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Conference Details

As we are all aware, the Cornoavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has led to a need for social distancing to help prevent the spread; for this reason we have moved this conference to an online format using Zoom.

This conference will  be a virtual Zoom conference in BSL and spoken English

  • Event Date:        Tuesday 29th June 2021
  • Event Time:        09:00 to 16:30
  • Event Location:  Online via Zoom

Conference Background

Understanding and meeting the mental health needs of Deaf people is incredibly important as Deaf people, especially those who communicate through BSL, are significantly more likely to experience mental health difficulties. Deaf people are often isolated and marginalised in society and accessing appropriate support and treatments can be challenging. In addition, Deaf people from minority and marginalised groups are especially vulnerable to experience isolation and risk not having their core needs met.  Developing inclusive and co-produced services remains a challenge and a priority for services.

Conference presentations, parallel workshops and posters


This Zoom event, jointly hosted by the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD) and St Andrew’s Healthcare, brings together leading practitioners and researchers in the field for a one day conferencing event to explore positive practice and research developments. 

View the BSMHD  webpage at 

The conference is being delivered in BSL and spoken English.

The key themes of the different symposiums are:

  • Symposium 1 - Co-Production
  • Symposium 2 - Working with Families
  • Symposium 3 - Supporting Deaf People with a Learning Disability
  • Symposium 4 - Do secure services re-traumatise Deaf people

As well as offering BSL and Spoken English presentations, the conference will also present posters. All posters will be accompanied by a brief video summarising the studies in BSL and spoken English. Conference posters include the themes of: 

  • Communications
  • Ethnic Diversity
  • Accessible Information
  • COVID19
  • Forensic & Inpatient Services
  • Evaluation of Deaf Services

Conference Flyer

Below you can download the conference flyer

Flyer BSL Video Capture
Diversity Deaf People MH Conference Flyer 29 v2.06.21 v4

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Student in Full Time Education ( email address required)


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British Society for Mental Health & Deafness Member


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St Andrew's Employee Rate


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Conference Poster Presenter Rate


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Early Bird Rate (ends 24th May 2021)


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Standard Rate


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Meet Our Speakers

Further details coming soon...

Hannah Whalley

H Whalley      

Hannah Whalley

Hannah is a Community Psychiatrist Nurse working for the National Deaf Mental Health Adult Community Service based in South west London and St. George’s Mental Health Trust. 

Prior to this role, Hannah studied Mental Health nursing at University of Brighton and worked as a nurse in an adult inpatient services of the National Deaf Services.

In her current role, Hannah ensures that Deaf people are empowered and have equal access to mental health services as part of their recovery.

For the past two years Hannah has been the lead professional for the Deaf Service User Group, which focuses on quality, Improvements, innovating projects and recommissioning pathways for service strategies. Hannah is a strong advocate in involving Deaf Service Users in any projects

In addition to her role, Hannah often delivers mental health awareness workshops to educate Deaf people about mental health issues. As a native Deaf sign Language user Hannah is able to provide this training in British Sign Language (BSL); allowing Deaf people to access this information in their first language. This training also includes interpreters, thus ensuring Deaf people will have access to good quality BSL interpreters to support interpreting Deaf people’s needs to hearing professionals and to work with different Deaf organisations to ensure we all are working collaboratively.

As proud Deaf person, Hannah strives to break down barriers and remove the stigma in society that ‘Deaf can’t do’ and the importance of Deaf professions to act as role models for people in the Deaf community.

Lenka Novakova

L Novakova      

Lenka Novakova

Lenka is a Deaf advisor working for a National Deaf Mental Health Service based in South west London and St. George’s mental health trust.  

Prior to this role, Lenka worked in deaf education and then went on to work as a child mental health worker at inpatient National Deaf CAMHS Corner House.

In her current role, Lenka focuses on promoting the importance of deaf culturally and linguistically affirmative provision across NHS and other mental health care providers.  

A strong believer in the empowerment and positive thinking, Lenka encourages Deaf service users to be actively involved in on-going service development through quality improvement and innovation projects.

The field of mental health drives her to continuously develop her current role so that she can achieve the maximum impact and influence of provision for both service users and other medical and non-medical professionals.

Dr Katherine Rogers

Katie Rogers Pic  

Dr Katherine Rogers

Dr Katherine Rogers is a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Post-Doctoral Fellow and has been involved in the Social Research with Deaf people (SORD) group at the University of Manchester since 2006. She completed a Doctoral Research Fellowship in 2013, funded by the NIHR. Her research interests primarily involve issues pertaining to Deaf communities and their families, especially those which promote more positive outcomes. Examples of research projects that she has been involved with include Deaf role models, the mental well-being of d/Deaf people, evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of BSL IAPT, and the validation of standardised psychometric instruments with d/Deaf populations. Additionally she is a co-investigator in The READY Study and is chair of the British Society for Mental Health and Deafness (BSMHD). Her research page can be found at:

Tomas Gerrard


Tomas Gerrard

Lorena Almeida

L Almeida      

Dr Lorena Almeida

Lorena Almeida is a clinical and counselling psychologist. She has over 15 years’ experience across the field of psychology, and has been working in Deaf CAMHS Cambridge for over 9 years. Lorena enjoys exploring different theoretical approaches to understand and support young people and their networks.

Being able to dive into Deaf culture and learn British Sign Language along the way, have been an incredible addition to Lorena’s work and personal life. Working with wider family networks and systems has been strengthened by completing the foundation level in systemic therapy, a field that interests Lorena strongly.

Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq

R Aurangzeb Tariq      

Rubbena Aurangzeb-Tariq

Rubbena is a Clinical Specialist/Art Psychotherapist working with the Deaf CAMHS Cambridge team, under Springfield Hospital, London. She also works in a freelance capacity as an Art Therapist in schools and as a practicing artist. Rubbena was recently commissioned by UCL for a research project that resulted in the production of a film called ‘Lightwave’ (2021) that is representative of the East London Deaf Community, Mental Health, Deaf BLM, education, employment, culture and the impact of the pandemic; it includes seeing Rubbena producing figurative drawings.

Rubbena’s work as an Art Psychotherapist involves working alongside Deaf children, young people and adults. Rubbena is also EMDR trained and specialises in working with d/Deaf and minority ethnic cultural differences

Emmanuel Chan

E Chan      

Emmanuel Chan

I have gained skills and experience during my work with a wide range of healthcare providers for deaf and others in London, Nottinghamshire, the Northeast England and abroad. I am grateful for the opportunity afforded me by the Florence Nightingale Foundation over 20 years ago that enabled me to visit the services for Deaf people in US and Europe. The lessons learned from my work and studies so far is that deaf people and their carers/families face life long challenges in accessing care and services. The pandemic has reiterated their experience of inequalities.

Equity and fairness are important to me. Information can empower people. I am committed to learning and development for both colleagues and patients and carers/families who are deaf. The education and training for carers/families is at the heart of my work as they do not always think of themselves as having caring responsibilities or attend to their personal needs.

The annual Carers’ awareness week is from 7 to 13 June this year. Carers/families are unpaid carers who have gone through a traumatic year like many of us. The theme this year is “Making Caring Visible and Valued”. I am hoping that the presentation will promote recognition of carers/families for deaf people using the Triangle of Care framework and illustrate their contributions towards the recovery and wellbeing for all.

Cheryl Young

C Young      

Cheryl Young

My name is Cheryl Young and I was born and bred in the North East Gateshead. I am profoundly Deaf and come from a Deaf family.

From personal experience, access to information has always been a challenging barrier for Deaf people and their carers.

Since I start my post with the Mental Health and Deafness service, I have support many of our patients with varied and complex needs, supporting them in their recovery and wellbeing. After a few years in the job I was appointed as a Carer Champion for our service.  I attend ‘Triangle of Care’ meeting’s and ‘Service Users and Carer Reference Group’ to keep myself update with information and develop ‘co-production’ with other services. I have delivered Deaf Awareness training across Carer centres in the areas we cover within the North East. I also work closely with our patients and their carers / families.

I have expanded my knowledge and skills via attending training/courses. I obtained my  Level 2 certificate in Counselling. Attending this course I thoroughly enjoyed and believe that the course has helped me to develop my role. I also gained a qualification in Health and Social Care, this lead  me to being accepted to undertake  a Degree Level Nursing Apprenticeship to commence in 2019. However this didn’t start until a year later in January 2020, then we were in national lockdown from March 2020. I continued to attend my  allocated Nurse work placements during the pandemic as well as trying to juggle my responsibilities; being a mum, teacher to my 3 girls when schools were closed for 6 months, working full time, also studying. Due to the responsibilities I decided that I had to pause the Nursing course in the September until things settled down.

 My spare time  is with my family and friends which I love. Last but not least I have to mention my dog Ola  where we enjoy many a great walks exploring the beauty of the North East.

Johannes Fellinger

Fellinger Johannes Prim. Dr.5      

Johannes Fellinger

Johannes Fellinger, MD PD (consultant for Neurology/Neuropediatrics and Psychiatry) is head of the Institute for Neurology of Senses and Language (Hospital of St. John of God Linz/Austria) and of the Research Institute for Developmental Medicine (Johannes Kepler University Linz/Austria). He set up, e.g. health centres for deaf people and therapeutic communities for deaf people with multiple disabilities, health services for children and adults with developmental disorders (especially autism).

Johannes Fellinger is lecturer at the Medical University Vienna and at the medical faculty of the Johannes Kepler University Linz.

2009-2011 he assisted the World Federation of the Deaf as Expert on Mental Health and 2013-2017 as co-ordinator for health issues. He is also executive member of the European Society for Mental Health and Deafness and of the European Association for Mental Health and Intellectual Disability.
His scientific interests are mental health and health care of people with developmental and sensory disorders.

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips

My name is Helen Phillips, I am the Trial Coordinator for the Deaf Autism project -  Diagnostic Instruments for Autism and Deaf children Study (DIADS)) in the COMIC – Child Oriented Mental Health Intervention Centre. I have a passion for research in to deaf child mental health and was previously a research assistant for Translating the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire into British Sign Language project.  This study has now been completed and the deaf adaptations have been validated. As well as this role I also work part time as a Specialist Deaf Outreach Worker in the clinical team for Deaf CAMHS based in York.  During the lockdown we have published several papers for DIADS:

Wright, B., Phillips, H., Le Couteur, A., Sweetman, J., Hodkinson, R., Ralph-Lewis, A., Hayward, E., Brennan, A., Mulloy, J., Day, N. and Bland, M., 2020. Modifying and validating the social responsiveness scale edition 2 for use with deaf children and young people. PloS one15(12), p.e0243162

Wright, B., Phillips, H., Ackroyd, V., Joy, R., Tsappis, E., Ogden, R., (2020). Understanding of Metaphors for Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Deaf People, International Journal of Mental Health and Deafness (accepted for publication)

Phillips, H., Wright, B., Allgar, V. et al. Adapting and validating the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule Version 2 for use with deaf children and young people. J Autism Dev Disord (2021). 

Wright B, Phillips H, Allgar V, Sweetman J, Hodkinson R, Hayward E, Ralph-Lewis A, Teige C, Bland M, Le Couteur A (20210 Adapting and Validating the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised for Use with Deaf Children and Young People. (accepted for publication)

Dr Kaler Gurpreet

Dr Kaler Gurpreet