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Speech and Language Therapy and Mental Health Services

The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) department in mental health offers a wide variety of specialist services to service users, particularly those with disturbances of speech, language, communication and eating / swallowing difficulties.

These difficulties may be intrinsic to the mental health problem, as in schizophrenia, may pre-date the mental health problem, as in dysfluency, or may arise from it, as in drug-induced motor speech problems / swallowing problems or emotional behavioural problems.

A difficulty with social communication is a predominant feature in mental health and can affect self-esteem, self-identity, relationships and social participation. It has a major impact upon quality of life.

Speech and Language Therapists can assist by facilitating recovery, or reducing the impact of the communication impairment, either by providing direct interventions or working indirectly through the support of carers.

The role of the Speech and Language Therapist

Speech and Language Therapists have a unique role in identifying and analysing the nature of communication and swallowing impairments by contributing to assessment, diagnosis and management, and supporting the team decision-making process around, for example, eating at risk and issues relating to capacity. 

Additionally, Speech and Language Therapists have a key role in training others to improve the effectiveness of communication and safety of feeding and swallowing.

Current Speech and Language Therapy provision

Cardiff and Vale UHB SLT services aim to provide a service across:

  • the Welsh Neuropsychiatry Service as part of the interdisciplinary team
  • the Young Onset Dementia Team to support assessment and management of swallowing and communication difficulties arising through dementia
  • the Swallow Team in Mental Health Services for Older People.

Currently, there is no dedicated service provision to Adult Inpatients Mental Health. However, following initial discussions with the Lead SLT based within the Neuropsychiatry Service, referrals may be directed via SLT outpatient services as appropriate.

Contact SLT


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