What’s in a word - Mental or Mind health?

This blog was written by Izzy Yates.

Heads2Minds are very keen to highlight the importance of terminology when discussing the health of the mind. Mental health has been used for a long time by the medical profession to describe an individual's mental health. Heads2Minds feel that the term mind health would reduce stigma faced by individuals facing challenges with their mind. Why is this? All individuals have a mind which can be affected by positive and negative difficulties and may be seen as a more realistic and safer term. Therefore; mind health is a great way to describe the health of the mind. 

The statistics and research highlight that 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health. There is a general consensus that this number may be higher due to people being reluctant to seek help due to fear of stigma and try to deal with their challenges on their own. If the word was amended then the necessary and available support could help people get help and recover quicker.

Interestingly a petition was refused by the UK Government and Parliament in relation to changing the word of mental health to mind health to remove taboo language in March 2021. The petition raised was to reduce stigma. The mind encompasses your mind, emotions, feelings and behaviour while mental immediately has negative connotations. The use of language is vital in reducing discrimination and judgement. The petition highlighted that the word mind would raise understanding and help all generations to understand that mental health is not a taboo subject. The petition asked the government to help change the background negativity of the word mental health to mind health.

Despite this plea for a change in the use of terminology to describe mind health as opposed to mental health; the petition was rejected on the grounds that it was not clear what the UK Government or Parliament was being requested to action. The UK Government or Parliament have outlined that the petition needs to clearly describe the specific action that is being requested and have outlined that the Government is not responsible for the language people use.

More needs to be done to help reduce stigma and enable people to access support for their mind health. It is hoped that there will be changes in the use of terminology, support and training around this area. The charity Heads2Minds are advocating and in support of this change of terminology and are keen to highlight that the terminology used is vital in describing mind health.

If anyone has any ideas then please reach out to the charity at info@heads2minds.co.uk

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