Referrers' use and views of specialist mental health services for deaf children and young people in England

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Background: Deaf children are at greater risk of mental health problems than hearing children. Generic child and adolescent mental health services cannot be expected to have the expertise to work with these children. Three teams in England currently provide specialist mental health services to deaf children. Aims: The research sought to explore referrers’ views of these specialist services. Methods: Interviews and a postal survey were used. Results: Referrers were very satisfied with the service and identified the features of the service which supported positive outcomes for users. Access was, however, a significant problem. Referrers suggested developments to the service should incorporate preventive work and cascading of skills to other professional groups. Conclusions: Deaf children require services which are expert in deafness and mental health, and the findings suggest the specialist services are achieving this. Resolving issues of access and widening its remit are desirable ways forward in any future development of the service. Declaration of interest: This work forms part of a research project ‘An evaluation of a national specialist mental health service for deaf children’ funded by the Department of Health. The views presented here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Department of Health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-201
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

Bibliographical note

Article published April 2010 : Beresford, B., Clarke, S. and Greco, V. (2010) Referrers' use and views of specialist mental health services for deaf children and young people in England, Journal of Mental Health, 19, 2, 193-201. This is an author produced version of the article published. This paper has been peer-reviewed but does not include the journal pagination. Link to the online version: DOI: 10.3109/09638230902968159


  • Deaf children
  • mental health problems
  • communication difficulties
  • therapy
  • specialist services
  • preventive work

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