Deaf News: NHS Trust launches British Sign Language self-help guides

Posted on September 23, 2015

A partnership between a Deaf health charity and the NHS in the North East has led to the creation of a series of innovative new sign language guides to mental health issues.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW) worked in partnership with deaf health charity SignHealth to produce 14 mental health self-help guides in British Sign Language (BSL). The project was supported by NHS England’s Regional Innovation Fund.

NTW Clinical Nurse Specialist, Mental Health and Deafness Service, Joyce Pennington said:

“I am delighted that NTW is working in partnership with SignHealth, a deaf charity. We are striving to towards providing equal access to information in BSL for Deaf people. The BSL self-help guides are a valuable resource that I can use when working with deaf people with mental health issues.”

NTW is the North East’s mental health and disability care provider, operating across Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

SignHealth Clinical Management Lead Hazel Flynn said:

“SignHealth’s ‘Sick of It’ report revealed that poor communication has a devastating impact on all areas of deaf health.  Our research showed eight out of 10 deaf people want to communicate in BSL but only three in 10 get the chance.  We’re delighted, therefore, to have been part of making information on common mental health problems – such as depression and anxiety – more accessible.”

Visitors to the NTW website and YouTube channel can now view the BSL videos on issues including domestic violence, depression, stress, anxiety and sleeping problems.

To view the new BSL self-help guides visit (click on the leaflet then on the ‘BSL video option) or go to the NTW YouTube channel.

The videos will also be available as part of the health information in BSL on SignHealth’s website –

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Posted in: deaf news