Special Interest Research Group: Language and Communication Needs in Mental Health

two pieces of paper and a magnifying glass


Children with language and communication difficulties: mapping ways to research and support their mental health

Our SIRG’s mission is to help fast track research on the impact of children’s language and communication needs on their mental health.

Despite evidence that many children receiving support for social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) have language difficulties, there has been very limited research on how these language needs impact prevention, intervention or identification.

Our SIRG will consult families and young people with language needs, clinicians across the disciplines of speech and language therapy and mental health, and researchers and research funding organisations.

We want to find out what families and practitioners want to know, and what would help researchers to conduct this important work.

If you’re a parent, professional, or researcher in the field of language or mental health and are interested in the work of this SIRG do email us on info@emergingminds.org.uk – we’d love to chat.

Final Report & Video

We are delighted share with you the final report from our SIRG on the future of research on language, communication and mental health. 

Firstly, here is a 5-minute video of Dr Hannah Hobson, SIRG Lead, talking through the report. You can download and read the full report below.

As summarised in our report, the questions people wanted research to answer included why language and mental health were related and what can be done to improve clinical practice. We hope our report will be used by researchers far and wide to provide a solid foundation to their bids for research funding. 

Many thanks to everyone who helped us to produce this report, by completing surveys, sharing links and attending online workshops.

N.B. If you are a researcher you can cite our report: “Hobson, H., Cross, M., Jefferies, V., & Forster, M. (2022, May 19). What is the future of research on language and communication needs and mental health? A report by the Special Interest Research Group for Language, Communication and Mental Health. Retrieved from psyarxiv.com/sdf8n“.

Newsletters & Events

Past Events

We hosted virtual workshops last summer to develop our research priorities on:

  • July 14th – 1-3pm

  • August 19th 10-12am

  • September 20th 10-12am

These events included short talks from researchers, time to examine what our stakeholder engagement activities had revealed so far, and a chance to shape what researchers prioritise on the topic of language needs and mental health.

Clinicians, families and academics were all welcome. View the programme.