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Monitoring mental health and suicide prevention reform: National Report 2020

A note on language

The Commission acknowledges that language surrounding mental health and suicide can be powerful, loaded and at times contested. Often, preferences differ across groups of people, and there is no single consensus on preferred terminology. Given this, the Commission has been conscious to use terminology throughout this report that is both most respectful and preferred by the majority of people to whom the terminology refers.

This report covers a broad range of topics in relation to mental health. The language used to discuss these topics has adhered to the language conventions outlined in the Life in Mind National Communications Charter, where applicable. This Charter represents a unified approach and promotes a common language when referring to issues around mental health, mental illness and suicide, with the intention of reducing stigma and promoting help-seeking behaviours. For these reasons, the Commission aligns its terminology in this report with the conventions in the Charter.

Where using certain terminology may misrepresent a source being cited, the terminology used by the source has been used.

For a detailed list of definitions of terms used throughout this report, refer to the Glossary of Terms at the end of the report.

The Commission endorses the Mindframe Media Reporting Guidelines and requests that any media using this report do so in accordance with the Guidelines.

Aboriginal flag Torres Strait Islander flag

Acknowledgement of Country

The Commission acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands throughout Australia.
We pay our respects to their clans, and to the elders, past present and emerging, and acknowledge their continuing connection to land, sea and community.


The Commission is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. The Commission welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lived Experience

We acknowledge the individual and collective contributions of those with a lived and living experience of mental ill-health and suicide, and those who love, have loved and care for them. Each person’s journey is unique and a valued contribution to Australia’s commitment to mental health suicide prevention systems reform.