The publication of Sharing the Vision: A Mental Health Policy for Everyone (1) (hereafter referred to as STV) was eagerly anticipated by the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT) back in June 2020. Likewise, Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) working within mental health contexts were also keen to review the content and to examine how speech and language therapy services were integrated into service plans and policies for the future.
Given the significant amount of research and clinical practice that has developed, even prior to, but also since A Vision for Change (2) (in 2006), both IASLT and its membership expected obvious visibility of the profession in the June 2020 publication. While there was some updated and refreshing content in the revised policy, including reference to positive mental health and primary prevention, IASLT was greatly disappointed, like many other professional associations (e.g. Irish Association of Social Workers, Psychological Society of Ireland), as it struggled to find any clear recognition of the role of the Speech and Language Therapist in the delivery of services to those with mental health disorders and their families.
Speech and language therapy is core to mental healthcare and delivery and, as such, the speech and language therapist should routinely be part of mental health multidisciplinary teams
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