Words Matter

I wrote this a little while ago and it has recently been tweeted, facebooked etc by http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

It’s had mixed reviews- mostly positive, but with some people mentioning that, in light of cuts to mental health care, words are the least of our worries. I agree to an extent- there are more urgent things facing the mental health community than simple words. Yet, in an age where discrimination is still rife and in which words are a weapon against those who experience poor mental health, I still believe it is relevant.

For me, what were once slurs (crazy, mental) are now words I feel comfortable reclaiming, in much the same way as some (not all) feminists/ women might reclaim the word “slut.” I know others do not enjoy the privilege of reclaiming the words used against them and this is why I remain fighting against the stigma perpetuated- yes- by words.

Tell me what you think- I am certainly curious to know and not offended by those with differing views. I understand both sides of the coin and I like a (respectful) debate.

Go!

Only See Your Good Side

​I work in a home for the mentally ill

Vs
I work in supported accommodation for people with mental health problems.

Do you see the difference between those two statements? For me, one conjures the image that I “care for” “sick” people unable to look after themselves. It gives the impression that I work in a care home or similar, which is starkly different from what I aim to do. Sadly, it suggests a lack of agency on the part of those I support. “A home”, rightly or wrongly, triggers notions of “personal care” and sad abandonment, of people sequestered from society “for their own good.” “A home” is not “a home” at all in the sense of being somewhere anyone would want to live. I am not saying, by the way, that this is what “a home” means to me or should mean to you; rather, I am talking…

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