In welcome news SANE Australia’s StigmaWatch program has been expanded to now provide education and support for media professionals when communicating about Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD).
The StigmaWatch for Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) program was established to support implementation of the Mindframe AOD guidelines.
The evidence-informed guidelines aim to positively influence the quality of media reporting on AOD-related issues, improve community attitudes towards people living with issues related to AOD use and increase help-seeking behaviour.
The guidelines include detailed information on:
- Communicating about someone who uses alcohol and other drugs
- Helpful ways to communicate about alcohol and other drugs
- Harmful ways to communicate about alcohol and other drugs
- Language advice
- Help-seeking information and services
- Detailed evidence about the impact of media reporting
To help minimise harm on vulnerable audiences, reporting problematic media coverage of AOD to StigmaWatch is encouraged.
This process is easy, anonymous, and will help improve community attitudes towards people living with drug and alcohol issues; and increase help-seeking behaviour by people who would like assistance with their AOD use.
The StigmaWatch team reviews each report independently and provides feedback and advice to ensure the media fairly and accurately portray the use of AOD.
Everymind Acting Project Manager, Sara Bartlett acknowledges we all have a role to play in stopping stigma in its tracks.
“The inclusion of AOD into the scope of SANE Australia’s StigmaWatch program is a significant step forwards towards reducing the stigmatisation and marginalisation of people impacted by AOD, suicide and mental ill-health,” said Ms Bartlett.
To learn more about StigmaWatch AOD, or to submit a report, please visit www.sane.org/services/stigmawatch
If you would like to know more about Mindframe AOD guidelines, receive free training on the evidence behind the guidelines and how to implement them, please contact the Mindframe team via [email protected] or 02 4924 6900.