The author recognizes that language is important and political. Those of us who have been labeled by the psychiatric community have been denied a choice in how we are presented to the world. Through our liberation struggles, we have created our own identities as consumers, survivors and ex-patients, users and recipients. For the purpose of this tool-kit, I will use the term survivors to describe individuals who have received a psychiatric label. In describing what mental health professionals describe as mental illness, I will use the terms mental illness, emotional distress or any term used by an interviewee.

In Our Own Voice – African-American Stories of Oppression, Survival and Recovery in Mental Health Systems by Vanessa Jackson (pdf, 381KB, 37 pages)