In the last decade, efforts have been made to break down the stigma around mental health. People are increasingly discussing mental health in public forums, such as social media, hopefully normalising what was historically a taboo topic. As more people feel comfortable coming forward to ask for help and seeking mental health support has become more routine, the conversation needs to happen in languages other than English.
While there are a lot of mental health support resources available, making diagnoses, treatments and support services accessible for the non-English speaking population presents a linguistic and often cultural challenge. This is why mental health translation is a key part of bridging the language gap and making healthcare accessible to all.
For a lot of us, hospitals and clinics can feel daunting and uncomfortable. We’re dealing with medical terms and jargon we’ve never heard of before and on top of that feeling vulnerable because of a medical issue. But for people living in the UK who are not proficient in English, these healthcare services are more than just daunting, they are often inaccessible.
Thankfully utilising language translation services means that healthcare professionals can educate, engage and communicate with the people, regardless of the language they speak. This helps to create more inclusive and equal access to information which is vital for a patient’s wellbeing.
It’s well noted that language barriers can result in misinformation and misunderstanding, whether it involves physical or mental health. For this reason, the role of mental health translation is vitally important when ensuring non-native speaking patients understand the information presented to them, be it a support leaflet or a medical report. By removing the language barrier, patients will receive a better healthcare service and crucially, a quicker diagnosis and treatment plan.
It should come as no surprise that the use of medical translation reduces the risk of a patient misunderstanding what has been presented to them. Patients hearing someone speak their own language or reading an information leaflet in their mother-tongue are less at risk of experiencing communication errors. This in turns helps them take greater control of their health, such as accessing the right help at the right time. With clear communication from healthcare professionals, they can better self-manage their condition, understanding what treatment they need and what they can expect.
Using a translation agency that specialises in the mental health space means you can be sure that your patient communications are culturally authentic and medically accurate, building patient trust. Communicating with patients in their own language is essential when looking to create a solid practitioner-patient relationship. Patients are more likely to seek help and disclose the information needed to make a diagnosis if they trust their healthcare professional and understand the information provided to them.
At The Language Factory, we are incredibly proud to help you ensure accessibility for each and every patient. From medical notes and patient referrals to patient surveys, our expert mother-tongue linguists and Project Managers are on hand to help with your mental health translation project.
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