Fighting stigma is essential to improving the lives of people affected by mental illness. It's more than political correctness. It’s about reducing stigmatising language, which can reinforce discrimination.
SANE StigmaWatch reflects and acts on community concern about media stories, advertisements and representations that stigmatise people with mental illness or inadvertently promote self-harm or suicide.
There are hundreds of StigmaWatchers throughout Australia – people with a mental illness, family, friends, and others - who care about how mental illness and suicide are represented in the Australian media and forward their reports to StigmaWatch.
When SANE StigmaWatch receives a positive, or negative report, the submission is researched and analysed using the Mindframe guidelines and media industry codes of conduct.
If a report is found to be inappropriate, StigmaWatch informs the media or business of the reason for complaint, and encourages the amendment or removal of the item.
Take action against stigma
Have you seen an incident in the Australian news-media you feel stigmatises mental illness or suicide? Or maybe a report has responsibly covered the issue of mental illness or suicide.
What is stigma?
Stigma against people with a mental illness involves inaccurate and hurtful representations of them as violent, comical or incompetent – dehumanising and making people an object of fear or ridicule.
Reports submitted by the public are evaluated against the Mindframe National Media Initiative’s Reporting Suicide and Mental Illness guidelines and the StigmaWatch Criteria.
SANE Guide to Reducing Stigma
This free resource describes what stigma means, explains the harm that stigma in the media does, and gives practical suggestions on how to engage journalists and reduce it.
SANE StigmaWatch Report
Established in 1999, SANE Australia's StigmaWatch program pioneered stigma-reduction through tackling media representation of mental illness and suicide.
The SANE StigmaWatch Report reviews the program's history, shows how media reporting has improved and highlights areas that require further attention or campaigns.SANE StigmaWatch Report