As many as two in three Deaf people in the UK struggle with mental health problems, but most find it too difficult to access psychological therapy.Guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health services for Deaf people from the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCPMH) calls for improvement to deaf people’s access to mental health services and offer practical steps to be taken by commissioners.
The difficulties Deaf people face when seeking mental health help are often misunderstood and frequently assumed that booking an interpreter is enough.
This does not work for most deaf people, and can often make mental health treatments less effective as Andrea’s story (pdf 209KB) explains.
The guide’s recommendations, namely that Deaf people should be able to access a therapist fluent in sign language, have potential to make significant change to the mental health of many Deaf people. A BSL version of the press release is available to view here –