MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - There's a new campaign in Alabama to change the way we speak about individuals with mental health illness or substance use disorder. The campaign is a partnership between the Alabama Departments of Public Health and Mental Health.
“We want to promote the use of helpful words, not hateful words, and to educate people so that they can learn how to speak to the people they care about, their friends, their neighbors, also to help clinicians and practitioners learn to speak to their patients in order to really help benefit them and to treat them properly,” said ADPH Director of Communications Ryan Easterling.
The campaign is called “Stop Judging, Start Healing.” It encourages you to use words that help and support to end the cycle of stigma surrounding mental health illness, substance and opioid use disorders, HIV and Hepatitis C.
“It’s just really helping to understand each other, especially during this holiday season. This is a time to really forgive, and to support and to understand that everyone has a struggle,” adds Public Information Officer for the Department of Mental Health Malissa Valsez-Hubert.
At stopjudging.org, the campaign provides a list of correct language to use. There’s also a list of resources to assist with information, prevention, treatment and recovery.