If you are concerned that your partner may have been abusive in the past then you can check.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also called Clare’s Law) gives you a right to ask the police for information about your partner’s past.
Funding to make this video was provided by the People’s Postcode Lottery.
HIV testing week is from 18th November 2017. It is an opportunity for people to find out more about HIV and to get tested.
SignHealth has been running a project in Wandsworth on HIV awareness. We have held workshops for young Deaf people so they have the facts they need about safe sex.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information that is accessible for people who are Deaf. Because of this, the project found a lot of confusion.
Lynn Shannon, who was involved in the project, explains more: “In schools we met Deaf children who didn’t understand the basics of consent and safe relationships. One girl said she didn’t realise she could say no. So, we had to go back to basics before we could even introduce the topic of HIV.”
A workshop for Deaf adults showed that most only had a bit of information from many years ago. For instance, 80% were not sure what an STI was (a Sexually Transmitted Infection). By the end of the workshop they had the information they could then share with friends and family.
SignHealth has recently produced new videos with everything you need to know about HIV in BSL. These were made possible with the support of Public Health England and the Terence Higgins Trust.
This pages has links to information about HIV in BSL. We are grateful to THT for allowing us to translate their information.[clear]
Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) – after sex, in an emergency
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – before sex
These videos were produced by Dr Sarah Powell, from SignHealth’s BSL Healhy Deaf Minds service. They were first published in Mental Health Awareness Week 2017.
How can you help others?
Some reasons for people having mental health problems
** What I am going to say next is possibly sensitive for you, and may bring back bad experience from your past. If you are also not feeling too good, please do not watch this video clip. **
How it affects anyone
Mental health emergency contact
As many as two in three Deaf people in the UK struggle with mental health problems, but most find it too difficult to access psychological therapy.
Today, new guidance from the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health (JCPMH) and Deaf health charity SignHealth, calls for an urgent improvement to deaf people’s access to mental health services.
Despite having poorer mental health than the rest of the population, the 60,000 people across the UK who use sign language as their main language often come up against barriers when seeking mental health services.
The difficulties Deaf people face when seeking mental health help are often woefully misunderstood by commissioners of NHS services, who in some cases assume that booking a British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreter is enough.
This does not work for most deaf people, and can often make mental health treatments less effective as the three-way conversation can cause stress or misunderstanding. Deaf people should be able to choose to see a therapist fluent in sign language, as recommended by the guide.
The guide’s recommendations for commissioners of primary mental health services could make a dramatic change to the mental health of many Deaf people.
President, Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Sir Simon Wessely: “Everyone should have equal access to effective mental health services. It is important that commissioners take on board the recommendations within this guide to make this a reality for Deaf people. As Deaf people have increased vulnerability for mental health problems, it is essential that they are able to access effective, evidence based, mental health services that match the specific challenges they face.”
Chief executive, SignHealth, James Watson-O’Neill: “I am really pleased the Royal College and the JCPMH decided to produce this guide with SignHealth. All too often Deaf people are forgotten about and overlooked. It’s great to see recognition of the challenges Deaf people face, and also some of the simple steps commissioners can take. I hope commissioners will see this guide as helpful and begin to improve access in their areas.”
Actress Rachel Shenton makes the BBC Radio 4 Appeal on behalf of SignHealth. You can listen to the appeal live at the times listed below, or you can catch up on BBC iPlayer. A signed BSL version is below. You can find Radio 4 at 92-95 FM or 103-105 FM.
Sunday 2nd April at 07:55 and 21:26
Thursday 6th April at 15:27
SignHealth’s ‘BSL Healthy Minds’ service
During the broadcast Rachel will make an appeal for funds to support our ‘BSL Healthy Minds’ service which provides therapy and counselling to deaf people with mental health issues.
Rachel will tell the listeners and viewers about a woman we supported called Anna, who was physically abused by her mother as a child, and then later sexually abused by her partner as an adult. These assaults affected Anna’s mental health deeply and she knew she needed help. SignHealth was able to transform Anna’s life by providing therapy in her own language – British Sign Language.
