Scottish Mental Health Service for Deaf People

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Who are we?

We are a new national service hosted by NHS Lothian. We are committed to providing specialist support in Scotland for deaf people with mental health problems across Scotland.

What do we do?

We provide a high quality service for people with hearing impairment suffering from a mental disorder. Predominantly, we are a consultancy and liaison service providing the following:

  • Advice on local management of deaf people with moderate or severe mental health problems which present challenges in assessment and/or treatment across Scotland
  • Assessment and/or treatment of patients at request of or in liaison with local clinicians on an outreach basis
  • Advice/assessment of the possible requirement for specialist inpatient treatment
  • Provision of training in deaf awareness and deaf mental health issues for mental health professionals.


Patient referred to
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Local mental health services
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Clinician assesses need for specialist Input
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Appointment made at regional clinic
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Feedback/advice/signposting communicated to patient and referrer

How to Refer?

Referrals can be made in writing and referral forms can be obtained by calling the team administrator on 01506 523 671 or email or by downloading one here

Telephone calls to discuss possible referrals are always welcome.

What happens next?

Patients will be seen by Advanced Nurse Practitioners on an individual basis for assessment of mental state and diagnosis in complex cases.

Specific time limited treatment may be offered.

Support for local teams in providing direct patient care. Advice given regarding further treatment and signposting to local deaf organisations.

Assessment of patients for inpatient treatment in the John Denmark Unit – National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness.

Liaison with inpatient team.

Facilitate and support discharge.

The Team

Dr Deborah Innes
Clinical Lead

Three Advanced Nurse Practitioners
covering East, North and West of Scotland

All staff can communicate in British Sign Language (BSL), SSE and spoken English

Lisa Truffelli
Team Administrator

Contact details

Mental Health Management offices
Block 1/2 , The Residences
St John's Hospital
Howden Road West
EH54 6PP

Tel: 01506 523671
Fax: 01506 523812

Other useful resources for deaf services

Scottish Council on Deafness (SCoD) Tel: 0141 248 2474

British Society of Mental Health and Deafness Tel: 07880 715 427

John Denmark Unit – National Centre for Mental Health and Deafness Tel: 0161 772 3400 Minicom: 0161 772 3407

Lothian Deaf Community Mental Health Services (for Lothian only) Tel: 0131 556 3128

Lothian Deaf Counselling Service (for Lothian only) Tel:0800 804 7462

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland​ Tel: 0141 341 5330

Download the Scottish Mental Health Service for Deaf People leaflet

Last Reviewed: 29/02/2012