Mental Health & the forgotten people

Mental Health is big on the agenda right now and has been for some time. It seems to be a priority for everyone. The Government are talking about it, the NHS are running campaigns, celebrities are talking about it in their award acceptance speeches, even our Royal Family are spearheading charities to raise awareness, remove the stigma and get us all talking about it.

Most of us will be familiar with figures like, “one in four adults will suffer from mental health problems each year”, and a Government report in August 2019 adds to that “1 in 6 adults reporting a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety, in the last week….. men are 3 times more likely to die by suicide than women….the risks are increased by social factors, exposure to violence, trauma or long term physical health problems….loneliness and lack of social interaction are also risk factors for physical and mental health – these factors increase risk of premature mortality by 30%.”

But, no mention of the prevalence of mental health problems in the Deaf community and the steps that need to be taken to address this. So, how prevalent is mental health in the Deaf community? Well you need to do some intense searching to find a figure for that. Or, simply put, you can only find the answer if anyone can be bothered asking the question. A Royal College of Psychiatrists article estimates two out of three Deaf people struggle with mental health issues, but most articles refer, rather vaguely, to Deaf people being twice as likely to suffer mental health problems as hearing people. What is evident is that this is a community whose needs are understudied and under-served.

This was a really good report from 2017, unfortunately not mentioned in the 2019 report above. ……..more

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