The rising prevalence of mental illness is a growing concern for European societies and access to mental health care one of the top public health priorities. In addition, as more and more people migrate and settle or take refuge in countries (including Scotland) with a dominant language other than their own, the need for interpreting/cultural mediation in mental health care settings is also on the increase.
In a healthcare encounter, when patient and provider do not share a language, a healthcare interpreter facilitates the talk and enables communication. These three co-participants, i.e. patients seeking care, providers supplying it, and healthcare interpreters co-ordinating the talk, belong to different speech communities. Members of these diverse cultural groups and speech communities often understand health, disease, pain and health-care practices differently. In addition, in some medical settings (eg. mental health) it is often the case that linguistic minorities are vulnerable groups and, therefore, power differentials between providers and patients become salient.
This programme will bring together mental health practitioners, interpreters, health care administrators, policy makers and academics to discuss the most salient issues in the provision of mental health care to linguistically diverse patients with the goal of understanding systemic difficulties and enhancing provision.