Cultural Competence Standards in Managed Care Mental Health Services for Latino Populations

Linguistic Support

 

Standard

Linguistic support should be provided at the option of consumers and families at no cost to them. Access to these services should be available at the point of entry into the system and throughout the system. Certified interpreters should be utilized only in the absence of competent bilingual and bicultural staff.

 

Implementation Guidelines

  1. Use of family members as interpreters, especially children, should be strictly prohibited.
  2. State and court certification standards and testing methodologies should be used to certify clinical staff and interpreters in the system.
  3. Use of tertiary telephonic interpreters should be discouraged because of inconsistent availability of interpreters and lack of mental health training. In areas with limited linguistic support resources, qualified telephonic interpreters with training in mental health may be utilized in emergency situations.
  4. Interpreters and translators working with Latino consumers and families should be trained in formal interpretation techniques and supervised by Latino Mental Health Specialists.
  5. Training should be provided to English monolingual clinicians in the use of interpreters for Latino consumers and families.
  6. All pertinent consumer and family materials and forms, especially informed consent and statements of rights, should be translated.
  7. Monolingual Spanish or limited English-proficient individuals should only be placed in restricted or residential settings which have capacity to communicate with them effectively.

 

Recommended Performance Indicators

  1. Sufficient number of bilingual, bicultural Latino professional staff so as to minimize the use of interpreters.
  2. Regularly updated directory of certified interpreters available within 24 hours for routine and within one hour or less for urgent situations.
  3. All levels of care meet the standards for the provision of linguistically competent services.

 

Recommended Outcomes

  1. Linguistically competent services are provided to limited English-proficient Spanish-speaking consumers
    Benchmark: 100% of limited English-proficient individuals served
  2. Satisfaction rates for monolingual Spanish and limited English-proficient consumers and families
    Benchmark: 90% satisfaction
  3. Frequency of diagnostic revisions resulting from failure to respond to treatment for monolingual Spanish and limited English-proficient consumers and families
    Benchmark: Comparable across linguistic status and decreasing over time
  4. Time from point of first contact to linguistically competent service provision for all levels of care to all consumers and families
    Benchmark: Comparable across linguistic status and decreasing over time