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Mental Health 4 All project: Open Space meeting

February 3, 2023 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Reducing language barriers in mental healthcare for refugees and other migrants: how digital technologies can become part of the solution

Friday, 3rd February 2023, 10:00 – 12:30 CET, online

Mental health problems affect millions of people worldwide. Refugees and other migrants are particularly at risk of developing mental health problems due to stressors they encounter before, during, and after their migration process. Access to mental healthcare services and to treatment for mental health problems is often associated with difficulties, particularly for refugees and those migrants who do not speak the dominant language of their host country. Furthermore, treatment often lacks cultural and linguistic sensitivity, resulting in inadequate care and premature treatment cessation.

The EU project Mental Health for All brings together 13 partners from 9 European countries (coordinator: University of Amsterdam; AMIF, 2022-24) to develop, test, and implement a multilingual, culturally-sensitive digital information and communication platform in mental healthcare to reduce the negative impact of linguistic and cultural barriers in accessing mental healthcare services for refugees and migrants. Refugees and migrants, their caregivers, interpreters, intercultural mediators, and mental healthcare professionals and organizations are the main stakeholders to benefit from this new platform. For more information, see: https://www.mhealth4all.eu/

This panel session constitutes the first Open Space meeting of this three-year project. It will introduce the project and present initial findings. In response to ongoing public debates about available resources for overcoming language barriers in healthcare settings, one specific point for exploration will be the role of language technologies and other digital technologies in reducing language barriers in healthcare settings. The panel will examine potential benefits but also raise awareness for current challenges and limitations.

This Open Space meeting is organised by the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey (UK) as part of the conference “Convergence: human-machine integration in translation and interpreting” (https://www.surrey.ac.uk/centre-translation-studies/convergence-2023.

Participation and registration

Participation is free of charge. To register for the conference and/or the panel, please following this link:


and select “Participation in the full conference”.

During the process of registration, you will then be able to select the panel “Reducing language barriers in mental healthcare for refugees and other migrants”. (You are welcome to select and attend any other panel as well.)


Time (CET) Local time (UK) Speaker Topic
10.00-10.05 9.00-9.05 Sabine Braun, University of Surrey (local host) Welcome
10.05-10.20 9.05-9.20 Barbara Schouten, University of Amsterdam, Coordinator of Mental Health 4 All project Presentation of the EU project Mental Health 4 All: Context, aims and projected outcomes
10.20-10.40 9.20-9.40 Raquel Lázaro Gutiérrez, University of Alcalá Mapping and assessing existing multilingual resources in mental healthcare


10.40-11.00 9.40-10.00 Graham Hieke, University of Surrey Language barriers in mental healthcare: a European survey of healthcare professionals
11.00-11.10 10.00-10.10 Sabine Braun, University of Surrey Communication strategies in language-discordant mental healthcare situations: initial recommendations and the role of technologies
11.10-11.25 10.10-10.25 Discussion
11.25-11.40 10.25-10.40 Break
11.40-12.00 10.40-11.00 Featured guest speaker: Lucas Nunes Vieira, University of Bristol Societal implications of language technology use in the public sector
12.00-12.10 11.00-11.10 MHealth 4 All project partners Next steps in the MHealth4All project
12:10-12.30 11:10-11.30 Feedback and final discussion




February 3, 2023
10:00 am - 12:30 pm
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