Courtesy of Charlene Crump:

Mental Health Interpreters
ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
AND MENTAL RETARDATION
ADMINISTRATIVE CODE
CHAPTER 580-3-24 CERTIFICATION OF MENTAL HEALTH INTERPRETERS FOR PERSONS
WHO ARE DEAF
TABLE OF CONTENTS
580-3-24-.01 Introduction
580-3-24-.02 Definitions
580-3-24-.03 Professional Competencies/Knowledge
580-3-24-.04 Cultural Competencies/Knowledge
580-3-24-.05 Conduct Competencies/Knowledge
580-3-24-.06 Training And Certification Of Qualified Mental Health
Interpreters
580-3-24-.07 Certification Maintenance And Renewal
580-3-24-.01 Introduction. XXXX
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed; effective.
People who have limited English proficiency, including those who are
deaf, have been limited in their ability to access mental health
services. When they do obtain services, they usually require an
interpreter. The quality of interpretive services has a substantial and
direct bearing on the outcome of services and provided and can have
life-or-death consequences when the interpretation is inaccurate. This
rule is intended to establish minimum competencies and training for
interpreters working in mental health settings.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.02 Definitions.
(1) "Awareness," goes beyond familiarity in that it also includes
beginning to internalize the information regarding a field and to have
begun thinking through how it affects one's professional and personal
behavior although it does not necessarily include having resolved issues
raised.
(2) "Communication assistance," is a process whereby someone who is
trained to work with people who are deaf and have minimal language
skills,by teaches ing and enhancesing visual gestural communication
skills in those people in order to enable themthose people to better
function in a given setting.
(3) "Consecutive interpreting," means the interpreter will produce the
target interpretation sequentially with the source language speaker. The
source language speaker will speak a sentence or a thought and pause
while the interpretation is made and then will speak the next sentence
or phrase.
(4) "Exposure," is having some knowledge of a field's existence and its
place in the setting and, possibly, some of the vocabulary used in the
field.
(5) "Demonstration" (or "compliance")," is showing the skill has been
learned and is incorporated into the interpreter's practice.
(6) "Familiarity," is having actual experience with a field and/or
practitioners in that field.
(7) "Interpreting," is the process of taking a spoken message from one
language and producing an equivalent rendition in another spoken
language.
(8) "Limited English Proficient," are those individuals who cannot
speak, hear, read, write, or understand the English language at a level
that permits them to interact effectively with DMH/MR
employeesfacilities, providers and contractors. People who are deaf or
hard of hearing and who prefer to use American Sign Language or its
derivatives are considered Limited English Proficient for the purposes
of this rule.
(9) "Narrative interpreting," is when there is no direct or easy
interpretation of the source language into the target language or the
source language is sufficiently dysfluent or arcane as to render
interpretation impossible. Narrative interpretation can occur
simultaneously or consecutively.
(10) "Qualified Mental Health Interpreter" is an interpreter who holds
certification by the Office of Deaf Services attesting to successful
completion of training and examination outlined in this rule.
(11) "Simultaneous interpreting," means interpreting into the target
language at the same time the source language is being spoken.
(12) "Source language," is the language that is being interpreted from.
(13) "Target language," is the language that is being interpreted to.
(14) "Translation," is the process of taking a written message in one
language and producing an equivalent written version in another.
(15) "Understanding," is having sufficient knowledge of a field to be
able to explain the discipline, including its limits and its
relationship to other disciplines.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.03 Professional Competencies/Knowledge. In order to
effectively provide interpretation from one language to another in
mental health settings, certain levels of fluency and knowledge are
necessary. The interpreter shall demonstrate professional
competencies/knowledge atand the level indicated.
(1) Sign language interpreters must be licensed as interpreters in
Alabama or otherwise eligible to work at an equivalent level as set
forth in the Code of Ala. 1975, 34-16-1 et seq. The interpreter must
demonstrate understanding of mentoring and supervision.
