Australian Institute of Health and Welfare commits to safe language use by signing The Charter

Posted 27th September 2022 in Sector news The Charter

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has become the latest organisational signatory of the National Communications Charter (The Charter). Rob Heferen, CEO at the Institute signed The Charter at a virtual all-staff event held on Thursday, 8 September 2022 to coincide with R U OK? Day.

The AIHW is an independent Australian Government agency that produces authoritative and accessible information and statistics to inform better policy and service delivery decisions.

The Charter is an evidence-informed resource to guide the way workplaces and individuals talk about mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, mental ill-health and suicide prevention. By signing The Charter, the AIHW has pledged its commitment to develop better structures and processes within the Institute to ensure the use of safe and consistent language.

The AIHW will use The Charter to strengthen its existing work in promoting health and wellbeing in the organisation. It will also guide the way the Institute reports on topics that may impact those with lived or living experience, ensuring it represents the real people behind the data with compassion and respect.

Mr Heferen explained that signing The Charter will serve as a reminder to do their part in both the workplace and publicly to help reduce stigma and promote help-seeking behaviour.

“To recognise the important role the Institute plays in reporting on the status of the mental ill-health and suicide of Australians, I have committed the Institute to the eight core principles of The Charter,” said Mr Heferen.

“The Institute will be guided by The Charter in the way we talk about mental ill-health and suicide, with each other and in our products, services and releases in order to better support those that are represented in our data.”

Everymind Director, Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM emphasised the value of a credible institute such as the AIHW committing to support The Charter.

“There has been a longstanding partnership between Everymind and the AIHW, across a number of our programs. The significance of the AIHW signing The Charter demonstrates a unified approach to continue working together to communicate safely when reporting on self-harm and suicide-related data,” Dr Skehan said.

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