American Sign Language Interpreters who Interpret in Mental Health Settings

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American Sign Language Interpreters who interpret in mental health settings have a unique opportunity to be an effective part of the healing process for Deaf consumers by accurately interpreting the information between him or her and their mental health physician and / or team. In order to accomplish this, interpreters must seek the necessary training to work in the mental health setting, educate themselves about the various mental illnesses , understand the various demands and controls necessary to function in this environment, and lastly, know how to take care of themselves when they feel emotionally drained from working in this type of environment.

One of the re-occurring themes throughout the readings has been the need for interpreters to have the proper training for working in mental health settings. Interpreters can begin the training process by contacting their colleagues who are familiar with mental health interpreting and inquiring about their experiences and their training i.e. workshops, mentorship programs, institutions of higher learning, et cetera. They can inquire about the physical and mental demands of working in a mental health setting and how it affects their personal lives outside of the assignment. The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf encourages interpreters to, “Pursue opportunities for professional development in this interpreting practice specialty area. Increase your knowledge regarding therapeutic interventions, clinical terminology and
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