What can mental health workers and Deaf artists do together to improve care for Deaf people?
An invitation from Richard France and Paula Garfield:

1 in 4 Deaf people have mental health issues and our mental health services are very behind compared to mainstream services. Many deaf people who get Cochlear Implants can adapt to speak clearly but they don’t mix with the Deaf community and they don’t see themselves as part of Deaf identity community. They are more likely to suffer from mental health issues in later life. Deaf education is worse than before with so many deaf schools closing down and deaf children sent to mainstream where the majority of Deaf children, with and without speech, see their education suffer.  

Nationwide, Deaf clubs are closing down and more will close. The Deaf communities are losing their cultural roots. There are only three care home for deaf elderly in the entire UK and there is a long waiting list. Most councils refused to pay for them to go to deaf care homes. Most Deaf children don’t have positive deaf role models - I grew up believing I would be hearing when I became an adult. There is no encouragement to explore the social model of disability especially in deafness. 

We want to get everyone together who is affected by, or who works with, Deaf people experiencing mental health issues. We need to work together on what we can all do to prevent illness and provide better care for those who are experiencing it. As theatre-makers we know that cultural activity and arts practices can really help people to cope and recover, to spread information and share experiences, and to platform Deaf-centred arts and culture. We need hearing and Deaf healthcare professionals to work with us. This event is a great opportunity for medical practitioners and other Deaf people to meet and start some conversations and take actions together to improve mental healthcare for everyone. 

This event is fully wheelchair-accessible, with wheelchair-accessible toilets available. BSL interpreters will be provided. We welcome neurodivergent participants at all our events. For more details about access provision at the venue, and for contact details, please check their website here: https://boulevardtheatre.co.uk/your-visit/accessinformation/