Psywel: a screening and treatment program for psychological problems in the Netherlands

Nynke Dethmers is one of the founders of Psywel (Psychological Well-being), a program monitoring psychological well-being and problems in DHH students by 2 yearly screening and offering specialist counseling and treatment. She is affiliated with Kentalis, where she works as PhD researcher on the current state of mental health problems in DHH children and adolescents, as school-psychologist at Signis, school for DHH students in Amsterdam and as staff member of Deelkracht, developing information products for parents, professionals and DHH youth with mental health needs.

Daan Hermans is a cognitive psychologist, and is working as a senior researcher at Kentalis and the Behavioural Science Institute (Radboud University Nijmegen). His current research focuses on deaf and hard-of-hearing children’s cognitive development and psychosocial functioning.

‘Sandra is a director and psychologist. As one of the founders of Psywel (psychological well-being), she provides information about the early intervention program and threatment for psychological problems in DHH children and adolescents. Sandra works as a principal at Kentalis Compas College, a secondary special education for DHH youth. This school provides education with its own location and in collaboration with 2 regular secondary schools.’

The prevalence of psychological problems in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children and adolescents is higher than in their hearing peers. That is one of the reasons why Kentalis developed and implemented a screening and treatment program (called Psywel) that aims to detect and treat psychological problems at an early stage. In this presentation we will briefly explain how this screening and treatment program works. In the last four years, we have also conducted several research and development projects on Psywel in Deelkracht ( We will describe these initiatives and go into detail on one of the projects conducted in the last three years: a research study on the prevalence of psychological problems in special schools for DHH children and adolescents in the Netherlands.