The Premier’s Council on Suicide Prevention is moving forward in its efforts to tackle South Australia’s suicide rate by signing and implementing the National Communications Charter. The decision was made at the recent third meeting of the Council, which is led by the Hon John Dawkins MLC, Premier’s Advocate for Suicide Prevention, and made up of members from a variety of backgrounds with extensive experience in the fields of mental health and suicide prevention.
The Life in Mind National Communications Charter, developed by Everymind, is a wide-ranging guiding resource about communication surrounding mental health and suicide prevention, for people in the mental health, government, business and community sectors. The Charter was developed with community consultation following a recognition that there was a need for improved collaboration and consistent messaging throughout the mental health and suicide prevention sector.
The Charter promotes communication which principally does no harm, but also works to increase help-seeking and help-offering behaviour, and discourages stigmatising language which can prevent people from seeking help. As signatories to the Charter, the Council has pledged to promote open, person-centred and respectful language, and support efforts to promote appropriate help services and information when mental illness or suicide is referenced in stories or programs by the media.
“The Council and I are committed to working together with the state’s suicide prevention networks and volunteer groups, to ensure that community awareness, education programs and other activities are coordinated and consistent” Mr Dawkins said.
“Suicide claims too many lives in South Australia and the signing of this Charter is an important step in ensuring communities are provided with consistent information and messages, to avoid misinformation or confusion and reduce stigma”.
“We are looking forward to continuing to engage with the community about mental health and suicide prevention, and to increase participation in suicide prevention strategies”.