A tweet I caught earlier today from @keirwales today has got me thinking. The image below was part of the tweet that talked about the use of the term "mental health". In this context and how it is written it says that any mental health costs up to 300,000 jobs a year. So this includes those that are managing, well and have positive mental health alongside those who are generally struggling or experience mental health illness.
One of the replies to the tweet is was brilliant from @HeyokaClown.
That is annoying and I’ve never really noticed it before, i always use the term mental health issues/problems as that’s as silly as saying I can’t run because I’ve got physical health? I guess it’s probably an understanding issue with people who want to luck good in public eyes!
"I can't run because I've got physical health."
This is brilliant - everyone has different degrees of physical health and when the media talk about physical health they make it clear that they are talking about low or poor physical rather than making assumptions that people know what they are meaning. Here is just one example of this.
As you can clearly see here in this BBC news article they state it's a lack of exercise and not just 'physical health could be killing twice as many people as obesity in Europe...'
There will always positive terms being used when reporting news about mental health and physical health whether the article is about them being healthy or not so. A diagnosis also doesn't mean a person in not managing, not in control or not able to function - a diagnosis is just that, a diagnosis.
Following my own diagnosis of Bipolar II it hasn't really changed me as a person - it has made things more understandable and given some clarity. I am still creative, still passionate, enthusiastic, and I yes I still get moments that are difficult and suicidal ideation.
So what would be better?
Using mental health illness?
Using poor mental health?
Using mental ill health?
Using specific diagnosis?
Better understanding across the media?
Better understanding across the general public?
Just because someone is suffering or experience difficulties with their mental health does that mean they can't add value to the world or with support work without being stigmatised?
With national efforts being made towards breaking the stigma that a person with a physical or learning disability is first a person foremost and not just defined by their disability. It is about their abilities and what they can do rather than not. It surely is time for national efforts to make sure that people are always seen as people first before anything else.
There is some much stigma around the world in so many areas - we have come along way but there is still along way to go.