Bedford charity demands more mental health services for deaf residents

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Access Bedford is leading the way for Bedford Borough by organising a Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference on World Mental Health Day.

40 per cent of deaf children and 50 per cent of deaf adults will experience mental health problems during their life compared to 25 per cent of hearing children or adults.

On October 10, the event will bring together professionals from across Bedford and England to identify ways to work together to improve services for deaf residents.

Services locally do not provide a deaf community members with access to counselling in their own language, with individuals having to go through an interpreter to talk to their counsellor about personal challenges or areas for support.

Access Bedford wants to see Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and others around England to join with deaf centred services like BSL Healthy Minds who provide counselling and support in sign language.

BSL Healthy Minds delivered a mental health awareness course in Kempton at Project 229 on Saturday for local Deaf community members, communicators and interpreters.

NHS recovery rates for hearing counselling is 44 per cent - but for deaf members who receive counselling in sign language it is 75 per cent.

The Deaf Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference will take place in Bedford at the Salvation Army Hall and presentations on the day will cover daf access to health services, domestic abuse services, mental health provision and provide a chance to look at what could be done differently in Bedford Borough.

Information about the conference and free ticket booking can be found here.