24 January 2024


In the evolving landscape of financial wellbeing, Money Advice Scotland has proudly introduced the Dignity First campaign – a transformative endeavour that seeks to change the dialogue surrounding money and debt. This initiative stems from a recognition of the prevalent stigmatising language that often accompanies conversations about financial situations, creating unnecessary barriers for those in need. 

Impact of stigmatising language 

The ramifications of stigmatising language on individuals with financial challenges are profound. It acts as a formidable barrier, deterring many from seeking the support they urgently require. We know that stigmatising language perpetuates negative stereotypes, cultivating an environment of shame and isolation. It's imperative to acknowledge the substantial consequences of these linguistic choices on mental health and overall wellbeing.  

Toward compassion and understanding 

Language is a powerful tool that shapes perceptions, influences attitudes, and can either build bridges or reinforce walls. The 'Dignity First' campaign highlights the transformative role language can play in reshaping societal attitudes. By advocating for the adoption of person-first language, the campaign aims to contribute to a more compassionate and inclusive narrative. In this narrative, individuals facing financial challenges are seen as deserving of support and understanding.  

Campaign objectives 

The campaign extends an invitation to everyone in society: especially media outlets and financial institutions to challenge the status quo. The objectives are clear: transform language norms, break down stereotypes, and create an environment where everyone feels empowered to seek assistance without fear of judgment. 

Creditor involvement 

Recognising the pivotal role creditors play, the campaign introduces a simple yet powerful tool – the Dignity First Language Guide. Businesses are urged to commit to using person-first language and supporting the mission to eradicate stigma. 

Media's role in shaping perceptions 

The media, as a powerful influencer of public opinion, holds a crucial role in this transformative journey. Money Advice Scotland advocates for responsible reporting and the use of person-first language in discussions about money and debt. By shaping narratives responsibly, media outlets contribute to a more informed and empathetic society. Find out more here

Vision for a stigma-free society 

The Dignity First campaign envisions a society where discussions about money and debt are free from judgment and stigma. It embarks on a journey toward empathy, understanding, and support. Addressing the urgency of tackling stigma surrounding money and debt, Money Advice Scotland invites everyone to be part of this transformative movement. Together, let's reshape narratives for a more compassionate and inclusive future.

Learn more about the dignity First campaign