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From In Our Own Words

Welcome to In Our Own Words

Improving ethnic minorities (or BAME) access to psychological support through understanding their words that describe tricky experiences.

In Our Own Words

Welcome to In Our Own Words wiki. Our aim is to use this as a platform to create a user-friendly dataset of terms in different languages to gather everyday terms people use to express their struggles, using a community-based approach. This includes difficult thoughts, feelings and sensations such as pain and discomfort in the body. Ultimately, we aim to use this to improve early access to early psychological support for ethnic minorities, particularly in Western healthcare contexts, when they are experience common physical and mental health issues. Many people experience physical symptoms when they experience stressful events and having physical health conditions or illnesses can be stressful (as the current situation with the COVID outbreak illustrates).

With that in mind, we aim to:

Create a shared language amongst people who use health care systems and healthcare professionals to express and recognise when a person is suffering and could do with early help to manage their psychological well-being.

Help de-stigmatise struggle and move away from the language of clinical mental health disorders where possible.

Create collaborations between people from different communities, psychological and healthcare staff to improve timely access to appropriate systems, information and advice to manage well-being (the links to which can be accessed here and here). Please see our section on research aims here


We aim to have some coverage of languages spoken all over the world, with some more specific focusses due to the remit of our project. However, things change over time and we hope that you can join us and help this resource change and grow too.


Research Articles

Links to research articles on ethnicity and sense-making of mental and physical health by up and coming trainee and practising psychologists.

Research Articles

If you like what we do

Please consider supporting us to build our reach and scope. This could be by:

Donating to our project: - so we can give volunteers compensation for their time, build services and sustain our activities. This becomes particularly important as we reach out to people who are often unpaid for their work in addressing inequality, despite there being a greater need for this.

We will look to connect with ethnic minorities and health professionals who want to engage with us in due course. Please bear with us as we build the foundations of this project and in the meantime feel free to have a browse :)


The terms in this wiki were created by a variety of contributors, including people who are bilingual, translators and volunteers who collected terms from others they know. Where possible, we have cross-checked submissions with others speaking the same language to help accuracy and make sure they are widely used but this has not always been possible. This means that they may not all be accurate or apply for people who speak varied dialects of the same language but we try to improve coverage as we go along. Of course we appreciate support to enable this to happen.

Whilst we collect terms and phrases that people use to talk about difficult experiences this site is not a therapy resource. If you do think you need psychological support then it can help to talk to your GP or check a local directory of accredited therapists to find a suitable therapist in your area. We may later build a directory of suitably qualified therapists if it feels like the right thing to do, but right now we are in our early stages so please bear with us.

Inclusion policy

This project has been created by a diverse group of people who care deeply about the physical and mental well-being of people from ethnic minorities. We ourselves represent differences in ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation and age. We also aim to represent differences in gender, class and abilities within our working groups and believe in affirmative practice. This means that we actively encourage people who are underserved in these groups to get involved with us as this project evolves. It also means we do not accept or tolerate abusive behaviour towards others of any kind; including sexism, racism, xenophobia, heterosexism, cissexism, classism, ageism or ableism. If this behaviour occurs please do let the admins know. We want to create a supportive and kind space and as volunteers, it helps if we all create and maintain this together. Thank you.

COVID-19 Resources

Here are some resources that you might find helpful. Resources specific to each language are listed within each languages page.

  • A group of doctors, medical students and volunteers have created infographics in a variety of languages to help summarise key points about COVID-19


Help Pages