(2) Interpreters working in other languages shall hold an appropriate
certification in their field, if one is available. If no certification
is available for the language(s) the interpreter is working in it is
expected that the interpreter will successfully pass a screening test
approved by the Office of Deaf Services.
(3) Interpreters must demonstrate interpreting methods and appropriate
use of simultaneous (first person and third person), consecutive (first
person and third person), and narrative (third person) interpreting.
(4) Interpreters must demonstrate familiarity with mental health issues
and treatment options in Alabama, as follows:.
(a) Mental illness services.
1. The interpreter must be able to accurately interpret specialized
vocabulary used in psychiatric settings in both the source and the
target languages.
2. The interpreter must be aware of psychopathologies, including
knowledge of the names of the major mental illnesses treated by the
Department of Mental Health/ Mental Retardation in both the target and
source languages and familiarity with symptomology of major mental
illnesses experienced by the consumers of services provided by the
Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation as presented within the
psycholinguistic context of the target language group.
3. The interpreter must demonstrate familiarity with assessment methods
and understanding of the impact of interpretation when doing assessment.
4. The interpreter must have exposure to treatment approaches and
demonstrate awareness of how cultural influences might impact treatment.
(b) Substance Abuse Services
1. The interpreter must be able to accurately interpret specialized
vocabulary used in addiction treatment in both the source and the target
languages.
2. The interpreter must have familiarity with addiction theory and
issues involving addiction.
3. The interpreter must have familiarity with assessment methods and how
cultural influences might impact assessment.
4. The interpreter must have exposure to treatment approaches and
demonstrate awareness of how cultural influences might impact treatment.
(i) The interpreter must be familiar with inpatient settings, with the
various staff that will be working in those settings, and how
interpreting and cultural differences can influence therapeutic
relationships in those settings.
(ii) The interpreter must be familiar with outpatient settings, with
self-help and support groups and the specialized vocabulary used in
those groups, and how interpreting and cultural differences can
influence therapeutic relationships in those settings.
(c) Mental Retardation Services.
1. The interpreter must have exposure to issues involving mental
retardation and developmental disability and the role culture and
language plays in providing services to people with mental retardation.
2. The interpreter shall be aware of the difference between interpreting
and, communication assistance/language intervention.
(5) The interpreter shall be able to identify care providers, identify
mental health disciplines, and be familiar with milieus and settings.
(6) The interpreter must be able to explain role of an interpreter as a
professional consultant.
(7) The interpreter must understand professional boundaries and must be
able to explain confidentiality and privilege, including at a minimum,
abuse reporting, the duty to warn, and, protections specific to Alabama
statute.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.04 Cultural Competencies/Knowledge. The interpreter must
demonstrate cross-cultural competencies.
(1) The interpreter must be able to explain the impact of stereotypes on
mental health service delivery.
(2) The interpreter must understand cultural views of mental illness,
mental retardation, and addiction specific to the populations the
interpreter works with and must be aware of various constructs of
deafness and hearing loss relative to majority/minority cultures and
pathological models.
(3) The interpreter must demonstrate understanding of the sociological
impact of cross cultural mental health service provision and the impact
of an interpreter on the therapeutic dyad.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.05 Conduct Competencies/Knowledge.
(1) The interpreter must demonstrate knowledge of personal safety
issues, including an understanding of at-risk conduct and personal
boundaries as it they apply ies to mental health interpreting work and
an awareness of de-escalation techniques and universal precautions.
(2) The interpreter must demonstrate professional boundaries and
judgment particularly in professional collaboration through pre- and
post-conferencing.
(3) The interpreter must demonstrate the ability to assess effectiveness
of communication.
(a) The interpreter must demonstrate the ability to appropriately match
the interpreting method with the client and the setting and must
understand the impact of emotionally charged language.
(b) The interpreter must demonstrate the ability to discuss unusual or
changed word or sign selection.
(c) The interpreter must demonstrate the ability to discuss linguistic
dysfluency or any marked change in linguistic fluency within a
psycholinguistic context.
