A List of Terms Used to Describe People Who Use Mental Health Services

To kick-off our series on language in mental health, we thought it would be useful to compile a list of all the major terms used to describe people who use mental health services. This list is based off of a survey of the prominent academic and popular literature on the subject. If you see any terms missing, please get in touch with us and we'll be sure to add them. We welcome all comments and perspectives on this topic.  


A List of Terms Used to Describe People Who Use Mental Health Services: 

Attendee

Client

Consumer

Content Expert

Customer

Ex-Patient

Expert by Experience

Expert through Experience

Fellow Traveler

Human Being with a Psychiatric Disorder

Patient

Peer

Person Affected by Mental Illness

Person-in-Recovery

Person in Therapy

Person with Lived Experience

Person with Lived Expertise

Person with Mental Health Problems

Person with a Mental Health Disability

Psychiatric Patient

Psychiatric Survivor

Recipient

Service User

Sufferer

Survivor

User

The Hatching Ideas blog contains discussions of mental health, suicide, social vulnerability and other, similar topics. The topics discussed may prompt unwelcome reminders, and we ask our readers to exercise discretion when reading. In case of an emergency, please contact your local health provider or dial emergency medical services (9-1-1).