ESMHD was established in 1986 by a group of concerned people from four European countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Germany.
The ESMHD now has members from most European Union Countries as well as from countries outside Europe.
ESMHD provides a forum for achieving the following objectives:
- Mental health practice appropriate to deaf people's needs
- Access to specialised mental health services for deaf people with mental health problems
- Specialised habilitation and/or rehabilitation services for deaf people who have been deprived of opportunities for the development or maintenance of their life skills
- Research into mental health and deafness
- Opportunities for deaf people to provide mental health services for other deaf people
- Networks of interested people in each country
- Information collection and dissemination on the mental health care of deaf people
- Respect for each deaf person's language and culture
- Exchange of ideas and support amongst all who have an interest in mental health and deafness