BSL Healthy Minds is SignHealth’s Psychological Therapy and Counselling Service offering guided self help, CBT and counselling. It is delivered by therapists who are fluent in British Sign Language (BSL). Sessions take place in community settings such as GP surgeries.
Having therapists who are fluent in sign language means that there is no need for an interpreter, and sessions can be carried out one-to-one. We know that working this way has better therapeutic outcomes than using an interpreter. It is also more cost effective, because there is just one professional in the room.
We continue to gather evidence to effect change nationally.
BSL Healthy Minds aims to work alongside GP’s and other primary care mental health workers (as appropriate) to ensure an integrated care pathway for patients.
On receipt of referral an appointment for an initial assessment will be sent out to the patient within 20 days.
The professional referrer will be kept informed of treatment and outcomes.
• British Sign Language users
• 16 – no upper age limit
• Mild to moderate depression and anxiety disorders including OCD, PTSD, Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, Social Anxiety and Health Anxiety
• Bereavement, loss, low self-esteem, confidence building, family or work issues, identity issues
commissioning for the whole community
The DH document, Commissioning IAPT for the Whole Community, Best Practice Guidance (Nov 08) it clearly advises how to provide a BSL IAPT service for commissioners. Below are the relevant excerpts:-
BSL Healthy Minds are working with the IAPT national team to ensure Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) initiatives in order to show the benefits and quality of providing Step 2 and Step 3 interventions in BSL. See the diagram for further detail.
The main outcome measures used by IAPT services PHQ9, GAD7 and WSAS are in written English and therefore inaccessible for the majority of the Deaf population as the average reading age of a BSL user is around 8/9 years.
SignHealth has worked with the IAPT national team, the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD), and the University of Manchester, to translate and validate the three measures.
This means that a Deaf BSL user will now have equal access to an appropriate assessment and receive ongoing treatment that can be measured in sign language. This will remove any misdiagnosis by practitioners using outcome measures that are not in the patient’s own language and ensure an effective treatment plan can be put in place for the benefit of the patient and cost efficiency for the commissioner.