Mental Health Care for the Non-English Speaking
The rate that which our society is adopting a second language is alarming. For every one of us, if we received a dime for every time we faced a language barrier we would all be millionaires. Hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and neighborhoods are filled with people that are multicultured. The eminent question that comes to mind is if people think about how facilities might address the language barrier that some patients face when seeking mental healthcare? For this reason, language barriers among staff in mental health care has become much more complex and difficult, yet bringing in translators to communicate with patients and where it violates their right to confidentiality.
Georgia is a perfect example of a highly immigrated city that faces these issues. Over the last three decades, a high number of ethnic groups have relocated to the Metropolitan Atlanta area, increasing the multiethnic population (Holman). The significant ethnic groups that moved into the area include an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Chinese Americans, 17,000 to 23,000 Vietnamese Americans, and 5,000 Japanese Americans. (Holman) In addition, approximately 15,000 South Americans now make their homes in Atlanta including people from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. (Holman). These facts only show the trend in Atlanta neighborhoods and societies becoming multi-cultural. The 2000 U.S. census concludes that there are now 435,600 Hispanics living in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. (Lufrano). More than ever, there are more translating jobs that exists in public institutions, telephone services, most local libraries, and churches that offer help to the non-English speakers. These statistics only make it obvious that Atlanta recognizes these increasing numbers.
Hospitals in Atlanta have been forced to address this language barrier that continues to grow. Frank Davis was well known as a helping foun