Mental health and communication: Free training course for professionals

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
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A free online course for people working with children who have social, emotional and mental health needs has been unveiled.

It is run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and is thought to be the only free training course exploring the links between mental health and communication.

Consisting of 15 modules, the “Mind your words” course aims to increase understanding of how communication barriers can be identified and removed to help children and young people achieve their full potential.

Each module takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be done in stages.

Mental health problems affect around one in 10 children and young people and they are at additional risk of having speech, language and communication needs. Indeed, 81 per cent of children with formally identified emotional and behavioural disorders had significantly below average language abilities (Hollo et al, 2014), while 45 per cent of young people referred to mental health services had higher order language impairment (difficulties with understanding inference and abstract language) compared to 15 per ent of young people in a comparison group (Cohen et al, 2013).

RCSLT chief executive Kamini Gadhok said: “This has become increasingly important during the pandemic, which has had a significant impact on children’s mental health. So we should all be looking at ways we can better support children to develop the communication skills that enable them to express themselves, form positive relationships and build their resilience.”

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