Don’t call me a ‘service user’
Please don’t call me a ‘service user’ – I’m a mental health patient.
I’m not, on the whole, the type of person who grumbles about ‘political correctness gone mad’. In my opinion, it’s an expression that is often used to justify casual racism, sexism or homophobia – and that’s never OK. But I really, really hate the way mental health services insist on referring to patients like me as ‘service users’ or, worse still, ‘clients’. I know these terms are supposed to be empowering. The theory is that the word ‘patient’ implies that we’re a) unwell and b) passive, while referring to us as ‘clients’ or ‘service users’ suggests that we’re in the driving seat as far as our treatment is concerned. But anyone who’s been through the mental health system knows that simply isn’t the case.
Read the article in Metro