NRSPP commits to safe communication and the prevention of suicides in road transport

Posted 23rd November 2022 in The Charter

The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) has signed the National Communications Charter (The Charter), demonstrating a formal commitment to using safe and non-stigmatising communication about mental ill-health and suicide.

The NRSPP is a collaborative network for Australian organisations to ensure effective road safety strategies are present in the workplace, and is delivered by the Accident Research Centre, Monash University.

Since 2019, the program has been collaboratively leading the Austroads-funded project, Suicide in Road Transport Prevention (SRTP). The project identified there is a significant impact and ripple effect following a traumatic event such as suicide which can be long lasting and the impact on third parties, particularly truck drivers, is often not fully recognised. A key issue is suicide events on the road network are not documented, and often involve community stigma and therefore go unrecognised so there is little to no support.

A key recommendation from the SRTP project was how crucial it is to safely talk about suicide events within the road network which is why the NRSPP signed The Charter.

Through signing The Charter, the NRSPP has made a commitment to ensure that mental ill-health and suicide prevention components within its programs align to the eight principles of The Charter. The organisation also encourages partners and other organisations to sign The Charter, to contribute towards the prevention of suicides in road transport.

Director of the NRSPP, Jerome Carslake says The Charter aligns with NRSPP’s own charter to empower organisations through learning, sharing and collaboration to develop evidence-based best practices.

“Our NRSPP Charter is similar to the National Communications Charter. Our task is to reduce road trauma, of which we rely on to achieve through our networks and partners. The National Communications Charter has the same approach; everyone needs to share the responsibility to change stigma, reduce suicidality and work together,” said Mr Carslake.

Mr Carslake also highlighted how stigma reduction through communication can help to prevent suicide.

“If you can realise that there is a way for [those with suicidal thoughts] to get help, then they can turn the ship around. If you remove stigma you can talk about it.”

The NRSPP aims to lead in mental health and suicide prevention promotion and communication to help partners and associates of the NRSPP to understand and action the principles of The Charter.

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