Privacy is crucial
The National Association of Noah’s Ark (Noaks Ark) provides information, psychotherapy, counselling and social activities for people living with HIV and for their loved ones. Noah’s Ark has nine centres across Sweden and we have met the Operations Manager for the Småland and Halland regions, Elli Mokus.
“Privacy, anonymity and respect are very important when interacting with our clients. Coming to see a therapist is often a major step. Fairly often, we meet people who speak a different first language and we then need the assistance of an interpreter. For reasons of privacy, it is preferable that the interpreter is a disinterested third party and is not present in the meeting room. A Konftel 300Wx makes it possible for the interpreter to work from another location. This eliminates a cause for concern but still enables us to work confidentially and understand one another,” explains Elli Mokus, who is a qualified therapist in CBT and a social scientist.
“The Konftel 55 is easy to take along when you’re out and about. When I need the services of an interpreter during a therapy session, I connect the conference device to my phone,” says Elli Mokus, who is a therapist in CBT and Operations Manager at Noah’s Ark in Småland and Halland, Sweden.
The experience of using remote interpreters has been good. Elli travels extensively and conducts meetings and sessions in different locations throughout the provinces of Småland and Halland. She also therefore has access to a small Konftel 55, which is easy to carry around and connect to a mobile phone.
“Before I got the Konftel, I would use the speaker on my mobile phone. However, the audio quality was not good, which means there is a risk of misunderstanding. The speakerphone capability of a mobile phone simply cannot be compared with that of a proper conference phone. The audio quality of the calls is completely different. It is difficult enough conducting a therapy session via an interpreter without the hassle of having to deal with technical issues,” Elli remarks.
Trust and confidence are essential in a therapy relationship
As a therapist, Elli Mokus has many years of experience working with people who find themselves in a state of emotional overwhelm.
“Finding out that you have HIV can often lead to a psychological crisis. As well as your own anxiety, you have to contend with the worry of your loved ones. The anguish is sometimes caused by not knowing how to tell family and friends.
“Our initial focus is on building trust and confidence. Those who come to Noah’s Ark should feel that they are safe with us and can trust our personnel. The need for an interpreter can sometimes be a detail that creates a barrier. Our clients may have come into contact with interpreters in their home districts in other contexts and, if that’s the case, they most certainly do not want to meet them when they come to us. Konftel has enabled us to overcome this problem using remote interpreting,” Elli explains.
Live a good life with HIV
She points out that there is widespread ignorance about HIV, sometimes even among health professionals. Alongside its psychosocial support programme, Noah’s Ark’s information activities are thus a key part of its initiatives.
“Here’s a fact that lots of people don’t know: These days, HIV is considered a chronic disease and it is possible to live a normal and fulfilling life with HIV. Thanks to today’s drug treatments, which are free in Sweden, HIV-positive individuals have a normal life expectancy.
As a therapist and operations manager, Elli Mokus’ work keeps her busy with well-filled days and numerous trips. Since resources are relatively limited, she and her staff have to cover a large district.
The speakerphone capability of a mobile phone simply cannot be compared with that of a proper conference phone. The audio quality of the calls is completely different.
Elli Mokus, Therapist in CBT and Operations managar at Noah's Ark
Good tools make life easier
“One of my key tools is the mobile phone, which I use for different forms of counselling and administrative purposes. I’m often away from the office. That’s when it’s useful to have the Konftel 55 with me as I can connect it to my mobile phone, if need be. We also have a Konftel at the office that my colleagues can use. And we don’t just use the Konftel for therapy sessions. As we are a nation-wide organisation, we hold virtual meetings at regular intervals and good audio quality is obviously appreciated when interacting remotely.
• Konftel 55W
• Konftel 300Wx
• Mobile phones and fixed-line analogue phone
Important for Noah’s Ark:
• Client privacy and trust
• Ease of use
• Portable design
• Superior audio quality because of different languages
Since its inception in 1986, the National Association of Noah’s Ark (Noaks Ark) has been helping to prevent HIV and providing support to people living with HIV and to their loved ones. When it began, Noah’s Ark was the first organisation in Sweden to work for the prevention of HIV and to support infected individuals, patients with the illness and their family and friends. Noah’s Ark disseminates information via local associations and conducts educational and training programmes for the general public and professionals. It provides psychosocial support, counselling and social interactions by offering respectful and supportive meetings. Noah’s Ark has nine branches across Sweden: Luleå, Umeå, Sundsvall, Gävle, Stockholm, Norrköping, Växjö, Gothenburg and Malmö. More information: www.noaksark.org