Time to change the language we use about mental health

Time to change the language we use about mental health
The world has moved on since the days of ‘Bonkers Bruno’ headlines, but we still need to mind our language
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The front page of the Sun on 23 September 2003 covering Frank Bruno’s depression – early and late editions. The first headline reads ‘Bonkers Bruno locked up’ in the later edition on the same day it reads ‘Sad Bruno in Mental Home’
It’s political correctness gone mentally unstable. That’s right, you can’t say anything these days – and here’s yet another article telling us what language we can and can’t use. Cue eye-rolls and tuts.

Actually, I want to share with you my own journey into madness. That is, mental health and language – and the advice available about how we strike a balance between the “political correctness gone mad” brigade and those who prefer to communicate with a little more consideration

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Media tells only what they think we can handle

Media tell only what they think we can handle
March 5, 2014
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Sally Young
It is remarkable how the reporting of events blows with the winds of change.

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Wendi Deng
Wendi Deng Photo: AP
The relationship between the media and power is wonderfully encapsulated by the front-page headlines that appeared in Le Moniteur, the official French government daily, in the month of March 1815. During that month, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from his exile on the island of Elba and launched an extraordinary campaign that began with recapturing France, and ended on the battlefield at Waterloo.

March 10, Dateline Elba

The Beast Has Escaped Its Lair

March 15

The Rebel Bonaparte Evades Arrest

By Loyal Troops, Heads North

March 19

The Emperor At The Gates Of Paris

March 20

His Imperial Majesty To Enter

The City Today

These headlines show the athletic flexibility of media reporting as it responds to shifts in power.

In that case, Napoleon was being elevated as his power increased, but, of course, it also goes the other way as we regularly witness the downfall of previously powerful individuals.

Most vulnerable of all are the women who are powerful by association because they are in a relationship with a powerful man. If they separate from him or – even worse – leave him, their shift from protected species to fair game can be dizzyingly abrupt. Continue reading