Words and Images

About the project:

Words and Images is a set of guidelines and supporting resources designed to support the way we communicate about mental health and wellbeing, mental health concerns, suicide and self-harm, eating disorders, and alcohol and other drugs (AOD).

The guidelines are practical, research-informed, user-friendly and are designed for media, researchers, service providers and anyone seeking to communicate safely via words and imagery. These resources seek to inform, support and empower people to select and use images and words that minimise harm and maximise the diversity of representation.

Incorporating these guidelines into practice will help educate the public, break down misinformation, and promote help-seeking and help-offering behaviour.

Guidelines, resources and other outputs from the project were developed and launched in stages in October 2022 (Images matter) and April 2023 (Our words matter) respectively.

This project is funded by the National Mental Health Commission, and forms part of a long-term vision for an Australian society where stigma and discrimination, based on experiences of mental ill-health, suicidal distress and alcohol and other drug use, are no longer barriers to all people living long and contributing lives.

Words and Images Project Advisory Group

The Words and Images project is informed by a number of different stakeholder groups. The Project Advisory Group contributes diverse views and expertise, guiding the project activities, outcomes, and supports wider engagement across multiple sectors; members include:

Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM (Co-Chair), Everymind, Director

Stefani Caminiti (Co-Chair), The Inner Ninja Foundation, CEO and Founder

Allison Lubransky-Moy, Gayaa Dhuwi, Operations and Policy Lead

Amelia Banks, Suicide Prevention Australia, Communications Manager

Nikki Hogan, Mental Health Australia, Partnerships Manager

Sophie Plumridge, SANE Australia, Director for Communications and Engagement

Ina Mullin, National Mental Health Commission, Director Engagement & Communication

Zed Tintor (they/them, she/her), LGBTIQ+ Health Australia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Ruth Das, Embrace (Mental Health Australia), National Project Manager - National Multicultural Mental Health Project

Sejla Stammers, Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Senior Project Manager

Adj. A/Prof. Learne Durrington B.Soc.Wk MPPM GAICD CHE ACHSM, Western Australia Primary Health Alliance, Chief Executive Officer

Heather McIntyre, University of South Australia, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research and Education Group, Research Assistant

Mahlie Jewell, SANE Australia, Peer Ambassador

Bucky Toller, Department of Veterans Affairs, Assistant Director for Veteran Mental Health, Open Arms

Phoebe Kingston, SANE Australia, Peer Ambassador

Julie Holmes, Roses in the Ocean, Visual Content Specialist

Dr Louise La Sala, Orygen, Research Fellow

Caitlin Evans, Communications Specialist

Dominic Hilbrink, Fortem Australia, Senior Clinician

For more information about the Words and Images project, please contact Dr Elizabeth Paton, Project Lead.

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