What we do
The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) is the leading UK charity for the promotion of the positive mental health of deaf people in the UK.
Mental health includes healthy emotional, psychological and social development, the prevention and treatment of mental illness and other disorders. BSMHD focuses on those whose first or preferred language is sign language. Additionally BSMHD is interested in the mental health of all deaf people, whatever the age of onset or degree of deafness.
The main activities of the society are:
Members of the Society are professionals and organisations whose work impacts on the mental health of deaf people. You can find out about how to join and the benefits of membership on the Members page.
2011/12 Review of the Year
In May 2011, Jonathan Isaac the General Secretary left us and we appointed Roger Hewitt as his replacement. We can now be partly looked upon as a ‘User Led Organisation’ as Roger is himself profoundly Deaf. In addition, following retirements and appointments, our Trustee Board is now composed of 60% Deaf Trustees.
Under the terms of the Constitution, Sally Austin retired as Chair at the AGM in November 2011, along with Steve Powell our Treasurer and Willie Macfadyen. Jim Cromwell tendered his resignation effective from the same date. We would like to thank them for their dedication and hard work in supporting the Society over the years. David Reader, Helga McGilp, Chris Bojas, Joanna Downes and Kevin Baker were all appointed as Trustees and Steve Powell was co-opted as Treasurer.
At 31 March 2012 we had 121 individual members (down 6% on last year, mainly due to individuals taking up membership in 2010/2011 in order to get the members discount for the European Society Conference) 20 organisation members (down 13%), this reflects the growing economic challenges. Due to the overall reduction in income (from £253,800 to £105,449) and in spite of having kept tight control on expenditure, which has decreased 48% to £115,909, we ended the year with a loss of £10,460, thus leaving reserves carried forward of £25,165.
In May 2011 we held a successful two day DBT training course in Bristol, which was attended by 19 people.
The Diploma in Integrative Counselling taught in BSL that started in October 2009 has continued with 19 of the original 21 students continuing into the final year which started in October 2010 and was completed in November 2011. Four students have successfully obtained their Diploma, while the remaining students need to find suitable clients in order for them to complete their100 hours of placement in order to attain the Diploma.
During the year, the IAPT for Deaf people project was completed with the translation of guided self-help materials into BSL in partnership with Remark!, research into the translation of assessment tools in partnership with University of Manchester and the successful establishment of a Counselling for Depression Course along with a PWP course at John Moores University, Liverpool. As a result of our previous work with the national IAPT team and NHS North West, BSMHD were involved in the process leading to a tendering process being set up, where a contract was awarded to SignHealth to set up a 1 year pilot IAPT project entitled “BSL Healthy Minds”. This is currently running in the North West and South Central (Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, and Isle of Wight). If successful, it will be rolled out to other PCT’s in 2013.
Over 140 delegates attended the Annual Conference at St Thomas’s Hospital on 22nd March under the theme “Ensuring Equality of Access to Deaf People in the Newly Configured NHS”. This was particularly appropriate as the Health and Social Care Bill had its final reading in the House of Commons just 2 days previously. Feedback from the conference has been extremely positive, with comments that the speakers offered much food for thought in how we should move forward within mental health and Deafness.
Member’s regional meetings during the year were held in Belfast and Birmingham.
Outlook for 2012 - 2013
2012/13 will see a continuation of the current level of activity which will be adjusted to meet the ever and rapidly changing economic climate. We will continue to work in close partnership with other organisations to ensure that information is always made accessible to all Deaf people, and that services are both available & accessible.
It is the intention, as funding allows, to facilitate courses in Mental Health Awareness and Mental Health First Aid, both of which will lead to the decrease in stigma that Mental Health has in society, particularly amongst the Deaf Community.
The trustees of BSMHD wish to thank Roger Hewitt for all his hard work in efficiently managing BSMHD’s everyday demands and for our extremely well organised and successful annual conference. In addition, the Chair wishes to thank the Trustees for their commitment to BSMHD and to our members for their longstanding support.
The Trustees of the Society are:
All correspondence should be sent to Roger Hewitt, the General Secretary of the Society.
Previous Annual Reports are available on the Charity Commission Website
British Society for Mental Health and Deafness, Registered Charity Number 1057135. © BSMHD MMXIII