The Deaf Mental Health Conference 2019 launched a series of video clips British Sign Language (BSL) with subtitles and voiceover to introduce vital information about mental health and wellbeing of the Scottish Deaf Community from the See Me Campaign.
Deaf people are at risk of experiencing mental health issues, often due to discrimination, stigma, isolation, and social exclusion caused by the communication barriers they face. It is vital for the deaf community who experience mental health struggles to be able to talk about it and gain support. For many deaf people, sign language is either their first or only language.
Hence, information about sign language to the deaf community and their families and peers must be fully accessible. It will help bring light to the struggles of the deaf community in terms of communication barriers and mental health as well as to end withstanding stigma and discrimination against them.
Sign Language Improves Relationships
When someone you know can’t hear, learning sign language can allow you to communicate with them in a meaningful way. Moreover, in this way, you develop a sense of awareness of the community of non-hearing individuals. When you learn sign language to communicate with a deaf family member or a friend, you help enhance your relationship while also improving your mind and spirit.
Up to 90 percent of deaf children are born to normal-hearing parents, making sign language learning a significant family affair. Learning to communicate with your child through a variant of sign languages, such as ASL or BSL, allows parents to connect deeper with their deaf child. Similarly, deaf parents who teach their normal-hearing children sign language as early as they are toddlers enables them to communicate their needs using signs before they can even speak.
Educators with sign language certification are qualified to teach both hearing and deaf students. Moreover, as it is more common now for deaf children or children with hearing impairment to go to a regular school, having a teacher who can communicate with them through the language they know is profoundly empowering and encouraging.
- Service Providers
Learning sign language is also beneficial for social workers, counselors, psychologists, first responders, and medical professionals. It allows them to communicate with a deaf person or someone with impaired hearing during a critical situation, such as an emergency.