Members area

Loading...

Register

Don't have a login?

Join us

Become a member

  • Connect with others through events, workshops, campaigns and our NEW online forum, Your Community
  • Discover information and insights in our resource hub and receive the latest updates via email and Families magazine
  • Access one-to-one support and tailored services which help reduce barriers for deaf children
  • Borrow technology and devices which support deaf children’s communication and independence
Menu Open mobile desktop menu

Response to Mental Health Strategy 2021-2031 Consultation - March 2021

Personal details

Name

Helen Ferguson

Email address

Are you responding on behalf of an organisation?

Yes

Organisation

(if applicable)

The National Deaf Children’s Society

 

Vision and Founding Principles

Do you agree the vision set out will improve outcomes and quality of life for individuals with mental health needs in Northern Ireland?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

We particularly welcome a commitment to a consistent approach across the lifespan, that puts ‘the individual and their needs right at the centre, respecting diversity, equality and human rights, to ensure people have access to the right help and treatment at the right time’.

Transition between child and adult services are always a cause of anxiety for disabled children and their families, deaf children included. Differences in access thresholds between CAMHS and Adult Services cause uncertainty and confusion. The standard of service is also significantly different, with deaf young people having to wait till adulthood to access the full spectrum of support from a specialist.

Do you agree the founding principles set out provide a solid foundation upon which to progress change?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

 

Theme 1: Promoting wellbeing and resilience through prevention and early intervention

Do you agree with the ethos and direction of travel set out under this theme?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

None

Do you agree with the actions and outcomes set out under this theme?

Fully Agree / Mostly Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

Being deaf in a hearing world can leave deaf children vulnerable to developmental delays, behavioural difficulties and lower achievement academically. Emotional distress caused by bullying, feelings of isolation, and lack of support contribute to a greater risk of developing mental health issues among deaf children and young people.

We are pleased to see support for children and families integrated within the Mental Health Strategy. We support actions 3 and 4 in particular.

With regard to prevention, we note that the current CAHMS model envisages ‘Specialist Intervention’ as occurring at Step 3 in the pathway, whereas deaf children require specialist interventions and tailored services at all 5 steps of the pathway We hope that the approach outlined within Action 4 will address the difficulties deaf children can experience accessing support at an early enough stage.

 

Theme 2: Providing the right support at the right time

Do you agree with the ethos and direction of travel set out under this theme?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

None

Do you agree with the actions and outcomes set out under this theme?

Fully Agree / Mostly Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

We are extremely supportive of Action 5, and the ‘inclusion health’ approach, recognising the needs of groups that are currently disadvantaged. Research1 has shown that, in general, deaf people find it very difficult to effectively access primary health services and, as a result, deaf people’s health (including mental health) problems are often not effectively addressed at the earliest opportunity by primary services.

Evidence suggests at any given time 50.3% of deaf children will experience some mental health problems, and 3.4% will require highly specialist services2 . However the number of deaf children and young people accessing services in Northern Ireland is less than would be expected given the number of deaf children in the population (we would expect to see approximately 50 children p.a., however significantly fewer are referred )

‘Working Together: A Pathway for Children and Young People through CAMHS’ recognises that: ‘Specialist condition specific pathways will also be developed as required to supplement this care pathway.’ A specialist pathway for deaf children and young people is needed urgently.

 

Theme 3: New Ways of Working

Do you agree with the ethos and direction of travel set out under this theme?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

None

Do you agree with the actions and outcomes set out under this theme?

Fully Agree

Please add any further comments you may have

We are particularly pleased to see in Action 28 a commitment to a co-production/ collaborative approach in the development of a regional outcomes framework.

 

Prioritisation

If you had to prioritise the actions set out above, which top 5 actions would you take forward (with 1 being the most important to you, and 5 being the 5th most important to you)?

1

 blank

2

 blank

3

 blank

4

 blank

5

 blank

Finally, is there any one key action which you feel is missing from the draft Strategy?

 None
 

Impact Assessments/Screenings

Do you agree with the outcome of the Impact Assessment screenings?

Fully Agree / Mostly Agree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Mostly Disagree / Fully Disagree

(delete as applicable)

None

Please add any further comments you may have

None

Do you agree with the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA)?

Fully Agree / Mostly Agree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Mostly Disagree / Fully Disagree

(delete as applicable)

Please add any further comments you may have

None