Due to the nature of mental health, we ensure that our interpreters are not only certified but also trained and experienced with with mental health interpreting setting. They are qualified to perform services such as regularly scheduled out-patient therapy sessions, and inpatient situations requiring cognitive assessment and/or crisis intervention.
We strongly recommend 15 minutes pre-session with the interpreter. A few minutes of your time provides a critical resource for effective interpreted communication with the client. Before the session begins, we encourage you to discuss the following information with the interpreter:
- Share if you know the Deaf or Hard of Hearing client’s stated preference for language and communication method
- Room configuration and seating
- The purpose of the visit and goals for the session
- Your previous therapeutical experience with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients and/or working with an interpreter
- If you are working with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing client for the first time, the interpreter may offer some suggestion per seating
If the Deaf or Hard of Hearing client’s language is dysfluent, the interpretation will reflect this. People who are dysfluent in sign language may be experiencing a breakdown or decompensating, or may be considered what is referred to as being “highly visual”.
If the client is more “highly visual”, the interpreter may choose to work in a consecutive manner instead of their usual method of interpreting at the same time you are speaking or the deaf person is signing.
There may be also a need to include a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) whose primary skills and training are geared toward working with those whose language is disjointed, highly visual, or is not a native American Sign Language user. The CDI is a Deaf person who is trained and certified as an interpreter, and may be called upon to work as an intermediary to insure the most effective communication. This is especially recommended for situations involving in-depth assessment, testing, or where life-altering decisions will be reliant upon outcome, as well as in ongoing cases of extremely high visual deaf clients.
Get in touch with us if you wish to schedule an interpreter for an appointment with a client, or if you have any questions.
For more information about Mental Health Interpreting:
- NAD Healthcare and Mental Health Issues
- NAD Position Statement, Mental Health Interpreting
- RID Standard Practice Paper, Interpreting in Mental Health Settings