In this “Let’s Rebrand Depression and Anxiety” series video, Caroline and Bill explain what person-first language is. They also share why, when and how you might want to use it.
A transcript is provided below.

Bill: Let’s rebrand depression and anxiety.

Caroline: One great way to do that is to focus on person-first language.

Bill: Person first language means choosing words that identify the person you’re talking to or about instead of their condition or their diagnosis. So for example you wouldn’t say Alex is bipolar, just like you wouldn’t say Sally is a sprained ankle.

Caroline: Exactly. Now you could say Alex has bipolar, but the important thing is that tone comes into play because it’s not just the words. It’s how you say them, and being friendly goes a long way.

Bill: Yeah and if you want to be super correct, you can say, Alex is a person living with bipolar condition or disorder, but that’s like a lot of words. I tried that for a while and then I decided to go for shorter options.

Caroline: I agree that one can be a mouthful, I do say I live with OCD or I live with general anxiety disorder because it feels natural for me. So it’s really up to the person and how they’d like to describe themselves.

Bill: Don’t trip over the correct word obstacle course. It’s good to know about these things, but in a recent survey we did of people in the workforce living with depression and anxiety, we found they are much more interested in whether or not you genuinely want to support them than they are in what specific words you use.

Caroline: Exactly, so hey, to learn how to rebrand depression and anxiety in your workplace, head over to talkwardlive.com.