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Mental Health First Aid™ for Deaf communities: responses to a lack of national Deaf mental health service provision

Julia Terry Orcid Logo, Cathie Robins-Talbot

Journal of Public Mental Health, Volume: 23, Issue: 2, Pages: 107 - 116

Swansea University Author: Julia Terry Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Purpose: For over fifteen years Mental Health First Aid™ (MHFA) has successfully been delivered in Wales, UK, with growing interest in the MHFA programme and increasing course attendees. Trainers, aware of the need for support, know the importance of MHFA being accessible for different communities a...

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Published in: Journal of Public Mental Health
ISSN: 1746-5729 1746-5729
Published: Emerald 2024
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa66484
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Abstract: Purpose: For over fifteen years Mental Health First Aid™ (MHFA) has successfully been delivered in Wales, UK, with growing interest in the MHFA programme and increasing course attendees. Trainers, aware of the need for support, know the importance of MHFA being accessible for different communities and learner groups. MHFA has always focused on increasing mental health literacy. One marginalised group, with lower mental health literacy than general populations, are Deaf people, a group with increased risk of mental health problems. In this article we provide insights about why Deaf people are twice as likely as hearing people to experience mental health problems.Approach: During this paper we have used four focal points i) exploring situational contexts for Deaf people; ii) reasons why Deaf individuals are at greater risk of mental health problems; iii) we explore a project, ‘Hear Deaf’, and implementation of MHFA Wales by Deaf MHFA trainers; and iv) initiatives to influence and impact on policy makers.Findings: During the project, nine MHFA courses were delivered to Deaf communities across different locations in Wales, often with information and advertisements circulated direct to Deaf communities through Deaf clubs, resulting in 120 Deaf people trained. We conclude with our own reflections as a researcher and a Mental Health First Aid trainer who work predominantly with Deaf communities.Originality: This paper provides discussion on the specific risks for Deaf people around mental health and the importance of mental health promotion programs for Deaf communities. Further research is needed regarding the impact of MHFA on Deaf populations.
Keywords: Mental Health First Aid, Deaf, mental health promotion, mental health literacy, British Sign Language, BSL
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences
Funders: N/A
Issue: 2
Start Page: 107
End Page: 116