The King's Fund house style: M

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majority of
use most


no apostrophe

Write metric measures in abbreviated form – 16mm, 7.2m, 22mg (no space after the numeral).

Member(s) of Parliament


mental health
A range of terms are used within mental health and are often interchangeable. The term ‘mental health problems’ is one of the phrases adopted by Mind, the national mental health charity. It is used as an all-encompassing term to capture issues that impact negatively on someone’s psychological wellbeing or mental health ‘one in four people experience a mental health problem every year’ or ‘I have a mental health problem’. The term ‘mental health conditions’ is also used although this largely refers to the individual ‘conditions’ or diagnoses, not to people.

In describing people with individual mental health problems, terms such as ‘people with schizophrenia’ or in the case of particular symptoms ‘people experiencing psychosis’ should be used. Do not use diagnoses to describe people ‘she was a depressive’.

The term ‘service user’ is widely used in mental health. This term has all sorts of political connotations – but now it is commonly used to describe people who are actively in contact with services, eg, ‘We involved a group of mental health service users in designing…’.

Because of poor reporting in the media there are some good guidelines which have been developed to help people writing and reporting about mental health including advice on writing about specific issues such as suicide, violence, eating disorders and use of images to depict mental illness.

See also people or patients and long-term conditions.

Use symbols for £ and $ with no space between the symbol and the number. Always specify whether dollars are US$ at first instance (and if not specify, for example NZ$); thereafter just use $. For other currencies, write them out in full after the figure, eg, 1,000 baht.

For UK currency, use £6.00, £5.25 and £0.25, not £6, £5.25p or 25p.