2 people sitting at a table with mugs of coffee. 1 person has a light skin tone and long, purple hair. The other has a darker skin tone and short, tightly curled hair. They are using British Sign Language.

If you have been feeling low or very anxious and this is affecting your day-to-day life, you should think about going to see your GP. It’s especially important to talk to your GP – or someone else who can help -if you are struggling to cope or feeling hopeless.

You should be able to get the communication support that you need when you go to your GP, whether you are experiencing mental health issues, or problems with your physical health such as an injury or pain.

Since July 2016 the law says that all organisations that provide NHS care or adult social care including GP surgeries have to follow new rules called the Accessible Information Standard. The Standard tells them what they must do to improve communication and accessibility for people with a disability or sensory loss. This means that if you are Deaf, deaf or Deafblind you can:

  • Get the communication support you need (for example a BSL-English interpreter or speech-to-text reporter) when you go to your GP.
  • Ask for information to be given in an accessible format (this may mean test results sent by SMS or emails in plain English for example).
  • Ask your surgery to contact you in the way that you understand best (by email for example).

Find out more about the Accessible Information Standard on the SignHealth website.

You can speak to your GP about referring you to Signhealth BSL therapy a psychological therapy service which offers support in British Sign Language (BSL) to Deaf people who are experiencing low moods, depression, anxiety or stress. Qualified therapists are Deaf, or hearing and fluent in BSL, which gives Deaf people full access to psychological therapies. You can also refer yourself to this service on the Sign Health website.

BSL video coming soon