Why you should never use the term ‘the mentally ill’ https://t.co/Zjge3nMQU0
— PsyPost.org (@PsyPost) May 3, 2016
The push to change how society refers to people with mental illness began in the 1990s when several professional publications proposed the use of what they called “person-first” language when talking about people with disabilities or chronic conditions.
“Person-first language is a way to honor the personhood of an individual by separating their identity from any disability or diagnosis he or she might have,” Gibbs said.
“When you say ‘people with a mental illness,’ you are emphasizing that they aren’t defined solely by their disability. But when you talk about ‘the mentally ill’ the disability is the entire definition of the person,” he said.
Although the use of person-first language was first proposed more than 20 years ago, this is the first study examining how the use of such language could affect tolerance toward people with mental illness, Granello said.