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Last Updated: Monday, 13 August 2007, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Health care plea for deaf people
Ear
Deaf people are more likely to suffer mental health problems
A disability charity has called on the Scottish Executive to provide dedicated mental health care for deaf people.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf said there were no specialist services for deaf people in Scotland.

Currently, those with acute problems have to travel to Manchester for treatment.

The charity said deaf people are four times more likely to develop mental health problems than those with normal hearing.

The last time the Scottish government reviewed services for the deaf was in 2005.

However, the RNID said there was still a chronic lack of hearing and speech specialists.

'Big problem'

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Scotland Live programme, Delia Henry from the RNID said the problem in Scotland was worse than in the rest of the UK.

"There is very little to support people who are deaf with mental health problems," she said.

"There is a lack of joined up services available in the circumstances.

"Our organisation is uniquely campaigning in Scotland because we recognise that it is such a big problem."

Andy McDiarmid, director of services at the John Denmark Unit in Manchester, travels to Scotland to hold clinics once a month in Glasgow and periodically in Edinburgh for deaf people with mental health problems.

He said: "Going up for one day a month to see people from the whole of Scotland is extremely limited."

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "If there are gaps in services we want to take action to fill them."


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