Mindframe welcomes the launch of the #StigmaPledge campaign, a joint partnership between SANE Australia and Everymind, which is calling for a stigma-free 2019 Federal Election.
The campaign is calling on all members of Parliament, candidates and political journalists to sign a #StigmaPledge and in doing so, agreeing to avoid using language, which stigmatises mental ill-health leading up to and during the 2019 Federal Election.
The #StigmaPledge campaign has been fuelled by increasing concerns across the metal health and suicide prevention sector about the use of unsafe and stigmatising language in political discourse.
By signing the pledge, members of Parliament, candidates and political journalists agree to use, reflect, and display a standard of speech that adheres to the Mindframe guidelines.
This includes avoiding the use of stereotypes, myths and stigma associated with mental ill-health and suicide.
Everymind Suicide Prevention Acting Program Manager, Sara Bartlett said the evidence is clear, language matters and members of Parliament need to lead by example in using safe, inclusive and respectful language.
“It is incredibly important to be aware of how descriptive phrases such as ‘political suicide’, ‘suicide economy’, ‘crazy decision’, ‘political madness’ and ‘psychotic pollies’, among others, can have a harmful effects on those living with mental health conditions and their carers and loved ones,” Sara said.
“Simple terminology, when used out of context can also greatly contribute to the perpetuation of stereotypes and myths, which as a result reduce help-seeking behaviour.
“Mindframe has worked closely with SANE Australia and the StigmaWatch team in the lead up to today and I would like to acknowledge the collaboration, which has been achieved as part of this important campaign.”
SANE Australia and Everymind have been working together to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues since 2002.
Mindframe’s work and guidelines inform the SANE StigmaWatch initiative, which ensures media outlets report on mental health issues and suicide safely and accurately in order to reduce stigma, improve community awareness and minimise harm.
For more information around the #StigmaPledge campaign including finding out how to support or sign the pledge, please visit: https://www.sane.org/stigmapledge.
For more information about the Mindframe guidelines please visit: https://mindframe.org.au/mental-health/communicating-about-mental-ill-health/mindframe-guidelines.