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J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2013 May-Jun;19(3):146-51. doi: 10.1177/1078390313489729. Epub 2013 May 22.

Championing person-first language: a call to psychiatric mental health nurses.

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At the heart of recovery-oriented psychiatric mental health care are the dignity and respect of each person and the ways in which helping professionals convey a person's uniqueness, strengths, abilities, and needs. "Person-first language" is a form of linguistic expression relying on words that reflect awareness, a sense of dignity, and positive attitudes about people with disabilities. As such, person-first language places emphasis on the person first rather than the disability (e.g., "person with schizophrenia" rather than "a schizophrenic"). This article champions the use of person-first language as a foundation for recovery-oriented practice and enhanced collaborative treatment environments that foster respect, human dignity, and hope.


disability language; inclusive language; person-first language; recovery-oriented practice; stigmatizing language

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