WATCH: Sign language incorporated into Covid-19 mental health information videos in Cork and Kerry

WATCH: Sign language incorporated into Covid-19 mental health information videos in Cork and Kerry

Priscilla Lynch Head of Health and Wellbeing Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. Pic: Gerard McCarthy

Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (CKCH) has teamed up with the Cork Deaf Club to ensure Irish Sign Language (ISL) is part of some of their videos.

New versions of the popular Five Days series on how to look after your mental health during Covid-19 have been produced with ISL incorporated thanks to a sign language interpreter appearing on screen.

The Five Ways Over Five Days series of videos was first published last year by CKCH.

The videos feature Principal Psychology Manager Daniel Flynn giving advice, tips and guidance on how to manage our mental health and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Three videos in the series have now been produced with full ISL.

CKCH primary care psychologists have linked with the Cork Deaf Club over the past two years and members of the club have highlighted the need for ISL video resources on mental health topics. 

The addition of ISL to three of the Five Ways series represents the first step to trying to bridge this gap and to help members of the Deaf Community locally and nationally to have equity of access to resources on how to take care of their mental health. This is in line with the Irish Sign Language Act, 2017, which commenced in December 2020 and which recognises sets out requirements and obligations on public bodies for the provision of ISL services.

The videos offer valuable tips on how we can manage our emotions and relationships during these difficult times and cover:

  • Understanding our states of mind How we balance emotion and reason and find a wiser mind. 
  • Daily Mindfulness How to be in the moment; the “what” and “how” of everyday practice. 
  • Relationship Mindfulness How to be mindful of others and protect your relationships. 

It is hoped that more ISL videos on mental health topics will be developed in the future.

Graham O’Shea, chairperson of Cork Deaf Club said: “I am delighted to see Irish Sign Language resources being developed and made available online. Especially resources about mental health. It is vital that the Deaf community has access to information in ISL.

"I hope that these videos are just the beginning for ISL resources, and that more and more accessible resources will be developed with the Deaf community in mind, in Cork and nationally.” 

Priscilla Lynch, head of Health and Wellbeing with Cork Kerry Community Healthcare said: “This partnership between the Cork Deaf Club and HSE Psychology services represents an important step forward in supporting members of the Deaf Community locally and nationally to have equity of access to resources on how to take care of their mental health.” 

Rosarie Crowley, CKCH Psychologist in Primary Care said: “This initiative comes at a time where it is needed greatly. Everyone is finding it tough and we all need good quality and evidence based information on how to take care of our mental health. 

"Members of the Deaf Community need this information now more than ever. Equity and ease of access to information on mental health is of vital importance. We are delighted to work in partnership with the Cork Deaf Club, Suzanne Carey, Sign Language Interpreter and our colleagues in HSE CKCH Mental Health Psychology Service and Health and Wellbeing on this project to produce videos on mental health topics in Irish Sign Language.”

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