New language guide to be launched helping people understand the importance of the words we use and the way we communicate with those with mental health issues
10th October 2023
New mental health language guide announced on World Mental Health Day
Today, on World Mental Health Day, Future Care Capital (FCC) is announcing the development of a new mental health language guide.
Mental health charity, FCC, believes there is a need to address the way we talk about mental health issues and related long-term conditions. On this year’s World Mental Health Day, with the theme of ‘mental health is a universal human right’, we believe that everybody should be spoken to or about with respect and not harmful, stigmatising or derogatory language.
The guide takes inspiration from other guides and toolkits that seek to demystify a number of health issues and long-term conditions, but specifically on the broad range of mental health conditions. It’s being formed by a coalition of organisations with knowledge of mental health and will be based on the lived experiences of people with a large scale survey across the UK to capture a range of perspectives from all walks of life. The guide will be based on research and supported by those with mental health issues and supporting organisations by setting out practical examples of language that will encourage positive interactions.
With waiting lists for treatment only increasing, and our increased knowledge and acceptance of different mental health issues, we are more likely to encounter someone with a condition or be an individual managing one ourselves. The guide aims to raise awareness of the importance of our interactions, making sure they are supportive and non-judgemental.
Other UK charities have published new guidelines for those working in the media. This is a great first step in tackling stigmatising language, and there are doubtless many other guidelines on inclusivity for use within organisations up and down the country, but we believe there is a place for a new national guidebook that anybody can refer to, leaving them better informed than they were before.
“The language we use can have a profound impact on how people with mental health issues, those supporting or caring for them and how they go about their lives on a day to day basis. It is essential for us to recognise the impact our language has and the importance in the way in which we communicate. Using slang, negative or derogatory language will reinforce harmful stereotypes and increase stigma, whereas positive interactions can build confidence, decrease anxiety and empower effective self-management.” Dr. Lauren Evans, Director of Research and Innovation at FCC
A coalition of organisations is already forming, but if you wish to be part of this project and provide your insights, please get in touch at [email protected].
About Future Care Capital
Future Care Capital (FCC) is a UK charity aiming to accelerate the development of a fit for purpose health and care system, working as efficiently and effectively as possible to maximise the positive impact it can create on the ecosystem and most importantly, the people it serves. FCC’s origins go back to 1945, starting life as the National Nursery Examination Council which became the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) and finally in 2016, FCC.
Find out more about Future Care Capital at: https://futurecarecapital.org.uk/