Central Coast Local Health District prioritises mental health by signing National Communications Charter

Posted 10th August 2021 in General

The Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) is now a proud signatory of the National Communications Charter, demonstrating their commitment to collaboration and promoting consistent, positive language about mental health and suicide prevention. 

A signing event was held on Friday, 23 April, where former Chief Executive Dr Andrew Montague signed on behalf of the Local Health District (LHD). CCLHD is the first LHD to sign The Charter. They join other leading Australian organisations, including PHNs, local councils and government departments, in supporting safe and respectful communication and using a strengths-based, collaborative approach to addressing mental ill-health and suicide.

In his address, Central Coast Mental Health Deputy Director, David Duerden highlighted that he was very proud to be supporting The Charter, and utilising its principles to guide the work in the LHD. He hopes to help shape safe communication about mental health and suicide, reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking within organisations and communities in the Central Coast region.

The Charter is supported by Action Guides that provide actionable examples of activities to effectively assist organisations and individuals in integrating and utilising the National Communications Charter. They are intended to guide strategic communications principles in the provision of care and everyday communications to reduce suicide and improve the mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities across Australia. 

As part of implementing The Charter in their region, CCLHD has recently partnered with Central Coast Industry Connect, and Central Coast Suicide Prevention Alliance to promote individual small businesses in the Central Coast manufacturing and associated industries to also sign and implement The Charter. 

Small businesses make up 98% of businesses in NSW, and employ a large number of people vulnerable to suicidal crisis, such as middle-aged men, Aboriginal people, young people, people that identify as LGBTIQ+ and those living with chronic mental or physical illness. Therefore, the use of a shared, respectful language to reduce stigma around mental health and suicide, and promoting help-seeking in these organisations is a valuable initiative.

National Communications Charter