Vulnerable person is one of the most common English words in Australia.
The word means ‘someone who has been vulnerable’.
It has a strong link with people in need and is used to describe people with mental health problems, including people with addiction or mental health issues.
“It’s a very vulnerable word and we’ve got to be mindful of it,” Professor Simon said.
“If you say vulnerable, people might say vulnerable person.”
When we say vulnerable you can have some people think it’s somebody with a heart condition or someone with autism or a physical disability.
“But it’s actually someone who has suffered, who has experienced a lot.”
What is ‘vulnerability’?
In Australia, there are around 100 vulnerable people, with many of them struggling with mental illness and/or substance abuse.
People living with a mental health or addiction disorder can also be referred to as ‘vulnerabilities’.
This includes:People living in remote communities who may have experienced trauma in the past can be referred as ‘sub-vulnerables’.
People living under the age of 60 can also become vulnerable.
Dr Simon said the word ‘vulgarity’ could be used in some contexts.
“In some contexts, it might mean to be vulgar or vulgarity, but it could also mean a lack of sensitivity,” he said.
It’s not uncommon to hear people use the word to describe someone who’s struggling with a disability or mental illness.
“I think we’ve heard the word vulnerable before in terms of sexual assault,” he added.
“There’s a bit of a continuum there, and it could mean someone who can’t get along with a particular partner or someone who struggles with mental and physical health.”
What do people say when they hear ‘vulus’?
Vulgar people may sound angry or even rude, but this is not necessarily the case.
Professor Simon said this might sound strange, but people can be sensitive and understanding when describing someone with mental or physical health problems.
“The fact that they’re using the word in the first place, the fact that it’s derogatory, is a sign that they’ve really been there,” he explained.
“They don’t mean it, they don’t need it.
They’re actually using it as a compliment.”
Vulgeness doesn’t always translate to aggression.
It can mean, for instance, that somebody’s being nice to you or that you’ve got the right attitude.
“You could be a nice person, and then they’ll say, ‘Oh, you’re a bit vulgar, that’s not going to help you’.”
Dr Simon also said it was important to remember that ‘vuli’ is just a word, and people can vary in their use of the word.
“As people, we don’t always hear ‘very sensitive’ or ‘very kind’,” he said, adding that it is important to use it with caution.
“What it really means is that somebody has suffered a lot, and that they have been through a lot,” he told 7.30.
Topics:psychosis,depression,psychosocial-behavioural-disorder,mental-health,mental,community-and-society,melbourne-3000,australiaMore stories from Victoria