Ditching the Term “Engagement”

Mental Health Professionals frequently use the term “Non-Engagement” to describe a situation in which they struggle to access the mental health patient; in which they can’t get through.


That term, to me, feels detached and about blame. Along with this come labels of laziness, dismotivation, resulting in feelings of unworthiness. It makes the patient feel that there is something inherently wrong with them or that they are just no good.


We need a new term.


I think a nice way to change would be to stop even talking about “engagement'” and talk about “talking” and conversations; listening and relationships… Engagement at times feels like a cold word to describe something that we want to be meaningful and purposeful… Imagine saying “We have an increased number of people who are struggling to talk to us”; the by product of this, I feel, causes so much more curiosity… As I am much more curious about people who are struggling to talk to us as oppose to a “non engagement number”… We are in this job to help people.


I leave you to reflect.