Transparency and language are key to reducing stigma

One of the biggest reasons that people who need mental health care don't get it is that they're afraid of stigma and discrimination. Stigma is a negative attitude or belief system about people with certain characteristics (like having a mental health condition). Discrimination is acting on those beliefs and treating those people differently.

By practicing transparency and using accurate, respectful language, you can help to shift the attitudes that lead to stigma and discrimination. Ultimately, this can help your employees feel more comfortable with the idea of getting mental health treatment, leading to a more mentally well workforce.

Using Person-First Language

Check out our person-first language info sheet below to get started on using inclusive, respectful language to talk about those with mental health challenges.

The 5 Elements of Transparency and Language

  1. Intention: Mental health is discussed intentionally by workplace leaders in an effort to combat stigma
  2. Frequency: Mental health issues are discussed with equal frequency as other health issues like fitness, back pain, and flu season precautions
  3. Accuracy: Information about mental health conditions, mental health benefits, and legal rights are given completely and accurately
  4. Respect: Employers model respectful, non-discriminatory language when discussing mental health and encourage employees to do the same
  5. Exchange: Employers and employees enjoy free exchange of ideas to improve workplace mental wellness

More information about these five areas is coming soon. In the mean time, check out the following resources:

Join the Mental Health Equality in the Workplace Campaign

Go to the Resource Library

Contact Campaign Leaders

Donate to the Colorado Mental Wellness Network

Visit the Colorado Mental Wellness Network's Zazzle Store