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It's World Mental Health Day!

By Skylar DeNoyer and Laura Dickman, BSW Interns

On October 10th, we celebrate World Mental Health Day and recognize the importance of MHPSS, mental health and psychosocial support. MHPSS includes support individuals receive to protect and promote their mental and physical health. One key component of MHPSS is treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders. These disorders can include but are not limited to the treatment and prevention of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Therefore, the key focus of World Mental Health Day this year is recognizing the importance of aiding in providing mental and psychosocial support, and the positive impacts it can make on the individual’s life.

Mental health support, treatment, and research has always remained in a state of constant change. In the early 90’s, the World Federation of Mental Health officially established a day on October 10th to be recognized as World Mental Health Day. Although there is still plenty of room for growth and support in the mental health community, the community has come a long way in terms of development of sensitivity and self-awareness towards mental health as a whole.

Our language towards mental health has improved as society continues to make efforts in eliminating usage of words such as “addicts'', by making the conscious choice to use the words “an individual with a substance use disorder” instead. By choosing to use the phrase “the individual with ___ disorder” we separate the individual from the mental illness or co-occurring disorders. By doing so we allow for a more supportive and comfortable environment for these individuals to receive the help they need. This is an example of how individuals have consciously made efforts to adjust their vocabulary in response to mental health support and reducing stigma.

Have you made a conscious effort to eliminate negative word-usage when addressing mental health or concerns of another individual?

If you did change your descriptive word-choice, how did it affect the individual you were communicating with?