Speech Pathology Week

Speech Pathology Week from August 20 – 26 promotes the speech pathology profession and the work done by speech pathologists. Did you know that 1 in 7 Australian’s will have a communication difficulty at some stage in their life?

Communication is a basic human right and Speech Pathology Week helps to raise awareness of communication disability and the role of speech pathologists.

Bellarine Community Health (BCH) provides a broad range of health services and wellbeing programs for people of all ages, including our passionate team of Speech Pathologists who work within the Child Health and Development team.

BCH Speech Pathologists support children and young people to develop their communication skills. Services are provided in a child centred and family focused way that build on the strengths of the child and family. BCH currently has five wonderful ‘speechies’, the affectionate term for a Speech Pathologist.

The team primarily work with children who are aged 0-12 and can see children under Community Health funding (government subsidised) or through the NDIS.

We provide one to one therapy as well as run groups such as Little Talkers for young children delayed in their talking and early communication and Minimal Pairs which focuses on speech sound production for children with difficulty in word clarity.

Our services and group sessions can be delivered from our site in Drysdale, via Telehealth or in community settings such as Early Learning Centres, schools or even in the home. We prioritise our services for those who live locally or attend school or early childhood centres in the Bellarine region.

Over the last 12 months (22-23 financial year) the BCH speech service has provided over three thousand appointments and worked with over 300 families.  The demand for our child health services continues to grow and BCH currently has waitlists for all speech related services.

The establishment of a Senior Paediatric Speech Pathologist role within the Child Health and Development team was made possible through a grant from the Geelong Community Foundation with the funds supporting the recruitment and implementation of the new role.

The grant has enabled BCH to provide a strengthened service and more Speech Pathology services to the community of the Bellarine. This has enhanced the speech teams’ skills and capabilities, improved access to speech services, helped BCH explore new areas of service, and has supported the establishment of an early career position for new graduates or those with limited experience and the return of student placements.

Attracting Speech Pathologists to the sector is one of the ongoing and increasing challenges faced by BCH and the Community Health sector more broadly due to workforce shortages, along with securing additional funding to enable us to recruit to respond to the increased demand and provide timely access to much needed early intervention therapy and support.

You can find out more about BCH Speech Pathology services HERE.

You can also find out more about Speech Pathology Australia and Speech Pathology Week HERE.

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