Rachel will make a heartfelt plea for support by telling us about her own father and how his world turned silent after chemotherapy treatment.
Listeners are asked to give whatever they can so SignHealth can help transform the lives of more deaf people like Anna by restoring their mental health in their own language. Click here to give online.
You can also donate by calling 0800 404 8144 or by writing a cheque to ‘SignHealth’ and sending it to ‘FREEPOST BBC Radio 4 APPEAL’ – marking the back of the envelope ‘SignHealth’. Thank you
High prevalence of mental ill-health
In their lifetime 40% of Deaf people will experience a mental health problem, compared to 20% of hearing people. SignHealth provides therapists who are themselves Deaf or who use the same language – British Sign Language.
Outstanding Recovery Rates
We hope the BBC Radio 4 Appeal will raise valuable funds to help transform the lives of more deaf people like Anna (whose story you hear in the appeal), Sandra, Shaun and Bexi by restoring their mental health in their own language.
BSL signed translation of the appeal
Why Rachel decided to support SignHealth
Whilst at the studio recording the appeal Rachel told us why she is supporting SignHealth. You can listen to this clip, or read the transcript, below:
“Hello, I’m Rachel Shenton and I am a television actress. I have a personal connection with deafness. My lovely Dad was deafened when I was 12 years old due to cancer treatment and I saw what a huge effect that had on him. I first heard about SignHealth 3 or 4 years ago now. SignHealth provide a vital service to the profoundly Deaf community, delivering things like therapy and counselling, services supporting women affected by domestic violence and safeguarding provision for Deaf children. And all, of course, in British Sign Language, so these really sensitive conversations can happen in their own language. Which of course is essential. I support SignHealth, and I hope you will to.”
From 31st July 2016, all NHS and adult social care organisations in England must comply with a new set of rules called the Accessible Information Standard.
The Standard is a legal requirement that ensures:
- deaf people have the same level of access to information about their health as hearing people do;
- deaf people receive the communication support they want (for example a BSL-English interpreter or speech-to-text reporter); and
- information is provided in an accessible format. That may mean test results sent by SMS or emails in plain English.
To make sure your communication needs are met, health services should ask you:
- How you want to communicate when you see a health professional
- How you want to make contact with a health service
- How you want health services to give information to you
For example, you might say you would like to book an appointment online. You may want a speech-to-text reporter to be present when you see a doctor and you may want your test results emailed to you. You can print and use this form to tell staff how you would like to communicate.
With your permission, your choices should be recorded in your patient record. Your patient record should alert staff so that they know what your communication needs are. For example, if a nurse looks at your record on a computer, a message should flash up on the screen to let them know you need an interpreter.
The information should be shared with other health services. For instance, if your GP refers you to the hospital, they should tell the hospital that they need to book a BSL/English interpreter for you.
Having learned what communication choices you have made, health services then need to meet those needs. So, if you have said you want an interpreter when you see your GP, the GP practice should book one.
Click on the green buttons below to see more information in BSL and English.
Q. I live in Scotland, does the Standard apply here?
It requires adult health and social care services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to improve access for deaf and disabled people.
Q. What’s the difference between the Equality Act and the Accessible Information Standard?
The Accessible Information Standard gives clear guidance about how to improve access for deaf people. It tells health providers they must ask what a deaf patient’s communication needs are, make a record of them, ensure they are visible on the patient’s record, share them with other health services and then ensure their needs are met. [clear-line]
Q. Do private healthcare providers need to comply with the Accessible Information Standard?
Private healthcare providers that are partially funded by the NHS or adult social care must comply with the Standard. If the healthcare provider is fully private, the Standard does not apply. However they must abide by the Equality Act 2010.
Q. Do dentists and opticians need to comply with the Accessible Information Standard?
If a deaf patient’s assessment or treatment is partially or fully funded by the NHS, then they must meet the Standard.
Click on the green buttons below to see more information in BSL and English.