Translate Trauma into Healing

March 24, 2020

Hello! ¡Hola!  Nyob zoo!

Did you know that Foundations Health & Wholeness provides mental health counseling in three languages? We do! We provide counseling to English, Spanish, and Hmong-speaking clients. 

There’s a large well-being gap for our community members who don’t speak English as their first language. We work hard to close this gap. Our counselors work with local language interpreters to help support clients who speak Spanish and Hmong. Language interpreters are critical members of the therapy team. During therapy sessions, they break down language barriers and cultural stigma so people get the help they need to heal mind and spirit. In addition, we provide culturally sensitive mental health counseling to Spanish- and Hmong-speaking clients who don’t have the ability to pay for counseling.

Every year, we provide counseling sessions with language interpreters to clients who speak a language other than English. Some Spanish and Hmong-speaking clients cannot afford counseling, and our generous donors support their otherwise uncompensated care. This year, we are working to translate our key counseling documents into Spanish and Hmong. The cost for this work is $9,000. These critical funds pay for language interpretation, financial support for clients, and translated documents.

Culturally sensitive counseling is successful and fulfilling for clients:

Therapist Eileen works with 15-year old Daniel* to help him through prior trauma and deal with PTSD. The client’s mom, who is an important part of the client’s healing process, only speaks Spanish. Parent involvement is important to help children recover from the effects of trauma, including to understand and support the treatment plan, as well as to process her own feelings so she can react appropriately to Daniel’s treatment.

Therapist Marilyn works with a 9-year boy, Bee*. Bee speaks both English and Hmong, and his mom speaks Hmong. In this case, an interpreter is critical to developing trust with Bee’s mom. The interpreter waits until the mom is finished speaking before interpreting for the counselor, so the counselor can focus on the body language of both the mom and client. The interpreter helps reduce the family’s cultural stigma around mental health.

Therapist Shawn supported Brenda* at one of our community-based clinics. Spanish is Brenda’s first language. Brenda was struggling with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. The Spanish interpreter was an integral part of the therapeutic relationship. Not only did the interpreter translate words, the interpreter helped the counselor address some cultural stigma around Brenda getting help during her life challenges. In addition, the interpreter helped support the integration of Brenda’s faith into her therapy. Brenda’s life has had a significant positive change, and she and her therapist determined that it was time to conclude her treatment. Brenda is able to reach out to Shawn if she needs further support.

Please consider helping children like Daniel and Bee, and adults like Brenda, get access to the culturally sensitive mental health counseling they need to heal mind and spirit.

You can give a generous gift to others by visiting HERE

*Names and personal identifying information changed.