Research Project report: mental health needs of Deaf BME community in Glasgow

Last Tuesday I attended the launch of the report into the mental health needs of Deaf people from the Glasgow BME community. I gave a brief presentation of the research I undertook.

The project was a pilot to investigate if further research was necessary in this field.  You can see the full report here.

The work was undertaken last year while I was working at Heriot-Watt University and was in collaboration with Deaf Connections.  I worked closely with the Development Worker with the BME Deaf Community, and also the Asian Deaf Community in Glasgow during the research project.

The launch was under the name ‘Ishara’, a new word coined by the Asian Deaf Club , taken from the Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi languages, and means to make signs or gestures with the hands.

For more information about Ishara go here.



  1. Deaf mental health is a hugely unsupported and acknowledged area. Only recently there was a statistic saying 25% of deaf children already had mental illness,the scale is staggering. IN areas like Wales there is no real access to the psychiatric system and nursing (Local support) at all, deaf are shunted 100s of miles away from their families, and from their social circle, and often, this is a cause for further deteriorations in their condition.

    Support too, can be hit and miss there are very few psychiatrists trained with the deaf,and even those that do can fall foul of regional sign differences and not be able to communicate properly. I am unsure if a need is there for ‘specialized’ deaf mental health support. The issue in consultations and addressing the problem is access to proper interpreting, it is not vital a Dr is au fait with deaf culture, to know when a person is depressed,or even for a Dr to sign, there are trained interpreters to do that, if only the Hippocratic oath wasn’t thrust in people’s faces to prevent that support happening.

    I think we waste a lot of time going off-tangent when we should be addressing treatment and support. especially, WHY, deaf cannot access local systems, when an hearing neighbour with the same issue has no such problem. As deaf people have right of BSL access, then this should not be an issue at all…

  2. Hi my son is my first inspiration,you will my second.I have a huge languge barier when it come to write or explain in english. My son have learning difficulity along with hearing and vision loss.What ever vision and hearing have left in him he use so well.Being a regester blind he still manage to learn bsl and i am doing leavel one in bsl to have communication with my son.

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