Friday, 3 March 2017

Deaf Mental Health support poor ?

Image result for Deaf Mental health
Recent declarations of more charitable support funding for supporting deaf with mental health issues raises more questions than it provides actual and realistic answers.  

We should initially be asking "Why is Deaf Mental health receiving support by a charitable donation, and hearing mental health areas have a free state NHS provision  ?"  

Your next door hearing neighbour can have the same MH status as you, he or she will get local treatment, locally, you, won't, and may well be sent 100s of miles away for it, and may not return home after, because your local area still hasn't the professional set up to support you.

ATR was lobbying for localised MH service access to offer deaf support in South Wales, so if MH treatment was needed, deaf people were not sent away from families and peers, but remained near friends, and family to maintain continuity of support and back up.  Being sent out of area not to return, meant your MH was almost inevitable bound to get a lot worse.  You are isolated from all you have known.  ATR was initially defeated by the Deaf BSL lobby, who demanded specialised access by signing Psychiatrists and consultants was an inalienable right and necessity, but consistently refused to use BSL interpreters to access local MH services.  

ATR told the BSL user, that adept sign-using professionals in the world of psychiatry or even nurses and carers, are rarer than hen's teeth, and they should be using local service provisions instead via a terp, we had a right to it, and if they can use a BSL terp for seeing the GP or going to hospital, why the opposition to accessing local mental health service provision ?  It made no sense, access requires a demand for it, the BSL lobbies were creating demand outside local areas, instead contributing to the lack of it where it was needed and would provide better outcomes. The current policy remains however, unchanged, 

Charitable involvement is financial but lacks professional direction, they too are simply supporting the status quo. Support, care, and even diagnosis is undertaken via out of area health areas, creating no demand locally, the charities themselves who had set up dedicated deaf MH areas in other areas still benefitted by the 'exporting' of deaf MH patients to them. This suggested dedicated MH charity centres contributed to the problem.  Supporting deaf locally by friends and peers low key, (Taking them shopping or to a deaf club e.g.), is debatable because of these issues, and thus creates a 'catch 22' situation and delays to diagnosis and the right treatment being supplied.  Once again deaf drives for BSL/Deaf access tended to ignore the realities of the lack of any infrastructure or staff, to make access viable.  

This applies across the board to BSL Acts and Laws, first you train up the means to make it work, not expect the law can provide what isn't there after, or create a demand the deaf still do not support.  It also demands things of deaf people that they are unwilling to cooperate with, i.e. the end of family support reliance who are neither professional or neutral, but both accepted deaf norms which inhibit independence and access happening. Currently family reliance by Deaf people  kills 68% of all current demand not a state refusal to provide, they will only respond when they can see a demand for it.

Charities who provide partial care support for deaf with MH issues via 'peers', may well be inhibiting in-depth diagnosis and support in clinical surroundings by supporting them in clubs instead, indeed hiding the issue of identifying the MH status, by suggesting language support can 'cure' a MH issue, it may well assist an access issue not a MH one..   But Some of the behaviours the carers are seeing, suggest many deaf need more focused treatment than they are getting, which is just a few hours a week help with shopping or a once weekly visit to a deaf club, funded by a donation from a charity.....

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