©2018 by Association of Mental Health Advocates.

Representing those who campaign for, work for, or simply hope for a world with better treatment for those experiencing or who have experienced mental ill health

Speaker's Charter

More and more we find ourselves with opportunities to talk to others about mental health and mental ill health and often this involves sharing stories of our and others' lived experiences.

 

In order to best protect ourselves and those in the audience we ask that you adhere to a common charter for your talks.

If you are commissioning someone to speak on this subject please check that your speaker is aware of these points and where/if they or you expect to deviate from these guidelines then you understand the reasons why, the potential impact, and how any risk to people's safety will be mitigated.

​Speakers' Charter

  1. Speak to the safety aspects of yourself and the attendees at the open and close of your session

  2. Be mindful of the topic and the potential for triggering and secondary trauma; therefore only give relevant information avoiding ego, exaggeration and sensationalisation

  3. Focus on recovery and hope

  4. Ensure there is on site support for attendees post speaking

  5. Ensure you have support post speaking. Regular supervision/therapy is strongly encouraged.

  6. Understand the purpose of the event and the needs of the hosting organisation and attendees

  7. Ensure content is appropriate to the audience demographic

  8. Ensure evidence based guidance is used to support any recovery model examples

  9. Ensure attendees are signposted to post event support within the organisation/venue and externally

  10. Be mindful of language used in that it is appropriate, respectful and takes account of shifting attitudes towards MH terminology

  11. Be aware that the more you tell your story the more comfortable you may become with it and there may be an urge to keep adding depth and further details. Remember this session is in service of the audience and not a therapeutic session for you. Ensure you have worked through any new aspects with your supervisor/therapist before speaking to it in a session.

 

Plus adhere to the The Mental Health Media Charter (www.natashadevon.com).

 

You will do your best NOT to:

  1. Use the phrase ‘commit suicide’ or ‘successful suicide’.

  2. Show ‘before’ images in eating disorder stories or pictures which could be triggering to people who self-harm.

  3. Use the term ‘anorexics’, ‘bulimics’, ‘depressives’ or ‘schizophrenics’….

  4. Give too much detail on suicide/self-harm or eating disorder methodology.

  5. Use generic terms like ‘mental health issues’ when describing terrorists and other violent criminals

  6. Understand the difference between mental health and mental ill health.

  7. Include links to good quality sources of support if content might trigger need for help in a reader/viewer.