Choose your words carefully!
Published this morning, this PLOS Blogs Public Health post highlights a really important issue in healthcare and interventions. The post discusses how the very language we use to refer to a group of people can be inherently stigmatizing, even if our actions and intentions are to help those people. Most notably, instead of saying an “X person” we should be saying “a person with X”, i.e. a person with schizophrenia instead of a schizophrenic. This slight adjustment prioritizes the identity as a person, rather than further stigmatizing the condition. Even more importantly, this piece asks the question of why we should differentiate mental health from other types of health; doesn’t health encompass all aspects of the person, especially since issues of health so often pertain to multiple domains? The post includes a list of several arenas in which a language change is needed, so more than anything, here is one way that you can start making a difference now!
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