Deaf health charity SignHealth partners with UCLan to increase access to mental healthcare
A charity which provides psychological therapy for deaf people has won a national award, after a successful partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) helped it to increase access to mental healthcare.
British Sign Language (BSL) Healthy Minds, a project delivered by the deaf health charity SignHealth, was recognised in the Disability category at the 2016 Charity Awards, which acknowledge exceptional work in areas of charitable activity.
The charity worked in partnership with UCLan as part of a two year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which helps organisations increase productivity and performance.
It wanted to increase access to mental healthcare for deaf people, including counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.
As part of the project, the University recruited Celia Hulme, who was an integral part of supporting SignHealth to achieve its objectives and create new initiatives, such as a digital service which will enable users to receive therapy online.
"Everyone at SignHealth is thrilled at the award win, which is not only a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the BSL Healthy Minds project, but also reflects the legacy of the KTP project and the wider benefits it is continuing to reap."
In response to the challenge, she also influenced the marketing strategy behind BSL Healthy Minds, identified significant gaps in training and worked to increase the number of practitioners who can deliver services required by deaf people.
During the two year project, Celia completed a Masters of Science by Research and will graduate from the University in December.
Celia Hulme, psychological therapies project manager at SignHealth said: “Everyone at SignHealth is thrilled at the award win, which is not only a testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the BSL Healthy Minds project, but also reflects the legacy of the KTP project and the wider benefits it is continuing to reap.
“There were several objectives we wanted to achieve and the KTP provided the facilities and resources to do this. We’re now building on this good work and continuing our commitment to increasing healthcare services for the deaf community.”
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK wide programme, part funded by the Government, which helps businesses and organisations meet core strategic needs to enable growth.