What we say and how we say it makes a difference
to those with behavioral health conditions.

Stigmatizing language has been shown to contribute to the implicit and explicit biases of the general public but also medical professionals, impacting the care they provide to individuals with behavioral health (mental health and substance use) challenges. Additionally, a number of studies have shown that stigmatizing language contributes to the negative perceptions surrounding behavioral health, creating additional inequities including barriers to accessing healthcare, employment, housing, education and more.

Though there are many ways we can work towards a kinder, less stigmatizing world, we can all start today with better language choices. By making a conscious effort to use destigmatized language, we can begin chipping away at the pervasive stigma surrounding behavioral health.

We invite you to join in on committing to the use of less stigmatizing language when discussing and writing about behavioral health challenges. Take the pledge today!

The words we use matter.