26 April 2023

Mental Health Europe releases ‘Mental Health: The Power of Language’ – A glossary of terms and words

Mental Health Europe (MHE) has released a glossary of terms and words used in the area of mental health to help pave the way to de-stigmatisation. This publication builds on Mental Health Europe’s Words Matter and Mental Health Europe Explained work. It was developed in co-creation people with lived experience, supporters, care professionals, service providers, and human rights and health experts. ‘Mental Health Europe’s selected words’ were proposed by the working group after in-depth reflections on the different options. As language evolves along with our societies, this is to be considered a living document, which Mental Health Europe will review whenever the need arises.

Read the glossary now to discover the meanings and history behind some of the most common words used when discussing mental health, what language might be best suited for certain situations, and what MHE has decided to use and why.

We hope that by being mindful of the terms and words we use, this publication can contribute to the elimination of stigma and discrimination related to mental health.  A recent Lancet Commission on ending stigma and discrimination in mental health found that stereotypes about mental health can have a deleterious effect on people with mental health problems, hindering their recovery.

When we want to see the right changes, we need to use the right words. We hope that this publication will facilitate stigma reduction in our conversations around mental health in both our professional and personal lives.

Download the Glossary

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