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July 2010 - Latest News  

Deaf people’s mental wellbeing put at risk by lack of services

The results from the GP Patient Survey just released show that Deaf people are the most discriminated against and most deprived in the country.

Deaf people are far more likely to be unemployed. The unemployment rate in the Deaf Community is 13% compared to the national average of 4%. That is higher than any geographical area in England.

Deaf people have worse than average physical health.  The percentage of the Deaf Community describing themselves as Permanently Sick or Disabled is 14% compared to the national average of 6%. The percentage saying their health is Poor is 10% compared to 6%. Deaf people are nearly five times more likely to have a Visual Impairment, 9% compared to 2%.

Crucially the mental wellbeing of the Deaf Community is far worse than the national average with 10% of Deaf people having a Psychological or Emotional Condition, compared to 6%. Deaf people are SEVEN times more likely to describe themselves as having a Learning Difficulty, 14% compared to 2%. This is very likely to be ‘acquired’ Learning Difficulty resulting from the poor standard of education that Deaf people receive.

Deaf people are three times more likely to be a Carer within the family home, 26% compared to 9%.

This astonishing evidence of deprivation and discrimination is a national disgrace. Mental Health and Wellbeing services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate for the Sign Language Using Deaf Community must be developed urgently.

Legislation against Disability Discrimination has been powerless to prevent discrimination against this cultural/linguistic minority. Most Deaf people do not consider themselves to be disabled; a majority (55%) do not identify themselves as having a ‘Hearing Impairment’.

If Deaf people all lived in one place their community would be at the top of the Deprivation Index and would qualify for significant government funding to put right the damage caused by decades of National Institutional Discrimination across Government Departments. Instead, as a dispersed cultural/linguistic indigenous minority, literally without a voice, they are ignored. “Three in a Thousand” does not seem to exist; statistics below 1% are routinely suppressed for convenience, leaving over 100,000 deaf Adults without access to appropriate services.


Next BSMHD Members meeting, Glasgow - 22 September 2010

The next BSMHD members meeting will be held in Glasgow on Wednesday 22 September 2010 at Deaf Connections, 100 Norfolk Street, Glasgow, G5 9EJ from 11am to 3.30pm. The meeting will be an opportunity to meet fellow BSMHD members, staff from the local Health Services and Deaf Organisations. There will be a presentation by Deaf Connections about mental health services for deaf people in the Scotland and an update on the national activities BSMHD is involved in including the European Mental Health and Deafness Congress in Cambridge in November, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies for Deaf People National Development Project and the Diploma in Integrative Counselling taught in BSL.


European Congress on Mental Health and Deafness, Cambridge - November 2010

Details of the Programme contents are now available on the congress website. The detailed timetable will be developed over the next few weeks. The venue for the Congress is Fitzwilliam College, Storey's Way, Cambridge CB3 0DG. . Full details at


Healthy Deaf Minds meeting, Newcastle - 29 July 2010

The next Healthy Deaf Minds Forum in Newcastle will be held on 29 July 2010 at 6.30pm. The title of the meeting is: "How Food affects Mood". The speaker is Carole McWilliams, Psychotherapist and Counsellor with the NHS. The venue is Central Square, Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3PJ. Further details from Newcastle Deaflink


National Governance meeting, Manchester - 14 July 2010

The next National Governance Meeting will be held on 14 July at the John Denmark Unit, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BL, 11.00am to 3.30pm. The agenda includes presentations by Matthew James on Core Standards for Service Specification and on the Draft Designation Framework for Non-Secure Statutory Deaf Mental Health Inpatient Services. For further details contact Louise Murphy


Consultation on the Proposed British Sign Language (BSL) Bill in Scotland

The Following many months of discussion, at their meeting in the Scottish Parliament in December 2009, the Cross Party Group on Deafness approved a consultation paper on MSP Cathie Craigie’s proposed BSL Bill. The BSL Bill consultation is the first step in trying to ensure that the language has the same protection, status and rights as any other indigenous language in Scotland.

The consultation will formally be launched by Cathie Craigie MSP and the Cross Party Group on Deafness on 8th July 2010 and run until 29th October 2010. For more information about the consultation and how to respond, go to the Scottish Parliament website on the Proposals for Members' Bills page at or contact Cathie Craigie at


St Andrew's Healthcare recruiting Unit Manager for the new medium secure service for deaf men in Northampton

For informal enquiries please contact Lynn Baxter, Clinical Services Manager on 01604 616592 or on In order to apply, and view the job description and person specification please visit our website at or email or telephone our recruitment office on 01604 616589 (24 hour answer-phone) or text on 0782 730 4500



Note: The articles that appear on this website are for information only – inclusion does not imply endorsement of the contents by BSMHD

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