British Society for Mental Health and Deafness trustees would like to share some information related to Sundays theme ‘Human Rights in time of crisis’ which is linked to infectious diseases, climate change, natural disasters and armed conflict.

The one area that we could talk about is infectious diseases which would include C-19. We could talk about how C-19 has created more poverty for Deaf people due to unemployment and anxieties that create mental health issues.

Through research conducted by SignHealth, we continue to be concerned that the Coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected the Deaf community, and that many of the issues we are facing/raised are ignored or left unnoticed.

In August 2020 SignHealth conducted the first pulse survey and have now followed up with another collected in February 2021.

Who had Covid…

  • 50% found the experience traumatic.
  • 56% were unaware that financial support is available for some people who had to isolate due to Covid-19.

BSL Health Access (recently closed) enabled communication with health professionals.

  • 50% report symptoms of long-Covid.

The results below reflect the 38 responses from deaf people who have had Covid-19.

Biggest issues caused by the pandemic

  • Social isolation
  • Face masks
  • Lack of access to healthcare
  • Sickness or poor health
  • Lack of access to interpreters

Mental Health Challenges

80% said that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health with 19% saying that it had a major negative impact like anxiety, stress, worry, depression, trauma.

More information can be found through the SignHeath website.

However, there are examples of Deaf organisations and Deaf people that have been a great source of support helping those who are isolated with conversation and training on how to use video chat with elderly Deaf people. So that they are able to access online coffee mornings etc.

Despite the Deaf community being so proactive they have still experienced trauma due to the lack of support and access.

BSMHD are committed to ensuring that the Deaf community have access to appropriate support and information in relation to their human rights.