Words Matter: The Importance of Person First Language
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Availability
On-Demand
Expires on Jul 16, 2025
Credit Offered
0.5 CME Credit
0.5 COP Credit

Person first, or people first, language developed out of the human rights movement for people with disabilities. This movement centered on the belief that disability first language is dehumanizing to people with mental illness. People have a diagnosis; they are not their diagnosis. It is important that clinicians become comfortable in using person first language. This course will examine the origins and the contemporary use of language as a form of advocacy and respect, and the role it plays in meaningful engagement. We will also examine the use of generic terms such as patient, client, or case to refer to a larger group of people who may, in fact, not have those relationships with a clinician.

Learning Objectives

  • Summarize the clinical and recovery benefits of using person first language
  • Rephrase non-person first language commonly used for describing individuals with mental  health disabilities to person first phrases
  • Cite key milestones of the historical evolution of the person first movement

Target Audience

Counselor, Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Physician (Non-Psychiatrist), Physician Assistant, Psychologist, Peer Specialist/Peer Support

Instructional Level

Introductory

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Program Start Date: July 16, 2019 
Program End Date: July 16, 2025

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course, including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 75% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians),  or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned.

Continuing Education Credit

Physicians

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this live event for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Instructors

  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, is Director of Information & Support at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister serves as SMI Adviser's patient and family engagement expert. She reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Patrick Hendry is Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports and Services for Mental Health America (MHA). Mr. Hendry serves as SMI Adviser's recovery and peer-to-peer engagement expert. He reports no financial relationships with commercial interests. 

Planners

  • John Torous, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Torous has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 6/16/22) 
  • Teri Brister, PhD, LPC, National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Brister has no relevant financial relationships to disclose. (Reviewed on 6/23/22)

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

The American Psychiatric Association is committed to ensuring accessibility of its website to people with disabilities. If you have trouble accessing any of APA’s online resources, please contact us at 202-559-3900 for assistance.

Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact educme@psych.org for questions about this activity | Contact SMIAdviserHelp@psych.org for technical assistance

Funding for SMI Adviser was made possible by Grant No. SM080818 from SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, SAMHSA/HHS or the U.S. Government.
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