Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Deaf and the challenge of mental Health Support.

Image result for Mental health challenges for the deaf
What social media BSL areas are saying themselves.. (taken at random from Facebook and twitter sites)

"Is really sad government don’t care abt deaf people because of conservatives people shouldn’t vote conservatives cos conservatives plan cut disabled benefit and old people they won’t help deaf people special need also cuts nhs everything fuck up will more cuts getting worse for 5 years..."

"it's not cuts or Tories, the professionalism demanded doesn't exist nationally.'  You have to be moved to areas where that is, catch 22."

"I've sympathy with the dependent BSL user, the reality is that compromise has been opposed by people like the BDA, charities of the BSL ilk, and others who constantly demanded specialisations via BSL from professionals (even demanding THEY are deaf too). 

"Obviously, this is not going to happen is it? and I don't see why supportive 'Deaf' areas don't utilise localised support provisions via interpreters and such, so e.g. that older deaf or those with mental health issues can remain supported within own areas of health and community.  Those insisting they cannot use such areas aren't trying really to access them."

"My own area a deaf woman was offered support via the local mental health unit and consultants and was offered a BSL terp, instead, she complained to the BDA who said she had a right to choose a dedicated BSL service with her own 'people' who 'understand deaf issues', is the BDA blaming the deaf community for their own mental health problems?  Of course, no such service of specialisation existed within 96 miles of where she lived so she ended up in a home miles away and with no peers to socialise with either." 

"True, a leading psychiatrist based in London who also signed, was also turned down by a deaf client because 'he signs different to me.. English and Welsh sign is different', she ended up sitting there mute whilst the consultant talked to a signing social worker instead. Diagnosed in her absence really, human rights straight out of the window and endorsed by social services."

"What can you do when nobody within the locality has the same diagnostic or signing qualifications to help? The question we should be asking is why the community is reluctant to utilise what is already there?" 

"We must take help where we can get it, its stupid to make a point when the only person suffering is yourself."

"Specialisation demands just encourage more issues because the demand for it is isolated as well, and training has to include sign, which it isn't, it is a personal choice that's all, and only a few centres where they specialise.   For the deaf with mental health problems, there is Manchester, Bristol/Bath and London for treatment that's it.  Being diagnosed is a complete lottery in many areas so it gets put down to 'Being Deaf and Isolated and unable to communicate effectively' the treatment then is to continue that isolation, but somewhere else.  " 

"This suggests deaf education is at fault, doesn't it? and they are demanding more BSL which will only add to their problems."

"Residential homes cannot find sufficient trained staff to go BSL exclusive for just 1 or 2 BSL people, so they get sent miles away too. It is down to the deaf themselves to get what they need or, find an alternative to sign language."

"This means a sea change to deaf education and dropping the BSL centric approaches! the rights area will rip that to pieces.  That isn't going to happen is it?" 

ATR:  So what is the answer?  On the strength of response none really evident sadly, remote help by video? not really viable is it?  It's a piecemeal approach with very few pieces. The Deaf community is shrinking too so little peer on peer support is around.  In essence, the Deaf are insisting on a type of support that isn't there even within own areas.

The only real suggestion was to use BSL as a second option not a first, but that depends on those who determine the content and approach toward deaf education, and a real change of emphasis from activists.  We cannot help those older its too late,  their paths are too set to change, we can approach deaf children and youth differently so they have more communication options to offset reliance on just one approach.  They need all the strings to their bow they can master, but Deaf activism will block that.  

Note: BSL won't help the deaf who don't sign, so who looks after their interests?  Has anyone ever met a GP or specialist who can speak properly?