New resources to support safe communication in National Suicide Prevention Trial site communities

Posted 16th November 2022 in Sector news

Everymind, in collaboration with The Black Dog Institute, has developed a set of new resources to support communications surrounding sensitive topics in Australian communities as part of the National Suicide Prevention Trial sites.

Based on initial discussions between a trial site working group and the Black Dog Institute to identify gaps in available resources, Everymind surveyed the trial sites to determine the final key themes of concern for which additional materials would be of most help.

The Black Dog Institute and Everymind (working through the Mindframe program) then led the development of five new resource cards providing guidance in communications about the following five topics:

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Financial Hardship
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Lack of Services
  • Natural disasters.

The Mindframe program encourages the promotion of help-seeking information in media articles and other public communications in which topics such as mental health, suicide and/or alcohol and drug use are discussed.

The aim of these new resources is to support trial sites, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and regional communities to communicate sensitively and safely around topics and events that are likely to impact or contribute to increased risk of mental ill-health and/or suicide.

As with previous Mindframe-based initiatives, these new resources provide guidance when communicating publicly about topics that can have a significant impact on help seeking behaviours and stigma. The new resources highlight the importance of including positive narratives alongside discussion of these complex topics.

Recent and ongoing flooding events in NSW and other areas of Australia highlight the need for these kinds of resources and guidance with so many communities impacted. The messaging in the resource ‘Communicating about natural disaster’ discusses the importance of recognising warning signs for poor mental health in others, encouraging help-seeking, and acknowledging the trauma and challenges people have experienced.

For topics such as financial hardship, the new resources provide information suggesting the inclusion of help-seeking information for relevant services that may be able to assist those experiencing the negative financial impact of factors such as gambling, debt or even the cost of natural disasters.

This new set of resources adds to the suite of resources and guidelines already available through the Mindframe program, while providing more specific guidance around topics where there is significant community need.

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