1. The interpreter must demonstrate ability to convey information
without alteration, emotional language without escalation, and ambiguous
or emotionless language.
2. The interpreter must demonstrate ability to isolate peculiar features
of eccentric or dysfluent language use.
(4) The interpreter must demonstrate ability to read client case
documentation and record appropriate documentation of linguistic
significance.
(a) The interpreter must demonstrate knowledge of confidentiality as
defined by state and federal law.
(b) The interpreter must understand the difference between personal
records and records shared with other interpreters and other
professionals. They must understand the ramifications of keeping
personal records, and must demonstrate knowledge of what records may and
may not be kept pertaining to consumers.
(5) The interpreter must be aware of personal mental health issues and
maintaining their personal mental health.
(a) The interpreter must understand how personal issues may impact the
interpreting process.
(b) The interpreter must be aware of counter-transference in the
interpreter and must be familiar with transference to the clinician or
to the interpreter.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.06 Training And Certification Of Qualified Mental Health
Interpreters.
(1) An interpreter desiring recognition as a qualified mental health
interpreter must accumulate a minimum of 40 clock hours of training in
the content areas enumerated in sections 580-3-24 -.01 through
580-3-24-.05.
(a) The Office of Deaf Services will offer training to meet the
requirements of this rule no less than once per calendar year.
(b) Interpreters who would like to apply other training toward this
requirement must make application to the Office of Deaf Services listing
training completed including course content. Training must be of
equivalent course content and must be approved by the Office of Deaf
Services. Interpreters will still be required to pass a comprehensive
written evaluation as described in section
580-3-23-.06(4) of this chapter.
(2) An interpreter desiring recognition as a qualified mental health
interpreter must complete a forty (40) hour practicum under the
supervision of a practicum supervisor approved by the Office of Deaf
Services. The practicum site must be primarily clinical in nature and be
approved by the practicum supervisor selected by the participant. The
work must be direct interpreting and cannot be "social" or "interactive"
time.
(3) Practicum supervisors must be approved by the Office of Deaf
Services and may include an interpreter who holds certification as a
qualified mental health interpreter issued by the Office of Deaf
Services, an interpreter who is known to the Office of Deaf Services as
having significant experience and knowledge in the field of mental
health, an interpreter who also holds a degree in psychology, clinical
social work, psychiatry or counseling, or a staff interpreter assigned
to the Office of Deaf Services or a DMH/MR facility.
(4) Upon completion of the required training and practicum, the
interpreter who desires recognition as a qualified mental health
interpreter must pass a comprehensive written examination covering
sections 580-3-24-.01 through 580-3-24-.05
Author: DMH/MR Office of CertificationOffice of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.
580-3-24-.07 Certification Maintenance And Renewal.
(1) A certification under 580-3-23-.06 is valid for twelve (12) months.
(2) At least ninety (90) days prior to the expiration of a qualified
mental health interpreter's certification, the Office of Deaf Services
will mail a reminder to the interpreter with a request for submission of
documentation attesting to completion of certification maintenance
requirements. Failure to receive said notification does not remove the
requirement that appropriate documentation be submitted to the Office of
Deaf Services in a timely manner.
(3) An interpreter can maintain certification by submitting
documentation to the Office of Deaf Services of any of the following
activities.
(a) Working in clinical settings at least forty (40) hours in the 12
months following issuance of certification or renewal, or
(b) Attending forty (40 )clock hours of mental health related training,
or
(c) A combination of the above equaling forty (40) contact hours.
Author: DMH/MR Office of Deaf Services
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, 22-50-11.
History: New Rule: Filed November 19, 2003; effective December 24, 2003.



______________________________
Charlene J. Crump, MHI Coordinator
Alabama Department of Mental Health
PO Box 301410, Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 353-4703 v/tty
(334) 242-3025 fax
ccrump@mh.state.al.us or charleneterp@tmail.com

Additional Contact:

Contact: Nancy Hayes, ALRID President nhayes@jbsmha.com