Updated National communications charter released

Posted 17th April 2024

Everymind is pleased to announce the National communications charter (the Charter) and supporting tools and resources have been updated and are now available on the Life in Mind portal.

First launched in September 2018, the Charter is an evidence-informed document to help guide the way mental health and suicide prevention sectors, governments, businesses, communities and individuals communicate about mental health and wellbeing, mental health concerns and suicide.

The type of language we use to communicate about these themes can contribute to stigma and alienate members of the community. The Charter is a unified approach to suicide prevention and mental health communications, which through its guiding principles supports to reduce stigma and promote help-seeking and help-offering behaviours.

The Charter and accompanying tools and resources have been updated to reflect the latest recommended safe language guidelines following development of the Mindframe Our words matter: Guidelines for language use. The research-informed guidelines help inform, support and empower use of language and terminologies in ways that minimise harm, stigma and discrimination while maximising diversity of representation and encouraging help-seeking behaviour.

Redevelopment of the Charter has also been guided by the Life in Mind Champions who represent the diverse needs of the mental health and suicide prevention sectors, government, industry and priority populations.

Through the Champions' guidance and support, updates have been made to the Charter principles, including consolidation to seven principles, and ensuring voices of those with lived and living experience remain central. Mr Mark Leopold, Head of Growth and Innovation at Transitioning Well, and Life in Mind Champion, stated:

A new principal relating specifically to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is also now included in the Charter. Professor Pat Dudgeon AM, Centre of Best Practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention commented:

Supporting tools and resources have also been extended to include three new action guides for specific settings including organisations, communities and for individuals. And to further support signatories to action the Charter, two new online learning modules have been designed to develop skills in understanding how to safely communicate.

Course participants will delve into the practical application of the seven principles of the Charter, gaining valuable insight into how evidence-informed communication can be effectively applied in various settings.

This newly developed online training consists of two modules, including:

  • Module 1 (15 minutes): Provides foundational knowledge of mental health, social and emotional wellbeing, mental health concerns and suicide.
  • Module 2 (15 minutes): Explores the Charter’s principles and how to apply them across settings.

The updated Charter and supporting tools and resources are being released ahead of the National Suicide Prevention Conference being held 30 April – 2 May 2024 in Adelaide.

We invite existing signatories and those interested in signing the Charter who are attending the conference to visit the Everymind booth to learn more and collect your free copy of the latest Charter booklet.

Everyone is encouraged to sign the Charter and download the full suite of resources to support implementation here.

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