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Build responds to London Assembly report on mental health barriers for deaf and disabled Londoners

Story added 11th Apr 2017

Deaf Day at Build

The London Assembly Health Committee has today published a report on mental health barriers for deaf and disabled Londoners. 

This report follows an investigation the committee recently held into mental health support for disabled and deaf Londoners, where they engaged with a range of service users and providers to gather views on how the Mayor could support better mental health for these groups.

This report sets out the following key findings and makes recommendations to the Mayor and the London Health Board on potential areas for action: 

  • Disabled and deaf people are more likely to experience poor mental health than the wider population. 
  • As life expectancy rises, we can expect to see more people living with impairments in the future. 
  • Disabled and deaf people face additional barriers to accessing appropriate support at every stage of the mental health pathway, from prevention to crisis. 
  • Mental health services are not always good at dealing with the physical needs of service users, while disability services often overlook psychological needs. This is not good news for those who have both.
  • Supporting independent living is a critical component of enabling good mental wellbeing for disabled and deaf people.
  • Joined up policy is needed to tackle issues such as housing, transport, employment and crime. These contribute to a disabling society that damages mental health.
  • Only by including the voices of disabled and deaf people will we be able to create services that meet their needs.
  • The Mayor has significant opportunities to improve mental wellbeing for these groups through his policies and programmes.

You can find the full report on the London Assembly website.

Phil Chamberlain, Director of External Engagement at Build, has broadly welcomed the conclusions made in the report:

“Whilst it is worrying to read about the frustration that so many deaf and disabled Londoners face, Build welcomes the findings outlined in today's report. It brings a needed spotlight to challenges millions of people face on a regular basis. As a college, we are committed to bringing people together to enrich their lives through learning, and work tirelessly to provide deaf Londoners and those with a disability a world-leading adult education. 

“We have an established Centre for Deaf Education, as well as a range of specific courses that support London’s communities as we look to embrace the diversity of London and cater for everyone, whatever their background, whatever their ambition. We regularly work to raise awareness around issues affecting disabled and deaf Londoners through community events such as Deaf Day and the Mental Wealth Festival. We are committed to working closely with London Assembly members to help improve mental health support for these groups, and would like to extend an invitation to all members of the Committee to come and see for themselves the work the college carries out in this important area."

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