I try to always make people aware that they shouldn’t use words like “psycho” and they often ask me why it’s wrong. They’re just words, how much harm can they do? They don’t mean them in a way that’s offensive to those who have mental health conditions. “Sticks and stones”, and all that.
The truth is that yes, they’re just words, but words can do a lot of harm that goes further than individuals being offended (although that is totally valid). Misconceptions and misuse of terms like “psycho” are some of the biggest contributors to stigma, which leads to people being denied jobs, education, healthcare, housing and causes social problems that can have a massive impact on someone’s quality of life. According to Time to Change, over a third of the UK population think that people who have mental health issues are dangerous. In reality, very few of us…
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