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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Improving mental health services for Deaf people

Video: Guidance to improve Deaf people’s access to mental health services

This video highlights ten key recommendations for improving mental health services for Deaf people, translated into British Sign Language (BSL). Guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health services for deaf people has been produced by the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, led by Royal College of Psychiatrists and Deaf charity SignHealth.

Video Transcript

As many as two in three Deaf people in the UK struggle with mental health problems, but most find it too difficult to access psychological therapy.

We have produced guidance for commissioners of primary care mental health serviced to improve Deaf people’s access to mental health services.

Despite having poorer mental health than the rest of the population, the 60,000 people across the UK who use sign language as their main language often come up against barriers when seeking mental health services.  

The guidance, from the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health, in conjunction with the Deaf charity SignHealth, makes recommendations, particularly that deaf people should be able to access a therapist fluent in sign language, and offers practical steps to be taken by commissioners.

View the guidance, and the ten key messages for commissioners.

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