In recognition of Thursday 10th October 2019 being World Mental Health Day, Pembe, a key worker for Remark! Living met with Hannah, a Community Psychiatric Nurse who works for a deaf adult’s community service to discuss mental health issues that Deaf people might face and how they can access support.
Mental health and deaf people
There are so many different types of mental health, over two hundred that have been recognised as categories of mental health. You have to look out for signs such as, depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, but the diagnosis can be complex and both psychological and emotional needs require support.
Unfortunately, deaf people are at a high risk of having mental health; they are twice as likely to have mental health in comparison to hearing people. This is due to deaf people facing communication barriers and feel stuck in their own home, not knowing how they can communicate or ask for support and not having enough information. This then leads on to mental health issues as they become isolated and depressed.
There are a few deaf services, the key is finding the service and then how to be referred and how to ask for help, that can be difficult. There are services such as Deaf4Deaf, SignHealth, our service in south-west London based in Springfield hospital. We support adults, children, inpatients, for people staying in the hospital and outpatients for community support. There are services but they can be tricky to find.
Hannah explains how she has deaf patients that have mental health issues who are isolated at home and struggling, not knowing how to receive support. The deaf adult’s community service does support them however, this is not enough, and they need extra support out in the community. Therefore they work with deaf services like Remark! Living.
Remark! Living have a variety of deaf services such as, deaf advocacy, one to one support, youth mentoring, elderly support, support visiting the GP and going to appointments and deaf clubs. Remark! Living also supports deaf clients to access Remark! Community events such as the Remarkable! club and Youth club to prevent people feeling isolated and depressed. By going to these deaf events gives people their deaf identity which is so important.
How can you be referred to the deaf adult’s community service?
Remark Living! can refer you; also, deaf people can refer themselves if they suspect they are experiencing or struggling with a type mental health or a friend or support worker notices signs that may be mental health related. If it’s a mental health issue and things feel difficult or a struggle, you can go to your local GP; the GP will can refer you to a local mental health team. Most local mental health teams will be hearing and don’t always understand how to communicate with a deaf person or understand their background as a deaf person. However, you let them know about the deaf services such as our service, which means we can support your local mental health team to support you.
If you, or a client has mental health issues, or feels lonely and isolated and would like support you can be referred to either the Deaf adult’s community service, or Remark! Living.