How to Get an Interpreter On-Demand for Mental Health Appointments

As the COVID-19 pandemic rounds the turn on its second year, fast-spreading variants have led to a rise in infections as well as another round of lockdowns. The combination of illness, death, economic difficulty, and limited social interactions have unsurprisingly had profound impacts on mental health. Researchers fear that the erosion in mental health could linger long after the pandemic has subsided.

In line with this, studies have indicated a decline in mental health across the UK since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

According to one report, the number of UK citizens reporting symptoms of depression nearly doubled within months of COVID’s onset in 2020.

Minorities Bear an Even Heavier Burden

There is already evidence to suggest that non-English-speaking patients have high rates of depression. The impact of COVID has intensified the mental health burden felt by racial and ethnic minorities. 

While data in the UK is relatively scarce, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), symptoms of depression have been reported 59 percent more frequently by racial and ethnic minorities (40.3 percent) than White adults (25.3 percent) since the onset of COVID.

Perhaps more distressing is the fact that minorities receive mental healthcare far less frequently than their White American peers.

According to the report, among adults with mental illness, 48 percent of White Americans received mental health services, compared to 31 percent of Black Americans and Latin/Hispanic Americans and 22 percent of Asian American-Pacific Islander populations.

How to Add an Interpreter to a Mental Health Session

Language barriers, as well as lack of cultural understanding by health care providers, may contribute to under-diagnosis and/or misdiagnosis of mental illness in people from racially and ethnically diverse populations.

Fortunately, being culturally sensitive, LanguageLine’s(R) professional interpreters are readily available to help in more than 200 languages. Typically they are available on-demand within seconds. No appointment is necessary.

For In-Office Meetings

If the patient is in the caregiver’s office, an interpreter can be reached via telephone using a dedicated number or the LanguageLine mobile application. An interpreter can also be seen via video using a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer. Caregivers who work in mental health clinics can put the LanguageLine app on their mobile device and bring up an interpreter on-demand as they do rounds.

In some cases, it may be preferable to have an interpreter on the premises, in which case a face-to-face interpreter can be scheduled.

For Virtual Meetings

There is a growing acceptance for conducting mental-health appointments virtually, either via telephone, video, or telehealth platform.

If the meeting is being conducted by phone, an interpreter can be reached via a dedicated phone number and then brought into the call as a third-party. Alternatively, the interpreter can also form a conference bridge for the caregiver and dial-out to a patient. 

Some prefer to conduct video meetings on platforms like Zoom, GoTo Meeting, or Microsoft Teams. LanguageLine is able to provide an interpreter for any of these platforms. Just speak to your Account Manager or our Customer Service Team for further information. 

Finding the Option that is Right for You

For those with an existing LanguageLine account, we recommend discussing your language challenge with your representative. They will listen and then consult with you on the language solution that best suits your unique scenario.

Not a LanguageLine client? Please contact us through our website or call 800-169-2879.

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