The Victorian Government Guidelines and Policy Procedures on Using Interpreting Services (Department Health and Human Services, 2017) names three modes of interpreting:
On site interpreting
This is the preferred mode for most communication needs with clients and their families.
Telephone interpreting is recommended for short sessions only, and is particularly useful in the following circumstances:
when a face-to-face interpreter is not available
to overcome language barriers when consumers unexpectedly attend the service
to set up a further appointment with an on-site interpreter
when working with emerging communities where there are few interpreters available and/or the interpreters are well known to the consumer and their family.
Video remote interpreting
This can be particularly useful for regional and remote areas when a face- to- face interpreter cannot be accessed and when a longer appointment is necessary (for example to undertake an assessment).
Booking for crisis situations
On-site interpreters are often readily available and can be organised within an hour if you indicate that you are from a mental health service and that you are dealing with a crisis situation.
In many crisis situations, services can be delayed until an interpreter is obtained. If necessary, a telephone interpreter could be helpful until an on-site interpreter can be arranged.
In the context of a crisis situation, check if the interpreter requires any debriefing support from the mental health team following the meeting/incident.
More information on debriefing is provided in the STEPS section of this resource.