NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is introducing a new counselling service for deaf people as part of a pilot project.
Funded by Glasgow City Health Social Care Partnership, the project has been introduced in response to consultation with deaf people who have experienced mental health care.
The service will offer deaf people in Glasgow access to a deaf counsellor with lived experience, who can match the deaf person’s communication needs whether it is British Sign Language (BSL), Sign Supported English or lip-reading.
However, clients can still choose to use a BSL interpreter during a counselling session if they wish.
Paul Hull, who has a specific remit for NHSGGC Mental Health Services and the deaf community, said: “Deaf people can be at higher risk of mental illness due to communication barriers and isolation.
“By helping to achieve the privacy and continuity so important for talking therapies, it is hoped that this resource will enable deaf people to engage with counselling services more effectively.”
The service, run by Lifelink, will initially run until March 2020, with the possibility of further developments of tailored made therapeutic sessions for Deaf people in the future.
The follows on from the success of the Mental Health Project, which is funded by Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and used across the the health board area.
It was recognised earlier this year at the Scottish Sensory and Equality Awards for breaking down communication barriers for the deaf community.