How can I familiarize my patients with the terminology that is used in conversations about the treatment of mental illness?

It can be confusing to your patients and their families to understand the terminology used in the healthcare profession. Many of the terms are hard to pronounce, much less understand and jargon is part of the everyday vocabulary. Patients and families can feel like they need a dictionary to help translate what we are trying to tell them. There are a variety of tools available, that can be helpful to the people you care for. We’ve identified two that can be shared with the patients and families in your care.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) includes such a glossary in all of its education programs for people with mental illness and their families. You can download that glossary here.

You can also view a glossary of terms related to first episode psychosis developed by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

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