Good mental health depends on good physical health. Because many deaf people experience problems accessing various healthcare services, we are campaigning to improve this so that all deaf people are less likely to develop a mental health problem.

We are also planning a campaign for wider availability and consistency of mental health assessments for deaf people.
It is important that society is made aware of the reasons why all deaf people are at risk of developing preventable mental health problems. Most mental health issues arise when the deaf person’s family, friends, the general public, educators and professionals are unable to communicate well with them.

Deaf Wellness in Perspective
‘Wellness implies absence of stress, opportunities for self realisation and satisfying life experiences.’
Deaf Studies Trust

Stress can arise when there are difficulties in communicating, opportunities can be denied when there is a lack of information, enjoying life experiences becomes harder when you feel excluded and isolated.

Reaching deaf minds campaign [logo]Reaching Deaf Minds… for healthy deaf lives
‘Reaching Deaf Minds… for healthy deaf lives’ is a health promotion campaign run by Sign, aimed at winning the hearts and minds of people in the NHS and in government to make things better for Deaf people. It also promotes the development of preventative projects for all deaf people, their parents, carers, teachers etc.

Sign has been providing supported housing for deaf people, but we are very concerned that 40% of deaf people compared with 25% of hearing people have a mental health problem at some point in their life. Deaf people’s mental well-being depends on good communication, attitudes and access to their GP’s and other health and social services.

Reaching Deaf Minds is also about making deaf people understand why they can feel excluded and isolated, and what they themselves can do about it to improve their well being.

Who is it aimed at?
Reaching Deaf Minds is for is designed to reach all D/deaf people, their families and carers, as well as their teachers and health social care professionals. How does it work?
Reaching Deaf Minds is website driven, encourages the sharing of good and bad practices and sends out monthly bulletins. The team promotes the use of preventative services, such as advocacy, outreach support and awareness training through actively working with various health services. The work is endorsed by deaf and generic mental health organisations.

What can I do?
With your support we will be able to make our message to the Government stronger.

Help us to call on the Department of Health to challenge discrimination against deaf people in the NHS. Visit our website and submit your support or experiences of good or bad practices in obtaining health services.

Reaching Deaf Mind is a national health promotion that has started in England but is starting to extend to Wales and Scotland.