Stigma against persons who have a mental health challenge is often cited as the number one barrier to seeking help or treatment. Overcoming stigma starts with YOU and everyone in our communities. A critical but easy step to take is to learn and use language that properly and respectfully addresses mental illness and those impacted by it.
Below is a brief list of disrespectful, stigmatizing language along with a list of respectful language you can use as a reference. …Because language matters! Click here for a more comprehensive and printable handout. For additional mental health month resources, click here.
| Disrespectful Language:
• Crazy, lunatic, deficient, wacko, loony tune, psycho etc.
• Manic depressive (when referring to a person.)
• Handicapped person.
• Slow, low functioning.
• Mental illness or psychiatric disability.
• Person with bipolar disorder or manic depressive illness.
• Person who has schizophrenia.
• Person with a disability.
• Person who has cognitive difficulties.
• Nondisabled person.