Behavioral Health Interpreter Bridge
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This engaging online training is designed for trained and experienced interpreters who would like to enhance their knowledge, strengthen their skills, enrich their abilities, and increase their confidence to interpret in mental health, substance use, and developmental disability settings.
At the end of this training, participants will be able to:
a) Learn the core concepts in behavioral health care to support effective interpreting,
b) Develop skills to interpret effectively in-person or online, and
c) Understand the Standards of Practice and the Code of Conduct for Virginia Behavioral Health Interpreters.
The curriculum integrates the content of each lesson with practical engagements that are applicable to our jobs as interpreters in our specialized field of work.
"For centuries, immigrants and refugees have brought their languages and cultures which have continued to enrich diversity in the United States. Some speak English well, others speak with limited English proficiency. Whatever their language level, they have made the U.S. their home.
Through the years, I have worked with countless immigrants and refugees. As front-line staff helping limited English proficient populations, I saw firsthand the dire need for language access services so newcomers could begin to effectively communicate with their health or mental health providers, school personnel or social service professionals.
As a program leader, I have participated in interagency collaborations with federal, state and local governments, and I have, whenever possible, supported projects designed to address barriers to effective communication for limited English proficient individuals.
As an interpreter and interpreter trainer, I saw the value of integrating and respecting every individual’s culture within a client-centered care plan. This approach promotes participation and improves treatment outcome. It also gives hope for limited English proficient individuals to hear someone who understands their native language – like an assurance that their voices and concerns can be deciphered and ultimately heard.
Like me, all the collaborators involved volunteered to produce the Virginia Behavioral Health Interpreting Curriculum. This toolkit was designed to train interpreters to support linguistically and culturally appropriate services. It is an extremely valuable tool for training interpreters to serve individuals in mental health, substance use and developmental disability settings. May it receive
widespread acceptance and use."
Director, Office of Newcomer Services,
Director, Virginia Office of New Americans
Virginia Department of Social Services