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About the sector
The community managed mental health sector is a key provider of mental health services and supports to people in the community.Read more
Find detailed information on the work we do to support the community managed mental health sector.Read more
Mental Health Rights Manual
An online guide to help explain your legal and human rights in the mental health and human services systems in New South Wales.Read more
Recovery Oriented Language Guide
Words are important. The language we use and the stories we tell have great significance to all involved.See the guide
Build on your lived experience or on-the-job experience and receive a nationally recognised qualification.Read more
Contact us to design a professional development solution for your workforce and organisation.Read more
Our members are community managed mental health organisations, large and small, local and NSW-wide service providers.Read more
Become a member
Join a strong network of community-based mental health organisations delivering better outcomes for people in New South Wales.Read more
As more people access mental health services due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and compounding exposure to natural disasters, it is increasingly important that inclusive, safe and positive language around mental health is used in health and support settings.
To encourage the use of respectful and accepting language, Mental Health Coordinating Council has launched a new Recovery Oriented Language Guide for use in health services and support settings.
The wrong words can contribute to stigma and alienate people further, hampering their recovery and willingness to seek support.
Tips include saying someone ‘has been diagnosed with…’ rather than ‘is mentally ill’, not arguing with a person’s perception of events or feelings, but rather asking if they feel they have been listened to, turning statements like ‘they refused help’ around to ‘they prefer not to…’ and swapping out ‘they are anti-social’ for ‘they are working on finding motivation’.
The Guide includes sections on talking about suicide, diversity inclusive language, talking to young people and guides for interactions between clinicians.
This is the third, and most extensively updated edition of the Guide, first published in 2013.