“I felt so left out sometimes even though I know they don’t mean it.”

This is the heart-breaking headline from a recent article in The Mirror including diary entries from an 11-year old deaf girl, Lily Murray from Cumbria.

Being the only deaf child in the class can be really hard and can leave someone feeling isolated, lonely, and misunderstood.

This really does mirror the way that many deaf people have been feeling throughout the Pandemic and even more so now that face coverings are mandatory.

Here are some excerpts from her diary:

“Really fed up today. Everyone was laughing and joking at lunchtime, but I missed out on lots of what they were saying. By the time anyone filled me in, it was too late.”

 

 

Lily will then go on to experience:

  • Getting a job where she will be the only deaf person in the team.

  • Ordering a coffee and the Barista turns around whilst still talking.

  • Going into her bank to query a transaction, and struggling to communicate sufficiently with bank staff, and having to write everything down

  • Waiting for a train and a platform announcement is made over the tannoy, everyone moves to another platform and she wonders why she is the only one left on the platform

 

According to SignHealth, the leading charity on mental health and deafness, up to 50% of the deaf community in the UK experience mental health problems. The rates of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem ALMOST DOUBLE that of hearing people.

 

Deaf Mental Health Services

There are 10 NHS National Deaf CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) in the UK for children under 18 years old.  They support deaf children with hearing parents and also hearing children with deaf parents.

You can self-refer direct to these services, just by providing your GP address. 

To find out more about these services, google deaf CAMHS and you will find out more about these services.

There are also 3 deaf adult mental health services in the UK, based in London, Birmingham and Manchester. 
These are inpatient services and there are also community teams that are inked to the local Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT).

To get in touch with these services, you would need to go to your GP first and explain that you need these services. 
They would then pass you over to the Community Mental Health Team, who would then refer you onto the Deaf services.

These services provide Level 3 to Level 6 qualified staff uunder the Mental Health Act and all staff are clinically qualified.

If you are a deaf child or adult looking for support, get in touch with these services.

 

Deaf Health Charities

 

If you are looking to find out more general information about Mental Health and Deafness:

SignHealth is the leading deaf charity on Mental Health and Deafness and is there for general information only 

Deaf4Deaf is a team of Deaf Mental Health Counsellors and Psychotherapists

Please note that these services are not there to assess your Mental Health state.  They provide counselling or psychotherapy services under the IAPT guidelines from Level 1 to level 3.

 

Something you do can…

 

If you want really make a difference on this year’s World Mental Health Day – take some time to read our recent article UNDERSTANDING YOUR DEAF CUSTOMER JOURNEY

This is the start of a 4-part blog series that will talk you through how to support deaf customers (and deaf employees). It may feel like a small thing, but these everyday situations impact how we experience life and more importantly how that makes us FEEL.