People who are deaf are almost twice as likely to experience some kind of mental health problem than people who can hear. However, the nature of their disability means that it is often difficult for them to access support such as telephone help lines.
An innovative new webcam service is hoping to make this kind of support more accessible to deaf people in Scotland. Mental health advisors are now able to communicate face to face with deaf people seeking help and the programme has already been given an award from the Helplines Association.
The service has been funded by Scotland’s NHS 24 care and information service and is run by Breathing Space, a Scottish helpline for people feeling depressed or down.
Around 40% of people in the deaf community experience some form of mental health problems during their life, compared with 25% in the hearing community.