MEDIA CONTACTAlycia Davis, (531) 249-8079, email@example.com
Lincoln, NE – Even though mental health is key to overall health, the general lack of awareness about what to say or how to help family, loved ones, and neighbors keeps people from seeking treatment. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) encourages individuals to be cautious of their word choice and take steps to create a strong and supportive community actively working to stop the stigma around mental health.
“When language surrounding mental health is negative, it can discourage individuals from seeking support and treatment," said Tony Green, Interim Director of the Division of Behavioral Health at DHHS. “Positive language encourages empathy and understanding, creating a safe space and a supportive environment allowing individuals to access the support they deserve when experiencing mental health or substance use challenges."
Use language that acknowledges the person first and not the condition.
Some suggestions on how to approach someone experiencing a substance use or mental health challenge:
Some things to avoid:
Mental health is something that we need to talk about now more than ever. By talking openly about mental health or substance use, educating ourselves, showing compassion, being cautious about the terms and verbiage used, and using positive language, we can contribute to a more compassionate and supportive community that values mental health and treats it with the same importance as physical health.
Need to talk or get immediate help in a crisis? Help is available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to: