Sign to launch its first deaf mental health promotion

Sign, the national society for mental health and deafness, has been awarded £96,000 by the Department of Health to help run its first national mental health awareness-raising promotion focusing on deaf people.

The grant follows government recognition of British sign language as an official language last week. This will "belatedly improve the well-being of deaf people by encouraging more people to acquire signing skills," said Matthew James, deputy chief execuitve at Sign.

The promotion aims to help deaf children, their families and care professionals.

A range of marketing materials will be used to help other people understand how deaf people can be emotionally affected. "A lot of young deaf people have suffered and hit barriers which create internal stress," said James.

"Deaf people are twice as likely to develop a mental health problem as hearing people because of the emotional effects of delayed language development."

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