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The future of Mental Health for Deaf People!

Aftermovie short impression (2.5 minutes)

Recap of the Joining Forces Congress (6.5 minutes)


Joining Forces, continuous learning

The theme of the Joining Forces congress in Haarlem (February 7-9, 2024) is the Future of Mental Health for Deaf People. Joining forces to move forward together is the common mission. Joining Forces is organised by GGMD, Kentalis and Trajectum LVB in cooperation with the ESMHD.

Participants from 16 countries and 5 continents attend this congress. Packed auditoriums with energizing seminars and interactive sessions offered in diverse languages. Dutch Sign Language (NGT), International Sign, ASL, BSL. Conference interpreters provide Dutch and English subtitles. Ensuring that all communication runs smoothly is a complex logistical task.


Like everywhere, not everything goes perfectly well. We learn from that. The Joining Forces organization hired the interpreters. This should include a good assignment and briefing. On the first evening at the speakers’ dinner, not everything went well. The briefing did not clearly specify until when the interpreters needed to be available, and this was also not effectively communicated to the attending speakers. Interpreters were not available for the entire evening program.

That is inconvenient. For this we apologise. We regret that things turned out this way for both the speakers and the interpreters.


The learning points are clear. Make sure that the needs of interpreter users are known, brief the interpreters clearly and specific and communicate to everyone what is and what is not arranged. These learning points were immediately put into practice on the second day of the congress.

The Venue

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