Hunter New England and Central Coast (HNECC) PHN has pledged their commitment to the National Communications Charter (The Charter) to help reduce stigma and promote the use of safe language around mental health, mental illness and suicide.
On Wednesday, 15 January 2020, Life in Mind was pleased to support the HNECC PHN in signing The Charter and implementing the core principles in a strengths-based regional approach to suicide prevention. HNECC PHN CEO, Richard Nankervis signed The Charter on behalf of the organisation.
The Charter is a resource and uniting document for people in the mental health and suicide prevention sectors, government, business and community groups, which guides the way we talk about mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, mental ill-health and suicide prevention.
Signing The Charter by HNECC PHN is important, as Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have a very broad and influential role in contributing to suicide prevention, early intervention and in reducing the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness in Australia.
By becoming a signatory, HNECC PHN demonstrates a commitment to reducing stigmatising language and promoting help-seeking and help-offering behaviour. The organisation can set a standard of communication for commissioning services to follow. By encouraging all services to communicate safely about mental health and suicide, and make mental health a priority HNECC PHN is reducing stigma and encouraging help-seeking behaviours.
Everymind's Suicide Prevention Program Manager, Marc Bryant said modelling safe and consistent language in primary care will impact on changing the knowledge and attitudes around mental health and suicide.
"It’s great that Everymind has been able to work in partnership with HNECC PHN and see the impact suicide prevention and mental activity has had, and will continue to have, at a regional level,” he said.
HNECC PHN aims to implement The Charter principles in a stepped approach in 2020 and will continue to work collaboratively with the services of HNECC PHN to improve mental health and prevent mental ill-health and suicide. They encourage other PHNs and organisations to do the same to make a difference to the mental health of all Australians.
To find out how you or your organisation can become a signatory of The Charter, please visit: www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/the-charter