Individuals with cognitive-communication challenges and dysphagia and their caregivers face a battle that can be unimaginable. A traumatic brain injury, stroke, or cancer can significantly change an individual’s ability to effectively communicate or swallow. These changes can lead to an individual feeling isolated, frustrated, and/or depressed.
A speech-language pathologist is part of these individuals plan of care for rehabilitation. More often then not, when working with a speech-language pathologist, counseling is a component of rehabilitation. Sometimes the lines between a speech-language pathologist and a psychologist can be blurred. It is always best for the speech-language pathologist and the patient to collaborate with the appropriate medical team such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, or the patient’s referring physician when depression or harm to oneself or others is discussed.
As speech-language pathologists what can we do? There are numerous options but here are just a few to get started…
1. Listen and validate the patient’s feelings.
2. Collaborate with the patients medical team and if necessary involve an emergency medical team.
3. Educate and support the patient in the rehabilitation process.
4. Provide resources so that the patient has access to help. This point brings me to goal of this blog post, to share a new resource that I recently saw on Facebook.
The Crisis Text Hotline allows for individuals (regardless of communication deficits) to text in any type of concern/crisis. This is a new and free service. Personally, I am beyond thrilled to see that this help is being made more readily available, especially for individuals with communication deficits. The website to the crisis text hotline is available here: http://www.crisistextline.org/hello/. Please take time to explore the website, share this information at work or with someone in need.