These are are the sobering statistics of the relationship between speech, language and communication needs and mental health:
“84% of attendees at psychiatric services had a language impairment and 74% had communication difficulties (including autism). 81% of children with social, emotional and mental health needs have undetected speech, language and communication needs”.
(Royal College of Speech & Language Therapy).
Problems with communication can affect ability to access ‘talking therapies’. I’ve heard of children with mental health problems who have been denied counselling because they have a language disorder (it was assumed they could not engage with therapy because of their communication needs).
Remember that services have a duty to make information accessible (2014 Equality Act and 2016 Accessible Information Stanrdards).
It means that supporting people with speech, language and communication needs to access support for mental health is everybody’s duty. Speech and Language Therapists have a unique role in this but are nevertheless underfunded and underrepresented across all sectors.