LATN: Meeting Demands of Mental Health Settings

Mental health interpreting is challenging and not only requires an understanding of terminology related to mental health settings, but also a willingness to face complex interpersonal dynamics that may stem from psychological disorders.

In situations where a non-signing mental health professional is providing treatment services to a Deaf or hard of hearing person, a sign language interpreter should be present to assure that effective communication is achieved. Many sign language interpreters at LATN have specialized training for signing in mental health situations in addition to Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification.

Our mental health interpreters are sensitive and consistent and make a point of learning the diagnostic and treatment goals of sessions as well as the communication and therapeutic objectives of the client’s mental health treatment team.

Settings That Might Require Mental Health Interpreting:

  • Hospitals
  • Psychotherapy and psychiatry appointments
  • Counseling and social work sessions
  • Psychological testing
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Forensic therapy

Understanding Mental Health Interpreting

LATN works with mental health interpreters who are adept at all types of sign language modalities, and we take extreme care to match the most appropriate sign language interpreter to the mental health situation at hand. Such factors as the subject’s culture, gender, religious affiliation and sexual orientation are considered, as well as the type of mental health session (e.g., family therapy, group or individual) being conducted, its location and the severity of the mental health issue.

Our mental health interpreters are attuned to subtle nuances in communication that may be significant to a clinician in determining the subject’s correct diagnosis and treatment. It is extremely important that sign interpreting not mask language deficits of patients, because language usage is a primary means by which clinicians make inferences about mental processes.

LATN sign language interpreters always apply best practices, including strict adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct established by the National Association of the Deaf and RID and will request to be assisted by a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) if called for by the situation.

Call 1.800.943.LATN any time to secure assistance from a sign language interpreter experienced in mental health interpreting.