For a change, this feature is about what we have pledged as Compassionate Cuppa. We are concerned with all things mental health – whether it's awareness, fighting stigma, issues regarding service provision or lack of resources, mental illness prevention, self-harm and suicide concerns. Our wellbeing is something we all need – it's not an add on or 'nice to have'; thus we do everything we can to promote our messages to everyone, hopefully in an inclusive manner. Mental health and wellbeing is everyone's business, not just for people who have mental health challenges.
We provide a service, which includes giving advice, strategies, resources out to our audience and those that engage with us. Some of these messages are in person, written material or online content. Therefore, we have a responsibility to our audience regarding the words or images we use in this work. We are aware that some people could be vulnerable or be emotionally affected by our content. There is power in imagery and language which we will use responsibility to help educate and reduce stigma regarding mental health. Terminology and the use of some words matter, particularly if the use perpetuates stereotypes or judgements. This can cause damage or hurt to the very people we are trying to help.
Therefore the Mental Health Media Charter is a symbol of the responsibilities we have signed up to, developed by Natasha Devon MBE.
The full details of the Charter is at: https://www.natashadevon.com/the-mental-health-media-charter.
We hope that more organisations that promote mental health messages through their media can do the same. Our messages are powerful, if only if it's done collectively in a responsible way. Make it mental health friendly!