• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Your input is needed!

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Dollit

Guest
I was asked to read a document for someone who works for the local council and give him honest and constructive criticism. The work was excellent but what I did pick up on was a page about "Disability" and the terminology used to describe people with various illness and conditions. This is what was said about mental health -

"Avoid - Mentally Ill, Mad, Crazy, Mentally Handicapped

Use/Preferred - Person with Mental Health Impairment, Mental Health System user"

I questioned his use to find that this is standard council recommendations. He has asked me for genuine feedback. If you, as a person with a mental health problem, is going to be described in an official document what description would you prefer to be used?

It doesn't matter where in the country you come from - or where in the world for that matter - what is important is that this is a genuine chance to give a council feedback.

Cheers
 
A

Apotheosis

Guest
"Hermetic Philosopher & Surveyor of two Worlds" or "Cursed/Blessed individual undergoing Shamanic Process". LOL I dunno, Personally I don't mind the word Mad, or Crazy - I like those words, I think they should be reclaimed by "service users". "Mentally ill" is also quite a good description.

If I had to pick then it would be "Mental Health System user" But that does sound very clinical. Maybe Client would be better. The term "Person with Mental Health Impairment" I don't think is accurate.
 
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Ashami

Ashami

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I like 'Mental Health Service User', rather than system user. I dont like any of the other labels. I agree with the use of 'impairment' rather than mentally ill, mad, crazy, mentally handicapped as these all sound pretty patronising.

Howabout 'mental health disability', or 'person with mental health disability'? It is after all a disability.
 
herbie

herbie

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Heh, only in the UK. Sometimes I think it's all a case of political-correctness gone insane. The more I see terms like "Mental health system user" the more I realise just how blatantly stupid the whole situation is.

Personally I prefer something simple like "mentally ill". I'm well aware that I'm ill, and dressing it up in fancy terminology doesn't change anything at all. I don't like to be referred to as mentally disabled or impaired, primarily because I prefer to think of my condition as something treatable and not permanent, and I don't really feel disabled at all.

But yes, I really wish council officials would pull the sticks out of their arses and call a spade a spade instead of "horticultural digging implement". You know?
 
lucid scream

lucid scream

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hey hey, i know im not in the UK, but heres my thoughts:
it doesnt matter what terms are used to refer to us. the negitivity has nothing to do with the terms used, it has to do with the general publics view of us, and any new label that is put on us will eventually take on the same negative connotations that the old ones have.
words are just words. its the meanings they have to the user and the reciever that matter.
i prefer raving fucking loon, myself. or frootloop.
 
T

Twylight

Guest
I think it's easier for men to be ' A bit of a nutter ', like a macho thing
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Can we keep this on the original theme - I have to go through all the replies and it's easier to collate responses if they're adhering to the question!
 
lucid scream

lucid scream

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If I had to pick then it would be "Mental Health System user" But that does sound very clinical. Maybe Client would be better. The term "Person with Mental Health Impairment" I don't think is accurate.

i like that. Mental Health Client implies that the person is not a complete drooling frootloop as much of the public sees us, but more a cognizant person who accesses the services offered.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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Clients and customers can take their custom elsewhere that isn't possible in mental illness, user they call my ex girlfriend a user because she uses people, i'm not enough a shrink to know if she's mentally ill

I'd rather call myself loony nutter when people object to me using those terms seems they're always exercising power over me
 
Colin76

Colin76

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I honestly say i prefer the terms 'mental illness' and 'mental health service user'
 
companion

companion

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In my training, we are told that it is better to see the person, before their illness.

Personally, I would like to see something like:
  • a person with a mental illness
  • an individual that requires or uses mental health services
  • people that use mental health services
I do agree with using language that recognises individuality. Using terms like "them", "us" or "service-user" can (not always) mean that the people that write these policies and laws see themselves in a positon of power - like they are better than everyone else.

If I was diagnosed with a mental illness tomorrow, I would still want to be recognised as me and not a label.

Companion
 
D

Dollit

Guest
Thank you for your answers - I'm now going to submit them to the Council Officer who asked me to get the information for him and I'll let you know what feedback, if any I get - the mills of local councils grind increasingly slowly.
 
D

DNA

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I hope I'm not too late to post my thoughts!
When I first came on this forum, I felt I had to tip-toe around people and be super-aware of the politically correct terminology. I was afraid that if I used the wrong word(s) I might be part of tipping a fragile state.....But every single response I have received was showing me a Person not a condition. My original perception was probably tainted by the 'over-sensitive' terminology: my brother has been in a fragile state for years, he is a bit delicate....my son is neurologically atypical and over-responsive to stimulus...True!but it is also true that my brother is mentally ill, where schizophrenia is the reason and my son is mentally ill, where Asperger is the reason. It doesn't matter about the label but it does matter the person behind the label and definitions should be geared up to help the person and not the carer! Impairment or system user does not entise to look at a person and doesn't encourage to overcome people's fear about anyone condition, 'mentally ill person' by contrast would suggest a medical illness that needs to be addressed, that does exist and that is part of an individual.
Good luck with your review.
 
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