Toward the Heart: Language Matters

Source

"Language Matters: Creating a safer space with less stigma" Vimeo Video:


Campaign Website:
https://towardtheheart.com/reducing-stigma

Description

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) enlisted the help of social justice-oriented creative and digital agency, Hello Cool World Media, to custom build a harm reduction showcase called Toward the Heart. According to Hello Cool World, the phrase "toward the heart" is "a reference to the injection technique of always inserting a needle in the direction of blood flow—which helps convey a compassionate approach to health care". BCCDC teamed up with Hello Cool World to create a video on reducing stigma through language. In addition to this video, the BCCDC Harm Reduction Team released a corresponding PDF with "4 guidelines to using non-stigmatizing language".

Date

2018-04-10

Rights

Copyright © 2021, Toward the Heart. All Rights Reserved

Language

Audience

Coverage

Location

Transcription

Emily Ogborne-Hill: "A lot of the general public may only know of addiction through a movie character or a TV show or a badly written, stigmatizing article in the newspaper. That might be their only experience with addiction."

Jane Buxton: "I think we have to think about the terminology that we use."

[A slide appears with the heading "Use People First Language". Text with a light orange background washes onto screen, displaying a white check mark to the left of "Person who uses opioids". A white "vs" appears underneath. Text with a red background washes onto screen, displaying a white "X" to the left of "Opioid user or Addict".]

Jane Buxton: "We have to listen to the voice of people who use substances. Avoid the othering that get people to think about it and talk about it."

[A slide appears with the heading "Use Language that Promotes Recovery". Text with a light orange background washes onto screen, displaying a white check mark to the left of "Person experiencing barriers to accessing services". A white "vs" appears underneath. Text with a red background washes onto screen, displaying a white "X" to the left of "Unmotivated OR Non-compliant".]

Emily Ogborne-Hill: "We do tend to pander in the media a lot to the moral side of harm reduction. I think if we just change the dialogue and spoke only in terms of health, I think it would change the perception of the general population as well."

[A slide appears with the heading "Use Language that Reflects the Medical Nature of Substance Use Disorders". Text with a light orange background washes onto screen, displaying a white check mark to the left of "Person experiencing problems with substance use". A white "vs" appears underneath. Text with a red background washes onto screen, displaying a white "X" to the left of "Abuser OR Junkie".]

Margot Kuo: "What are people's stories with substances? How did they come to be where they are? How do they cope with their everyday life? And once you start hearing that information, I think that does more to the issue of stigma."

[A slide appears with the heading "Avoid Slang and Idioms". Text with a light orange background washes onto screen, displaying a white check mark to the left of "Positive test results OR Negative test results". A white "vs" appears underneath. Text with a red background washes onto screen, displaying a white "X" to the left of "Dirty test results OR Clean test results".]

Sheila Martens: "That is work that has to be done, creating a safer place with less stigma."

Citation

BC Centre for Disease Control, “Toward the Heart: Language Matters,” Anti-Stigma Archive, accessed July 13, 2024, http://antistigma.info/items/show/12.

Campaign Relations

Campaign: Stop Stigma. Save Lives. References This
Campaign: Stop Stigma. Save Lives. Is Referenced By This