Deaf young people’s mental health services
Currently there is no primary care service that provides therapy or counselling for Deaf young people in British Sign Language. The only services currently being offered are CAMHS and hospital admission. This is the only intervention offered to young Deaf people who are often at crisis point, it relies on a professional referral and is often hundreds of miles away from the family home.
From our research we know that at least 40% of Deaf young people experience mental health problems compared to 25% of hearing young people. This is why our work is so important. We want to transform Deaf mental health services around the UK by providing equal access for Deaf children in the same way as their hearing peers.
Our recent pilot counselling project in a Deaf school involved counselling sessions with a Deaf counsellor who communicates using British Sign Language, allowing the students to communicate in a language and culture that they understand without the need for an interpreter. Students receive weekly counselling sessions where they have the opportunity to express their feelings using specially prepared materials and explore issues of concern with the aim of supporting students to cope. These sessions are already showing dramatic changes in the wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem of the Deaf students who have been supported. Our pilot demonstrates the need for specialist Deaf counselling provision for Deaf children and young people which may prevent the need for intervention from CAMHS services later on.
With your support, through donations and fundraising we want to develop a Deaf Children and Young People’s mental health service.
- We want to improve the health and wellbeing of Deaf children and young people through early interventions that provide support at an earlier point, before their mental health deteriorates.
- We also want to remove barriers to Deaf young people accessing support by creating a service that is accessible in BSL.
- By providing early intervention, it will avoid the need for costly treatment further down the line.
Please support us by signing up for Walk4Wellbeing and fundraising for SignHealth. Find out more here.
Your fundraising and donations will support us to develop new services to improve Deaf young people’s mental health services.
Tips to make the most of your Walk4Wellbeing
Get the most out of Walk4Wellbeing by sharing your progress on Strava with friends and family. You will also find lots of tips about how to improve your mental health in nature.