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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


Last Updated: 11/20/2013

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

 

Language

Words can limit potential. People with mental illnesses want to be known for their skills, talents, and abilities, not for their diagnosis or "label." A mental illness, like a physical illness, does not define a person. In addition, terms such as "crazy" or "nuts" reinforce the discrimination and negative attitudes associated with mental illnesses and often keep those who need and want help from seeking treatment.

Focusing on use of language is often the first place to start addressing social exclusion and discrimination against people with mental illnesses.

Information on this topic can be found in the following materials.

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.