Star Trek tech for mental health: Translator device enables care for minority groups

The Mental Health Association of South-Central Kansas is rolling out translation devices akin to gadgets from the 1960s' science fiction TV show "Star Trek," ABC affiliate KAKE reported June 4.

The translation devices allow people to speak in their native languages to each other, the report said. Spoken language is translated nearly instantly for the listener.

Language barriers can be obstacles to mental healthcare that are hard to overcome. Mental Health Association of South-Central Kansas Director of Development and Communications Eric Litwiller said the clinic has struggled with staffing, especially bilingual therapists, the report said.

"A pretty substantial segment of the Wichita metro area population who speak a language other than English primarily in the home now have access to mental healthcare, whereas they really couldn't have before because of the language barrier," Mr. Litwiller told KAKE.

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