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Welcome to In Our Own Words!

Our aim is to improve access to psychological support amongst People of the Global Majority (PoGM) who are ethnic minorities in the UK. We strive to do this by understanding the everyday words and phrases people use when they experience distress, spiritual discomfort and unwelcome physical symptoms.

More Information

You can watch our intro video (with closed captions) here

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

Connect with us

You can connect with us online here. Please also 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.



We are keen to connect with people who have conducted original empirical research with people of the global majority (UK ethnic minorities) on how they make sense of their mental and/or physical health (we are also considering spiritual health). In particular, we would like to promote the work of those who may not (yet) have had their work academically published yet.

If that applies to you, please do watch our videos to find out more about what we are looking for, why and how you can get involved:

Research and Pre-prints-Part 1: who this may appeal to and why we seek out pre-prints

Research and Pre-prints-Part 2: how to upload pre-prints onto the repository PsyArXiv

Research and Pre-Prints-Part 3: uploading pre-prints on IOOW

Please note that we do expect the researchers to obtain appropriate ethical approval prior to conducting their research study and connecting it with our portal.

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

Research Articles

For undergraduate/postgraduate educators looking to diversify their curriculum, a more general resource on articles authored by BIPOC and published in academic journals has been created and maintained by Erica H Wojcik. It is available here (and hopefully some of the authors we connect with will end up on this list!)

Community organisations and networks

We do aim to connect with community organisations in the UK who aim to serve ethnic minorities and meet their health and social needs. We also signpost to them where we can (with permission) and some of them will be in one area, others will be across several and connected with particular communities (by language, cultural group or location). Where they serve the needs of a particular diaspora, they will be linked to the relevant language pages (we will aim to keep this up to date). The general list can also be found here.

If you like us

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 People of the Global Majority 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

Copyright and Licencing permissions

Most of the information and images on this wiki are licensed under the creative commons, for open use as long as credit is attributed to our organisation. Our aim is to allow us to generate income to cover our costs and recompense volunteers for their time and support so this really makes a difference.

The content on this site is protected by copyright and owned by In Our Own Words. It can be reused as per below.

CC BY-NC-SA - Where you see this on the website (the language and resource pages primarily) this means you can adapt, remix and build upon the work we do here for non-commercial purposes and license your derived work under identical terms. This allows people to create new applications based on our work for the public good.

For more information on this please visit the Creative Commons information page on the use of this license here.

Please note our logo and associated imagery are protected by Copyright law, so prohibits use for activities outside of our organisational remit.


A link to our policies can be found here


Help Pages