Mental Health for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing- Mentor Package Level 1

The content has been developed for teachers and professionals who support students who are deaf or hard of hearing in both primary and secondary settings.


  • Sunday, 31 January, 2021 - Friday, 31 December, 2021
    9:00 am - 12:00 am

Course Information

This course will provide you with a variety of positive psychology tips, strategies and practical ideas to use when working with students who are at risk of developing mental health issues. The course will also provide ideas and strategies for you to avoid burn out and work overload. These recordings are captioned and have Auslan interpretation to support your access to the content.

Learning Objectives for Day 1:

  • Identification of the issues faced by students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • Practical strategies to support students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to develop resilience skills.
  • Discussion on how to support students and parents.
  • Self-care for professionals.


Learning Objectives for Day 2:

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the potential benefits of assessment as it pertains to mental health among DHH students
  2. Identify a minimum of three ‘red flags’ for social-emotional challenges in DHH youth
  3. Articulate rationale for making a referral for assessment for a DHH student about whom the professional has concerns






  • Amy Szarkowski
    Dr. Amy Szarkowski is a psychologist who specializes in working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families. Dr. Szarkowski serves as the Clinical Director for the Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD).  At Gallaudet University, she teaches in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and their Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate program, commonly referred to as ITF. Through this work, she is involved in training Early Intervention providers to work with families who have deaf children. Dr. Szarkowski is one of the Core Faculty for LEND (Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities), through the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston and Boston Children’s Hospital. As LEND faculty, she has the opportunity to engage with, teach, and foster advocacy related to caring for and supporting individuals with disabilities among emerging health care professionals. At Boston Children’s, she is also Staff Psychologist in the Department of Developmental Medicine. Finally, Dr. Szarkowski holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.



361-365 North Rocks Road, North Rocks, New South Wales, 2151, Australia


North Rocks, Sydney, Australia

Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast. With an approximate population of 4.5 million in the Sydney metropolitan area the city is the largest municipality in Australia. Sydney is easily accessible by air, rail and road networks from other Australian cities.

Located approximately 26 km north-west of the city centre, Renwick Centre is accessible via private and public transport to metropolitan areas such as Epping, Parramatta, Hornsby and the city.

North Rocks is a suburban area of Sydney and is the home of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children since 1961.

Public Transport

There are several public transport options for getting to and from the Renwick Centre within the Sydney metropolitan area.


Cityrail train stations are located in Epping (6 km away) and Parramatta (7km away) and have connecting bus services (refer to Buses section below) to the Centre.

Epping train station is on the Northern, Newcastle and Central Coast lines with a journey time of approximately 30 minutes to the city (Central, Town Hall and Wynyard stations) and 20 minutes to Strathfield or Hornsby stations.

Parramatta train station offers frequent services to the city (about 40 minutes of travel time) and is located on the Western, Cumberland and Blue Mountains lines.

Both stations are wheelchair accessible.


There is a bus stop directly outside the RIDBC campus – services to Epping and Macquarie Centre – and another across the road outside the Westfield Shopping Centre for services to Parramatta and Blacktown. For latest info on these routes, please visit the Sydney Buses website.

Route Destination Wheelchair Accessible
549 Epping Most
546 Epping via Carlingford Most
546/549 Parramatta Most
630 Macquarie Centre No
630 Blacktown No
610/619* City Few
610/619* Rouse Hill Few

* Access to these bus services is from the M2 motorway at Barclay Road bus stop, a 20 minute walk (1.4 km) from the Centre.

Sydney Airport

Sydney Airport has domestic and international terminals and is approximately 35 km south-east of the Renwick Centre.

Cityrail train stations are located within the domestic and international terminals. To get to the centre, you will need to change trains at Central to an Epping or Parramatta service and then either take a taxi or bus the remaining distance to the centre. Journey time by public transport is approximately 90-120 minutes.


Companies providing a taxi service in the Sydney area include Premier Cabs (Phone: 13 10 17), Silver Service (Phone: 133 100), Taxis Combined (Phone: 8332 8888) and RSL Cabs (Phone: 132 211).


RIDBC Staff Access

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