14 July 2022

The RCSLT has called for more recognition of the links between communication and swallowing needs and mental health and the role of speech and language therapists.

The RCSLT has submitted a response to the Department of Health and Social Care’s call for evidence for a new 10-year plan to improve mental health.

The call for evidence sought views on what can be improved within the current service and build on our understanding of the causes of mental ill-health. It covers everyone – children, adults and older adults.

In our response, the RCSLT called for:

  • recognition within the new mental health ten-year plan of the links between mental health and communication and swallowing needs;
  • the expert skills of speech and language therapists in supporting people living with complex communication difficulties recognised.

Our response also focused on:

  • The evidence base that demonstrates the links between speech, language, communication and swallowing needs and mental health difficulties and the impact that this has on someone’s life.
  • Specific proposals which we believe would help to reflect better the links between communication and mental health and facilitate greater support to communication which would improve the mental health of our population.

Read our full response to the call for evidence (PDF).

We would like to thank the Department of Health for their engagement with RCSLT on this issue in recent months. We look forward to working with them on the 10-year plan and on the draft Mental Health Bill.

RCSLT responds to draft Mental Health Bill

Our news story on the publication of the draft bill

SLTs set to be recognised as Approved Mental Capacity Professionals

Proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice

RCSLT successfully influences new NICE guideline

We’ve successfully influenced guideline on social, emotional and mental wellbeing in primary and secondary education