We have put together some resources for anyone with hearing problems in need of mental health support. All NHS trusts should have services for providing mental health support to Deaf people.
Deaf people are twice as likely to experience mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Yet the difficulties Deaf people face when seeking mental health support are woefully inadequate. Many NHS services assume that all is needed is a BSL (British Sign Language) interpreter, but this does not work for most people. Using BSL in this way, creating a three-way conversation, can add further stress – and the risk of misunderstanding – to the situation.
Here are some useful organisations offering support to those in the Deaf and hard of hearing population:
Since 1986 SignHealth have been providing services to the Deaf community and campaigning for more Deaf-awareness and better access. They provide psychological therapy – you can text 07966 976 747 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and there is a self-referral form on their website.
They also have a crisis text service (text DEAF to 85258). The text service is free, available 24/7 and your texts will be answered by trained crisis volunteers.
They also have a BSL Health Video Library with lots of resources about mental health challenges and things you can do to start to feel more like yourself again.
The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD)
The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) is the only UK charity that focuses entirely on the promotion of positive mental health of Deaf people. They provide guidance and information on mental health for Deaf people.
They provide a list of all mental health services in the UK, so that anyone supporting a Deaf person can contact the service directly themselves.
Mental health service for Deaf people (NHS Scotland)
Royal Association for Deaf People