Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) became signatories to the National Communications Charter (The Charter) in July, promoting common language in mental health, mental illness and suicide.
The Charter formalises EMPHN’s commitment to reducing suicide and its impacts, and improving the community’s mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.
EMPHN CEO, Robin Whyte said becoming a signatory to The Charter formalises the way we communicate and collaborate on mental health and suicide prevention, which can have a large impact on people, families, communities and organisations.
“The Charter commits us to clear and consistent communication to reduce stigma and ensure people are encouraged to seek help when needed,” Ms Whyte said.
Since July The Charter has been used across three major projects.
- EMPHN has used The Charter to review communications generated by Victorian PHNs about the new psychosocial support services. This ensures consistency of messaging to consumers, carers, families, communities, and other stakeholders and provides easily understood pathways in a time of change. EMPHN teams have also worked with the seven community mental health organisations who provide the Psychosocial Transition Program to incorporate The Charter principles in their communications.
- The Charter has been pivotal in EMPHN’s lived experience project. In an effort to include a range of voices from people with lived experience to help shape services, how they receive them, and the future of the sector, we launched the ‘Better Together’ project. ‘Better Together’ will deliver a set recommendations to create important change in the way mental health services are delivered in the EMPHN community. EMPHN is also liaising with the national PHN’s Mental Health Lived Experience Engagement Network (MHLEEN) who are creating a lived experience online resource library, about helpful language resources around mental ill-health.
- EMPHN has used The Charter as a platform to share best practice language with suicide prevention stakeholders; it is referenced at events and functions, and stakeholders are provided with a version of the language guide. EMPHN has also played an advocacy role in encouraging stakeholders to adopt The Charter. As a result, our partner Neami National who delivers ‘LifeConnect: suicide prevention and support after suicide service’, has now signed The Charter.
Everymind Project Lead, Simont Pont said the implementation of The Charter in EMPHN's work is a fantastic result.
"EMPHN highlight just how easy it is to start implementing the principles of The Charter into projects. Using the principles as a foundation can help guide your communications, consultations and project work," said Mr Pont.
Find out more about Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network and their projects here.