Welcome to our May Newsletter. This week (May 18 – 24) is Mental Health Awareness Week, with the theme of ‘kindness’ so there will be quite a few mentions of mental health in the media. Here’s a link: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week
Do remember that despite the Coronavirus crisis, we still have services that we can signpost people to e.g. Deaf4Deaf, SignHealth’s Psychological Therapy service, the ‘Shout’ emergency support service (the partners are Shout, Crisis Text line and SignHealth – see: https://signhealth.org.uk/with-deaf-people/crisis-text-service/).
What has BSMHD been doing? Well, we’ve designed a Guidance document for GPs about making sure Deaf BSL users have access and this has gone out to deaf organisations for them to distribute. We will be following up with Guidance for Covid-19 emergency teams, and Guidance for hospital managers with responsibility for equality and diversity. The aim is to remind mainstream professional workers that Deaf people also depend on having access to services to maintain their wellbeing. These will be on our website soon with BSL translations.
To help mainstream professionals we’ve added to the Guidance documents a list of Adult Mental health services (see: https://bsmhd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Mental-Health-Services-UK.pdf) and a list of Deaf CAMHS (see: https://bsmhd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Deaf-CAMHS-England-Wales.pdf)
There’s a new service – the NHS Volunteer Responders service – this can be contacted via BSL Health Access (https://www.bslhealthaccess.co.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-nhsvr/). Hopefully vulnerable Deaf people who need the basics such as shopping or medication delivered will be supported through this. It would be great if some Deaf people could be volunteers as well.
Don’t forget that a lot of local charities are supporting other charities with grants for this crisis. This is an example: https://quartetcf.org.uk/
More good news; last week the Truth Project announced that there will online sessions for Deaf people who want to tell their story of child sexual abuse. Up to now, this service was only available by phone, but now it is available to Deaf people as well – see: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/victims-and-survivors/services-deaf-users
Also saw this on Twitter from Lisa Cherry and thought – what a good summary of wellbeing and where we need to go for every person:
Plus don’t forget to keep spread the word to as many Deaf people as possible about the online BSL access: www.BSLHealthAccess.co.uk. For the BSL version of the announcement see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJ4vAZufrVs.
And finally: here’s a quote about kindness: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop.