It’s just not that easy…

Let us think carefully about the language we use when we talk about mental health issues.

This is my favourite poem:

Socks by Elly Lloyd

if only I had the right socks

long ones

that’s what they always say

something about pulling up my


so it must be

because I’m wearing 

the wrong socks 

pull your socks up

if it were that easy

I’d rush down to m&s

first thing, to enquire 

of the first sales assistant 

where I might find socks

for the depressed and suicidal

I’m sure they’d catch on

socks on prescription 

instead of prozac

nobody has socks in here…


Please remember that the language you use when talking about mental health can have a huge impact on people who may have experience of a mental health issue, either in the past, present or future.

Unhelpful words or phrases fuel the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues, and can prevent people from asking for help when they need it. For many people, dealing with the stigma can be even more difficult than dealing with the illness itself.

Mental ill health does not discriminate by age, sex, religion, wealth, background or social standing. As we continue to battle this pandemic, which has had such a huge effect on both physical and mental health, let us think carefully about how the language we use might make others feel.

Take care and be safe…