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Emotional health

Most people will, at some point in their life, experience periods of feeling sad, anxious, unmotivated or low. However, if this problem lasts for weeks or months it could be a sign of depression, anxiety or another mental health condition.

If you have been feeling low, visit the NHS page on depression to learn more about the signs and symptoms of depression and other related conditions.

Types of mental health problem

Common mental health problems include:

Anxiety and panic attacks
Bipolar disorder
Drug & alcohol dependency
Eating disorders
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Panic attacks
Postnatal depression
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Suicidal feelings

To find the full list of mental health problems and their definitions visit the Mind website.

I think I have a mental health problem, what do I do?

The signs and symptoms will vary depending on the individual, but what’s important is that you tell someone close to you how you feel. This can be anyone – your parents, siblings or a close friend. They can help you identify your symptoms; determine why you are feeling them and what can be done to help you feel better.

Sometimes just talking to someone can help, or if the source of your sadness is external then making a few changes in your life such as your school, living situation or personal life could help. If this is not the case, or you have experienced a traumatic event or are having thoughts about harming yourself, it is important to speak to your GP as soon as possible so they can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatment, such as referring you to therapy.

Explaining your feelings can be difficult, and being deaf can make you feel more anxious. Deafness should not stop you from accessing the support you need and don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from family, friends and professional to get the best possible treatment.

Remember, having a mental health condition is not a sign of weakness or that you aren’t as good as other people. 1 in 4 people will experience mental health disorders each year* and many of them are high-achieving and powerful people.


Organisations and resources

There are many organisations and resources available to help people with a range of mental health conditions. The ones listed below provide general mental health advice and some have sections especially for deaf people.

If you would like to speak to someone about getting support, please contact our Helpline or contact one of the following organisations .


YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people.


ChildLine is a free confidential service that helps young people access support for a range of issues from mental health, poverty and abuse. This link will take you to their dedicated ‘deaf zone’ that provides resources in BSL and information on how to access their service.


SignHealth is a charity dedicated to making sure Deaf people get the same sort of access as hearing people to healthcare and health information. This link will lead you to the ‘BSL Healthy Minds’ section of their website.


Rethink provides support, advice and services as well as campaigning for better mental health awareness and services in the UK.

Talk Out Loud

Talk Out Loud made a video with a group of young people to explain mental health disorders and how they relate to personal experiences. The video is interpreted in British Sign Language and is also subtitled.

NHS Mood Zone

NHS Mood Zone offers practical advice, interactive tools, videos and audio guides to help you feel mentally and emotionally better.

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National Deaf Children's Society

Registered Charity: England and Wales (1016532) and Scotland (SC040779)

Helpline: 0808 800 8880

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