Mental health support for Deaf people
If you're a British Sign Language (BSL) user it can be difficult to know where to go to get information to support your mental health. This web page has information to help you:
How can I get support from my GP?
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
How can I find help in a mental health emergency?
If your life or someone else's is in immediate danger you should contact 999.
national text number has been set up that allows Deaf people, or people with hearing difficulties, to get 999 help quickly. However, you must register your phone in advance before you can use this service. Do not wait until you need to call, by then it will be too late.
To register for this service text the word 'register' to 999. You will get a text back with information about the service. Reply to this message by texting back the word 'yes'. You should then get another reply to let you know that you have registered.
If you need to contact the emergency services - in your text you should say whether you need police, ambulance or fire, what is happening and where help is needed (include an address or landmark to make it easy to find you). The emergency services will text you back. This can take up two minutes. If you have not heard back in three minutes - try texting again.
Crisis Text Service for Deaf people
SignHealth, Shout and Crisis Text Line run a text-based service for Deaf people. If you text DEAF to 85258 a trained crisis volunteer will respond and reflect on what you've said. They will invite you to share the information you feel comfortable with.
The crisis volunteer will help you sort through your feelings, supporting you until you feel more calm and safe. You can get help with urgent issues such as suicidal thoughts, abuse or assault, self-harm, bullying or relationship issues.
Text DEAF to 85258 - open 24 hours every day. The service is free to text from major UK mobile networks - find out more on the SignHealth website.
Connect - whatever your problems are - mental health, housing or money worries, bereavement or the end of a relationship - Connect can help. Trained volunteers and workers provide compassionate, non-judgemental support and can give information about other services, if needed. You can talk to a Deaf worker or a hearing worker with BSL skills on Mondays 7-11pm.
Glide: 07922 249452 or Skype and FaceTime: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect Online - you can also chat to Connect volunteers by instant chat (text-based conversation). This service is open every night 6pm-2am. Go to on the LSLCS website and click on the Chat Now button.
Dial House - if you're finding it hard to cope - Dial House is a place you can go that's safe and homely, and have an hour of one-to-one support. It could be that you are going through a 'life crisis' - perhaps a relationship has broken down or you are worried about money problems - or you could be having problems with your mental health. Dial House has a family room, so parents can bring children with them. Taxis to and from the service are provided. Dial House can support Deaf visitors with a Deaf worker or a hearing worker with BSL skills. Ideally it is best to contact Dial House between 6 and 7.30pm.
Send a BSL referral via Skype (survivor.led) or Glide (07922 249 452).
12 Chapel Street, Halton, Leeds, LS15 7RW. Email email@example.com
You can call NHS 111, the NHS non-emergency number, from 8am until midnight everyday, by using InterpreterNow through the NHS111 website http://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111 You can use the system on a laptop, mobile or tablet to connect to a BSL interpreter via a webcam who will contact NHS111 on your behalf. You will be asked questions to assess your symptoms and then be directed the best medical care for you.
Crisis Assessment Service (CAS)
The CAS is an assessment service for people who are going through mental health problems which might cause them to hurt themselves or someone else. It is open 24 hours, seven days a week. 'An assessment service' means that a health worker will talk to you about your mental health crisis and discuss what may be available to help you. They will initially offer telephone advice and support but will meet you for a face-to-face assessment if necessary.
People who are Deaf/deaf or have a loss of hearing, can text 07983 323867 at any time 24 hours a day. What communications support you need will be discussed with you. The CAS has access to BSL interpreters and support is also available through the SignHealth Deaf Crisis Support Leeds service.
The CAS general contact number is 0300 300 1485.
How can I find a support group in Leeds?
Tuesday Project support group (Dial House)
Dial House run a weekly Deaf support group called the Tuesday Project.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tuesdays 11.30am – 3.30pm at Dial House, 12 Chapel Street, Halton, Leeds, LS15 7RW
Which organisations in Leeds support Deaf/deaf people?
A Psychological therapy service for Deaf people which offers support in British Sign Language (BSL) to those who are experiencing depression, anxiety or similar mental health problems. Qualified therapists are Deaf, or hearing and fluent in BSL, which gives Deaf people full access to psychological therapies. You can refer yourself to this service on the Sign Health website or your GP can refer you.
An advocacy service (using BSL) to make sure Deaf People are treated fairly and that they get what they're are entitled to. Advocates work to help people understand complicated situations, explain their rights, and make sure their views and opinions are properly heard.
SignHealth runs a domestic abuse support service that specialises in supporting Deaf people, previously known as DeafHope. The service offers remote support across England, and you can find out more on the SignHealth website.
SignHealth also offers access to health information in sign language:
You can view a range of SignHealth videos on the SignHealth website giving self-help information about looking after your mental health and coping with problems such as bereavement, depression, stress and sleeping problems.
Find out how to contact Sign Health on their website or call the Leeds office on 01132 457991.
Leeds DEAForum provides an opportunity for Deaf and people with hearing loss to meet and discuss key issues which affect them in the community. Discussions through British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters cover how services are provided and made accessible by organisations like the council, health services, and the police.
For more information about the Leeds DeaForum get in touch with Khalid on 0793 493 6927 or email email@example.com
Leeds Hearing and Sight Loss Service
Leeds Hearing and Sight Loss Service is run by Sensory Support Services (BID Services), a charity that supports people who are deaf, hard of hearing, visually impaired or have a dual sensory loss.
Telephone: 0113 288 5750
Textphone: 0113 288 5758
Mobile: 07702 940888
Sense is a national charity that supports people who are Deafblind or have sensory impairments to enjoy more independent lives.
Contact Sense's information and advice service on 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972, 0300 330 9256 or 020 7520 0972 (textphone), email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact Sense through a sign language interpreter on the Sense website.
Deafblind UK is a national charity supporting people with both hearing and sight loss. They can help you find information, access support, connect to other organisations and understand your condition.
You can contact the Helpline from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Thursday and 9 am to 4 pm on Fridays. Call 0800 132 320 (freephone) or text 07950 008 870 (freephone). You can use Text Relay by dialing 18001 then 0800 132320, contact them via Facetime email@example.com (Not BSL). There is alson BSL video relay available via their website: https://deafblind.org.uk/what-we-do/helpline/.
How can I get help as an unpaid carer?
Carers Leeds is the organisation that supports unpaid carers in Leeds. If you are helping a friend, partner or family member and they couldn't manage without your support due to their illness, disability, mental health issue or a substance misuse problem - Carers Leeds is here to support you.
D/deaf people can access any part of the service including help with form filling and making phone calls through a hearing worker with BSL skills. A fully qualified interpreter can also be arranged as necessary.
Carers Leeds offer a specialist service for carers who are looking after someone with a mental health problem, and can also support carers who are experiencing problems themselves, such as anxiety, stress or depression as a result of caring for their friend or family member.
They also offer a bereavement support service which can be accessed up to 12 months following the death of the person you were caring for. It is still possible to access support for a bereavement if you were caring for the person who died but were not accessing support from Carers Leeds while they were alive.
Carers Leeds have a drop-in service open Monday-Friday 9.30am-3.