All About MeA mental health recovery package designed specifically for deaf people has been launched by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT).

The package, called All About Me, was developed over two years in partnership with clinicians from a number of mental health trusts across England, including BSMHFT, as well as several private providers, and commissioners from NHS England. 

Deaf service users were involved in the creation of All About Me to support their recovery. It recently won it a gold award at the National Service User Awards 2016 for service user involvement.

Recovery is about supporting our service users to live a full and satisfying life, with meaning and purpose. All About Me is designed to help service users meet their individual recovery goals, whether they are to leave inpatient care, learn about new technologies, or to increase understanding within their family support network.

Dr Ben Holmes, clinical psychologist, Deaf Mental Health Services at BSMHFT feels the new recovery package will be valuable: “All About Me facilitates an increased understanding of the needs of our deaf service users and brings a focus to the importance of communication. This should enable more effective co-working between specialist and local non-specialist services in supporting ongoing recovery.

“All About Me empowers our service users, and helps them to take control of their care, and their recovery goals. They are part of the decision making process, rather than feeling that they are outside it.”

John Short, chief executive of BSMHFT, added: “People who need mental health care who are deaf can often feel excluded when they access services. With All About Me, even if colleagues, carers and families cannot use British Sign Language, they can continue to support our deaf service users in their recovery, with an increased understanding of the barriers they face.”