A specialist team who help children and adults with speech and language issues is raising awareness of their services to support people who have a stammer.
The speech and language service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust highlighting it as part of Stammering Awareness Day on Saturday.
The team wants to make more people aware of stammering as well as promote the support and advice available.
Laura Dixon, one of the Trust’s clinical lead speech and language therapists for fluency, said: “Stammering – which is when someone repeats, prolongs or gets stuck when saying sounds or words, is something which affects many people.
“Eight per cent of children across the world are affected, as well as one per cent of adults. And in this country, 150,000 children and young people stammer.
“Stammering is not linked in any way to intelligence – anyone can stammer and it should not hold a person back from doing what they want to do in life. And, while there is no ‘miracle cure’, it’s important to know there is so much support to help feel anyone affected feel more in control and confident talking.”
The Trust’s speech and language service offers both one-to-one and group support for children and adults who stammer.
My stammer was frustrating me but at the course we have learned skills to help my stammer and now I don’t care about it.Feedback from a young person who took part in group therapy
Support is also available from Stamma, a national organisation who offer information and advice.
Laura continued: “There is so much support out there for people who need it – anyone can refer into our service in a number of ways, including from GPs, schools, nurseries, health visitors and people can self-refer by contacting us to refer themselves or their child.
“Our team is there to make a real difference to people’s lives and offer that expert support and advice to you or your child.”