What’s in a Name?

We recently saw an interesting article from Dr. Hyde, the administrator of SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).  She talks about some of the various different terms that people use for talking about mental health issues and chemical dependency:

Is a person who uses mental health services a patient? a consumer? A survivor?  Is recovery something you can define?  Is it a process?  Or should we be talking about wellness instead?

That article is found here, and the accompanying Q & A on language is found here.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on language and terms.  How important is it to you?  Is there a term you really prefer?  One that you can’t stand?  This is an on-going process, and we want to learn more about what people in Minnesota are thinking and feeling around these issues.  What we’ve heard so far is that the language we use around mental health has a big impact on if people feel respected and empowered.

We’re planning on using your feedback to help write an article that we’ll publish in our newsletter.  If you would not like your response to be used, or if you prefer to stay anonymous, just let us know, and we’ll honor those requests.  Please send any feedback to Ben, who will be compiling your answers.  We’ve already heard from some of our volunteers, and we look forward to getting responses from around the state.