What happens when you ask a Speech and Language Therapist to talk to a group of professionals including Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Officers, Police Officers, Advocacy Workers and Employment Advisers about how they work with and supporting adults with mental health problems?
Firstly, you get a slightly anxious Susan. I am accustomed to speaking to large groups of people so an audience of around 70 was not the issue. My trepidation came from speaking to such a diverse audience. Usually I have an idea of how receptive or otherwise my audience are likely to be; not so on this occasion. So maybe it was fitting that I was speaking at the home of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Discovery as I embarked on this journey into unknown, possibly frosty and potentially treacherous territory!
I need not have worried, as what transpired on the day was an incredible conversation where everyone agreed about the importance of recognising and addressing communication difficulties. If I was to summarise the message from the audience it would be…
- we cannot do our jobs without good communication,
- it is an ongoing challenge to communicate well with the people who use or come into contact with our services,
- we don’t always get our communication right,
- so how are you going to help us?
So I need not have worried. It would appear that we are all singing from the same songsheet – my job now is to be good conductor and pull this performance off!