Who is the service for?
The Specialised Deaf Service works with deaf people who are experiencing significant mental or emotional distress. We work with both British Sign Language (BSL) users and people who do not use sign language, including those who have become deaf later in life.
We are currently unable to provide a service to people suffering from age related hearing loss.
Currently the Specialised Deaf Service is available to deaf service users across the Trust although funding may be required for some services for people who live outside the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas. Referrals typically come through GPs and new assessments are done in collaboration with local assessment teams.
What does the service do?
The Specialised Deaf Service can provide specialist assessment, therapy and consultation to deaf people and their carers, and other professionals working with deaf people with mental health needs. We can work directly in British Sign Language and have other communication skills to ensure people's needs are assessed and addressed as effectively as possible.
We work closely with Bristol City Council Sensory Support Service and other voluntary organisations to ensure that deaf service users are given information about the range of other support services available in the local and wider community.
We also work closely with Vita Minds in providing wellbeing services to deaf people who experience difficulties such as anxiety, depression or stress and who want to improve their general wellbeing.
We have close links with the specialist National Deaf Mental Health Services who support deaf people with more complex and severe mental health needs.
Our goal is to work collaboratively with deaf people to help them develop new skills and feel more in control of their lives. We strongly support the goals of the Accessible Information Standard which aims to ensure deaf people have full access to services and support.
How to contact us
In order to receive support from mental health services it is best to see your GP and explain the difficulties that you are having. You can also self-refer for support from Vita Minds. If your GP feels you need mental health support they will make a referral to secondary mental health services on your behalf.
If you have general questions about the Specialised Deaf Service please contact us: awp.SpecalisedDeafService@nhs.net or SMS: 07926074921