m making
from the channel is paying for captions because I know a lot of you appreciate that. I know some of you who are deaf,
like, you appreciate that. So, I’m really trying my best
to caption more videos. By the way, if anybody watching this, if you’re interested in captioning videos, let me know down in the comments below or if you want to translate them
into other languages, whatever it is
because mental health is a global issue. But anyways, I’ll shut up about that. But Rikki, like, I’m glad I’m doing this collab because she works with a company
who actually captions videos. So, this video is going to be fully captioned, but I wanted to bring her on
because she is deaf, she’s been struggling with it
pretty much her whole life, and she wants to talk about, you know, the struggles of getting mental health help when you are deaf or disabled, alright? Anyways, I’ll shut my mouth now
and here is Rikki Poynter. RIKKI POYNTER: Hello. My name is Rikki. As you probably already know
because I’ve likely already been introduced. This is my cat, Libby, and I don’t know how long
she’s gonna be here, but she decided to say “Hi”
for once, in a video. I guess because this is a special occasion. I am a YouTuber who is deaf,
have chronic pain and fatigue, and on my channel,
I talk about deaf awareness, disability-related things,
mental health, etc, etc. And on the occasion, you might see
my deaf demon, Bob, come out because at the age of 11, I was possessed by a deaf demon named ‘Bob’, and I’m just kidding,
that is a joke that we have on the channel. That just gives you an example
of what goes on over there. So, I want to thank Chris very much
for allowing me to come on his channel and talk about being deaf
and the lack of mental health resources, more specifically therapy. Just to kind of make this
a somewhat shorter video. I very much appreciate the fact that
Chris is letting an actual deaf person talk about this sort of thing and… hello. So, I have been depressed
for a very, very long time. I grew up dealing with child abuse
and just loneliness in general because if you look at the statistic, a lot of deaf kids are, you know, most of us are born to hearing families
and a lot of the times we don’t get access to a deaf community,
to deaf culture, ASL, etc, etc and it can get very isolating. Not only that, but there were just other things that were really not deaf-related that contributed to my mental health issues. I also have a lot of anger management problems. So after many, many years
of trying to deal with it, I started dealing with it in a way
by talking about it on YouTube and then eventually I was thinking, “Man, I really should start therapy
in some way, shape or form”. But the thing is, it’s very difficult
to find proper therapy. One of the main reasons is just the fact that there’s not really a whole lot of accessibility
in the therapy world. So, yes, I speak English. I was…
I grew up mainstreamed, which means that I grew up
in a public education. I grew up speaking English,
which is why I sound so great, you know, speaking English. I’ve been speaking it
since I was three or four when I had better hearing back then, right? But the thing is, despite the fact that
I can speak English pretty well, I can’t understand it very well
and I can’t hear it very well. So, trying to find somebody that will
provide that sort of accommodation is very difficult. Now, I didn’t know ASL growing up. However, I have started learning it
a few years ago and while I can get a pretty good, you know,
basic conversation and I have a feeling that trying to find
someone fluent in ASL was a little bit difficult or at least, you know, trying to understand
the mental health vocabulary, right? I tried a free trial of BetterHelp
a couple of months ago because I figured that the best way for me to be able to get some sort of therapy
was text. Text is the best way for me
to understand anything. I always have people type things down,
if I have an interview with anybody, I have them type their questions down on Skype, and then if they want
they can read it out loud, you know, just for the sake of the audio portion, right? So, when I tried BetterHelp,
I thought this was kind of fantastic, you know, we can use the instant message feature. However, there was the financial costs and I’ll get more into that in a second. But then you think about people
who are fluent in ASL, right? Or insert sign language of your country, because not all countries use ASL and I went into some sort of, like,
psychologist database and I was trying to find somebody
who lived close by that was fluent in ASL. Practically nobody.
At least not close by. The closest I found was Asheville, which is about an hour and a half away. An hour and a half to two hours. Driving all that time and driving for that much time back and forth, on top of paying
a traditional therapist fee, just sounds draining. And you know what? That’s the case
for a lot of people, a lot of deaf people, because here’s the thing, ASL and English
are two completely different languages. So, a lot of the time you’re not gonna find
a whole lot of deaf people who grew up using ASL, you’re not gonna find them
to be very fluent in English because the education here
just isn’t all that great. There’s a lot of deaf schools
that have been closed down and a lot of hearing teachers in deaf schools
that don’t even know ASL. Yeah, that’s a thing. So, that makes things complicated. Trying to find somebody
that speaks your language because therapy isn’t something, I imagine,
that you really wanna mess up, you know? And you wanna be able to understand
everything that’s going on so that you can really get the help
that you need. Now, I did do a little bit of research
when I was trying to find other therapists and I saw that there were a few
deaf-based therapists. There are two that I remember seeing. I can’t remember the names of them right now, but it was a deaf therapy service and all the therapists were deaf. However, when I was doing
a little bit more research and trying to find reviews, I found out the reviews were not so great, so you know, the whole breaking
confidentiality policies and whatnot. So, that was something
that I wasn’t really interested in because I didn’t want that to happen to me, nobody really wants that to happen. That’s a bummer right there. The other thing is the cost. Therapy is expensive as heck, right? And the thing with being deaf/disabled is a lot of us are very unemployed
or underemployed. So for me, because I was never able
to be successful in getting a “normal people job”. I hate using that, but a “mainstream job”,
if you will, you know, like something in retail and you know, whatnot. I’ve never been successful at that. So, I’m self-employed
with YouTube and Twitch etc, etc. And that income is all wishy-washy.
It all depends. And deaf and disabled people are some pf
the most unemployed people in the world and yes you may get SSI
and some other stuff, but you’re only allowed a certain amount
in your bank account and once you possibly go over that,
you’re out, you…
it’s not gonna work out. And when I was looking at prices, it was anywhere from $80
to something over $100. That is really expensive, especially if you wanted to go,
you know, every week or something. If I were to go to the person
I found at Asheville, I would probably only be able to go
once a month because the gas would be expensive and then the appointment
would be expensive, right? So, BetterHelp was a good option and I know there’s another
text-based therapy thing, I can’t remember the name of it,
but BetterHelp wasn’t too bad, and price was about $35 a week and there might be a couple of other options but even that can be very, very expensive
for a deaf or disabled person. And also while I’m back on the accommodation thing because I just remembered I had also emailed
a couple of local people, a couple of local therapists
