The British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) has launched a new website. BSMHD is a UK charity that focuses entirely on the promotion of the positive mental health of deaf people.
Mental health includes healthy emotional, psychological and social development, the prevention and treatment of mental illness and other disorders. Although the main focus is on those who’s first or preferred language is sign language, BSMHD is interested in the mental health of all deaf people, whatever their language preference, age of onset or degree of deafness.
Deaf people who are British Sign Language users are almost twice as likely to have mental health issues compared with the general population (40% against 25%). In addition, people with mental health and deafness issues (multiple needs) often face marginalisation from mainstream society. There is a great deal of stigma attached to mental health in the Deaf community, thus leading to isolation and loneliness in a close knit community. Through delivery of training courses and dissemination of information, BSMHD are actively working to reduce this stigma throughout the UK.