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Suicide Prevention Communications Charter

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Health

The Hodgman Liberal Government is working to improve Tasmania’s mental health and suicide prevention responses, and increasing community understanding around these issues is key to achieving that.

That’s why we have supported and funded the Mental Health Council of Tasmania to develop and implement the Tasmanian Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Charter - in partnership with leading national mental health institute Everymind.

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, we are launching the Charter. The Charter will help Tasmanians to talk and communicate around mental ill-health and suicide in a way that promotes increased help-seeking, while also reducing stigma and ensuring that we are not inadvertently doing harm through inappropriate ways of communicating and media reporting.

Tasmania is the first state in the nation to adopt the National Communications Charter and adapt it for Tasmania.

This is an important initiative under the Government’s Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy 2016-2020, and is part of our plan to continue making Tasmanians’ lives better.

All Tasmanians interested in helping prevent suicide and reducing its impact in the community are encouraged to sign the charter and support its aims at https://www.tascharter.org/

The Tasmanian Government is continuing to focus on delivering our plan to build a better mental health system, so we can provide the care Tasmanians need in the right place and at the right time.

Our $95 million plan is all in line with the Rethink Mental Health Plan and includes more mental health beds, acute child and adolescent mental health facilities for the first time ever, and more community-based support – exactly what the MHCT and stakeholders called for last week.

We will continue to work closely with key mental health stakeholders, like the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, and consumers so that we get this right.

For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp

The Mindframe Guidelines to for responsible reporting on suicide can also be found at: http://www.mindframe-media.info/for-media