and I would ask them, “Hey, what’s your accommodation like?” So, would you be able to write things down for me like I can meet you halfway, I will talk to you out loud
and then you can write to me or type on the laptop or whatever. Or would you be able to find
an ASL interpreter because ‘insert Americans With
Disabilities Act thing here’ and every response that I got,
if I got a response, a lot of people didn’t reply to me,
including the ASL-fluent one in Asheville. I would get a lot of, “Yeah, you would have to pay for
your own interpreter.” and then they would never reply at all
about the typing part, even if I replied back to them trying to get some sort of clarification on that and hiring an interpreter
is also very expensive and that’s quite the burden
to put on the disabled person, especially when…
or the deaf person, especially when you have
the ADA in place. A couple of people said that the requirement,
when it comes to ADA, like, yes, you would have to
provide one yourself, but regardless of what that
little specific part is, it’s just so expensive. Chances are we can hardly afford
the actual therapy appointment and then having to pay, gosh, what is it?
$100 or $200 for an hour, I think, I may be wrong,
for an interpreter along with it? Plus the gas if you gonna go driving.
It’s so expensive. So, yeah, the whole depression percentage among deaf and disabled people is so, so high. Not only because of ableism, but because of the lack of mental health…
proper mental health resources for deaf people. I do wish that therapy
was much more readily accessible because that will make things
a whole lot easier and you know what? In the future, I may try BetterHelp again. I know there was that whole like scandal
that happened with them, but sometimes you kinda just have to
go with a certain evil, if you will, if a company is evil. It’s just like with disabled people and Amazon. A lot of people aren’t liking Amazon lately,
but when you’re disabled, you kind of have to go with
what you can get, right? So, Amazon is a tremendous help
for those who find that the outside world is not very accessible in terms of, you know, mobility aids and whatnot. So, what can we do to try to solve this problem? A whole lot of education. That’s why I make videos over on my channel. I try to talk to people and let things be known. I’ve had a couple of people
who want to be therapists, right? Who have told me, “Wow, I had no idea about this
and I want to make a change.” You know, “I want to be able to…
I want to learn ASL so that way, if I do have deaf patients
who want to come into therapy, I would be able to help them out
or you know, they may offer to do the whole typing thing, should the deaf patient be
proficient in English”, like me. That’s one thing to do. And also instead of just making videos
or writing articles, actually sending out emails or letters
to these sorts of businesses, these therapists and telling them, “Hey, this is what you should
probably consider doing because I think it would be a tremendous help”. It would be a tremendous help, but you know? Yeah. So yeah. I thought that that was
a very interesting topic to talk about because it’s something that
really needs to be talked about. And again, Chris, thank you,
so, so much for allowing me to be able to come talk about this, because yeah,
I could talk about it on my channel, right? But it’s really good to talk about it
to a completely different audience because chances are you probably knew less than what my audience does because they’ve been around me for a while. So, I hope you all learned something new. I hope that I’ve possibly encouraged you all to help us make some change. Thank you for allowing me to take up your time and I will you later, bye. Back to Chris. CHRIS BOUTTÉ: Alright. Thank you
so, so, so much, Rikki, for coming over and discussing this
with everybody. Like, with my channel, one of my main goals is to spread awareness, alright? And here’s the thing, like dealing with
mental health issues is a struggle. It’s a struggle already, but, you know, what we learn from Rikki,
and even I learned some more, when you’re deaf or even,
you know, have another disability, it makes it that much more difficult. So, please do me a favor
and share this video. Share this video on the chance
that it might, you know, land in, you know,
the lap of a therapist or somebody else who has the ability
to make some changes. Maybe therapists don’t even know
how much of an issue that this is. Kind of like what Rikki was saying in the video. She has people who are pursuing
a career in mental health and this gives them something additional
to think about, alright? Like, we need to make this stuff
more accessible to everybody. Also, if you are interested in
the online therapy service that Rikki discussed, BetterHelp, I personally use BetterHelp
and my therapist is amazing. Tristan has been using BetterHelp
longer than I have. Her therapist is amazing. So, BetterHelp also supports the channel. So, there is an affiliate link
down in the description below. So, if you want to check it out,
they do have a sliding scale. So, ask them about affordable fairing, but you can, like, even if
you’re not somebody who’s deaf, like, you can text them. I haven’t even had like a phone call
conversation with the therapist yet, but I can schedule one. But everything we’ve been doing, like, so far,
has just been through texts. She texts me literally every single day. Alright, and I will be doing a full review
about my experience with BetterHelp because of all the nonsense that happened. But anyways, if you want to check that out, go down in the description below,
but also in the description below, if you are somebody who’s deaf, like, feel free to join our Facebook group,
as well as our Discord server, OK? This way you can type and chat and get support. We have, you know, people with disabilities in both the Facebook group and Discord server and it’s always beneficial to link up
with other people who struggle with disabilities
because, like me, I don’t know everything
and I haven’t been through everything. This is why I get people like Rikki
to come over on the channel and discuss these things, alright? So, you might be able to find people
who you can connect with by joining the Discord server
or the Facebook group. And don’t forget this video
is part of a collaboration. So, make sure you go check out the video
I did over on her channel where I discussed how to not feel so alone when you’re struggling with
your mental health issues. And once again, thank you so much, Rikki, for coming over and being a guest on my channel and you guys,
like, all of you, all of you, if you’re watching this video,
you need to do me a favor. Go subscribe to Rikki right now, alright? She covers such a wide range of topics. So, not only does she talk about, you know,
being deaf or being disabled, she talks a ton about mental health,
and not only depression, but she talks about going through trauma, she talks about going through abuse
and all of that. I know I have a very large female audience and I know so many of you can benefit from
the videos over on her channel, so make sure you subscribe to her.
It’ll be linked up in the info card, down in the description,
down in the pinned comments, and at the end screen, alright? But anyways, again,
don’t forget to share this video and if you liked this video,
please give it a thumbs up. If you’re new, make sure you subscribe
and ring that notification bell. And a huge thank you to everybody
supporting the channel over on Patreon. You’re all amazing and you’re helping me
caption more of my videos! (LAUGHTER) Alright, If you would like to support the channel
and get some extra perks and stuff, click or tap right there, and you can also subscribe to Rikki by clicking or tapping right there, alright? Thanks so much for watching.
I’ll see you next time.

