Deaf Support and Wellbeing
Deaf teenagers and young deaf adults are much more likely to need mental health and wellbeing support than their hearing peers. Studies have found that mental health issues affect 1 in 4 people in the UK every year, with worries about things like money, employment and health making it harder for people to cope. In the deaf community, worryingly this number rises to 1 in every 2.5 people (around 40%) experiencing mental health issues. This means deaf people are 2 x more likely to experience mental health issues than hearing people. So it’s important for us to understand the link between deafness and mental health, and ensure the community has access to help and support.
Ways to help:
If a young deaf person is in need of support such as counselling then they can access the college counselling service but may well need a confidential BSL interpreter to interpret their sessions. (Check their communication support needs)
There are also free and confidential mental well being support services in London for young deaf people:
National Deaf CAMHS https://www.swlstg.nhs.uk/our-services/find-a-service/service/deaf-children-young-people-and-family-service-london professionals can refer, including teachers and support staff at Shooters Hill, The contact details and how to refer etc are on the linked page. This service goes up to 18 years old.
Sign Health https://signhealth.org.uk/with-deaf-people/psychological-therapy/ Sign Health support deaf people from age 18. Contact details and how to refer are on the linked page. Deaf people can refer themselves or can be supported by a GP or a member of education staff. The therapy they offer is normally provided by confidential video link (eg facetime or zoom). Some of the staff are deaf themselves. All of the staff can sign in BSL and are deaf aware.
National Deaf Services, similar to deaf camhs but it’s for adults from age 18 and up https://www.swlstg.nhs.uk/our-services/specialist-services/national-deaf-services Contact details and how to refer are on the linked page
If a young deaf person is in immediate crisis (eg from suicide or self-harm) please do the following: contact their GP/doctor Urgently, or contact NHS 111, or go to the Accident & Emergency department at their nearby Hospital, or text DEAF to 85258 for free and immediate support from SHOUT
Advice can also be sought from the visiting teacher of the deaf or speech and language therapist supporting Shooters Hill. At the time of writing the key staff to contact are Rory McDonnell and Robin Lindop Fisher.