This website has been specifically produced as an ultimate good practice guide for mental health practitioners to use when providing interpreting and translation services to people who access mental health support.

Here at Language Empire we aim to facilitate effective interpreting and translation communication services for all people accessing or receiving mental health care, which includes non-English speakers, British sign language (BSL) users and those with learning disabilities. By using this guide, we believe service delivery can be improved for all those people who require access to mental health support. This ensures equal opportunities are upheld so that nobody is denied access to these psychological services, as research by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland in the ‘Respect for Diversity’ report 2005 found, there were significant communication difficulties between practitioners and people who use mental health services.[1]

This guide will prove useful as a detailed and systematic procedure to follow for new and existing practitioners who require training when using Language Empires services. These guidelines will give an overview of the issues, which as a practitioners you should consider when working with interpreters to ensure your sessions are conducted as effectively as possible. Operational issues covering the need for further personal development, what the role of the interpreter and practitioner should be and what practical advice should be followed when working with an interpreter can all be found within this document. We hope that through following the good practices included within this guide, it will promote a good working relationship between yourself as the practitioner, the interpreter and your patient.

Practitioners are often cautious or sometimes reluctant to work with interpreters, especially in mental health settings. You may have several reasons, which may include a lack of trust or confidence alongside the anxiety of having a third person involved in the assessment process. The aim of this guide is to dismiss any concerns you may have and if issues do arise which may sway your confidence, this will be able to be used in reference to support the work you do with interpreters.

[1] Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, Working with an InterpreterToolkit, Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, 2011, pg 3.