37 thoughts on “The Struggles of Getting Therapy while Deaf ft Rikki Poynter

  1. Watch the video I did for Rikki's channel:

    If you're looking to begin working on your mental health, give BetterHelp online therapy a try:
    (Using this link helps support the channel)

  2. People who are deaf unfortunately have extra hurdles that others do not have to deal with. 🔥

  3. Ummm idk if this happened to anyone else, but the video just started playing from the middle. Like 11 minutes in… huh? Weird..

  4. Hey Chris I wouldnt mind doing some captions for you, you know I already watch all your vids haha, so might as well help contribute so more people can enjoy them with me!! My email is [email protected] if you'd wanna discuss that, I've never done captioning before so I'll have to look into how to do it, but I'd see be down to help with that so you don't have to pay for it! I only speak English though so couldn't translate in any other languages unfortunately

  5. I'm a college student taking my 2ed ASL class and I absolutely love the language. Part of the classes teaches us about deaf culture and the deaf community and I feel awful that I've never considered this issue when learning about this. She defiantly has a new subscriber from me! I'll definitely try to talk to my ASL instructors and find out what the deaf community in my area does to help this problem or how I can help. ❤

  6. This is such an important topic. Thank you both for talking about it. Also, for anyone considering having their videos captioned, while we’re on the topic of disability and difficulty finding employment, please consider hiring disabled people directly rather than through companies that serve as a middle man. For me and others, it’s often the only type of work we’re able to do and get hired for (and we can do it very well!), but the cut these companies take means we get paid almost nothing in the end. (I’m talking like $2/hour of work.) So yes, by all means, caption your videos and make them accessible to so many more people! But also consider paying the exact same amount but directly to disabled folks who can do this work (and also need to somehow fund therapy for our mental health 😬).

  7. This breaks my heart. As a music therapist, I am so used to adapting the therapy sessions to my clients (adapting the instruments and music to the client’s developmental and ability level), and it blows my mind that most conventional talk therapists will not make adjustments in order to allow the client to benefit from therapy. How hard can it be to type out your questions and responses instead of speaking them? What happened to having a client-centered approach?

  8. I had a friend who was deaf. He was so nice he actually dealt with my BS. He didn’t like signing because he had a implant , but he actually was in a fashion show once.

  9. My parents are deaf so I could really relate to this video, it is really difficult for them to communicate in many environments. Especially when I was in the hospital and they needed an interpreter because I was going into surgery and they wanted it to be a clear discussion other an interpreter. To get someone to show up face to face is so difficult and they were lucky because they knew an interpreter at the hospital. There is still a high demand for interpreter which is why they’re expensive, I want to go into interpreting because of this, predominantly because I do know that I can be payed well and easily get through college and find work for a language I already speak. But also because I feel like I would be more comfortable participating, and I want to be able to help people get their help at negotiable prices and I want to make a difference in that sense because there are many deaf people in my vicinity, most of them my family. I do also want to work as hard as I can to help as many people as I can in any environment, and participate in my local events that help people learn asl.

  10. Thanks for sharing about this. Had no idea it was so difficult to even find a therapist willing to work with those who are deaf. I have a friend who is hearing but her mom is deaf and she is now a teacher for deaf children, shes super awesome.

  11. Can you do a video on Eugenia? She’s literally starving herself to death. I think it maybe to late for any help besides therapy and tube feeding

  12. YES! THANK YOU FOR TALKING ABOUT DEAF ISSUES!!! As a CODA (child of a deaf adult) I never see anyone discuss things like this. ❤️❤️

  13. I’m coming to Vegas and on Tuesday and wish you had seminars! I’ve watched 6 of your videos and I like what you say about ADHD and finding things that calm you. Watching your videos does that for me! I’m working with a counselor and she’s trying to eliminate post partum depression or bipolar. It’s a long and difficult journey but I’ve found help additionally through yoga. Thanks for your content! You’re a resourceful person and definitely inspirational!

  14. I am hard of hearing. My left ear has most of its hearing and my right ear has barely any hearing. When i was 5 months old i got meningitis which gave me hearing loss as well as lessenening some brain functions

  15. Wow this is so interesting. I think of becoming a counselor, drugs and alcohol and I’m seriously considering learning how to sign. Thanks Chris for raising awareness. My mom is a qualified therapist and I told her about this too and now she’s thinking about up-skilling aswell to reach more people. I’d never considered how deaf people might struggle to get therapy. Xxx

  16. I have an audio processing disorder and I just want to say thank you for captioning! It means a lot to me and many others!

  17. Hi! Deafie here! For anyone wondering I just want to throw out there that in large deaf communities there are often deaf therapist who typically provide priority services for their community, they are just difficult to find. I found all mine through suggestions from other deaf friends. Unfortunately, if you live in an area without a large deaf community I imagine it’s far more difficult. In my experience I have had all deaf therapist that were able to speak orally with other people in or my parents, but we did our sessions comfortably in ASL. I don’t think I’d ever be comfortable having a therapist and a interpreter. It is a lot more difficult to find a therapist as a deaf individual because the options are so limited. It’s great that there are technologies to help make it more accessible now, but I’m glad you guys open the discussion about this! Thanks for sharing!💜

  18. I would love to help with captions. Just base English captions. They help me so much just as who I am the the struggles I deal with. Also as a multiply disabled person who has lots of free time, I really love volunteering. I haven't been able to do peer support volunteering lately like I used to. And this sounds like an awesome way to give in a way I am able to.

    I have been watching your videos and you are doing so much good. I am genuinely happy to know there are people like you out in the world still. Same will all you awesome people in the comments, it's so nice to be reminded good people exist, and they care.

    Keep doing your thing, this is just so important.

  19. I'm currently in school to be an interpreter. It breaks my heart to hear how expensive and burdening on the deaf client it is to have access to an interpreter or a therapist. Gives me something to think about as I go through school and someday enter the field. Thank you for collabing with the excellent Rikki, I enjoy both of you already and I love seeing you two bringing awareness to issues together!

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