The Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter

The 2018 International Mental Health Conference is almost upon us again, this year the conference will be held over the 8th – 10th August at the RACV Royal Pines on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

This annual conference is now in its 19th year and continues to be the pinnacle event in the mental health industry. The Conference provides an invaluable opportunity to build relationships and to share knowledge, research and latest policies.

Ms Jo Rasmussen, Strategic Projects Coordinator, Murray PHN joins us at the conference to discuss ‘The Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter’.


This presentation will share the learning’s from two years of developing, implementing and promoting the Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter

The presentation will profile the project as an example of the innovation that can occur when an organization not only employs, but provides a healthy, supportive and productive environment for a person with a lived experience of mental illness. As a Strategic Project Officer at Murray PHN, Ms Rasmussen developed this concept.

The Stop Mental Illness Stigma Charter focuses on taking action against stigma by offering organizations the opportunity to adopt the Charter. The Charter is a series of commitments that encompass key recognized approaches to addressing stigma:

We will be informed
We will listen
We will be mindful of our language
We will be inclusive
We will challenge the stereotypes
We will be supportive
We will promote recovery

The Charter is supported by documents that provide further information on mental illness, understanding stigma and how to implement the Charter.

The Charter has two purposes:
To encourage improvements in organizational approaches to employees who have an experience of mental illness.
To encourage improvements in organizational approaches to clients & carers who have an experience of mental illness.

On signing the Charter, organizations display the pledge certificate, posters and associated documents in locations that include visible, public places within the organization. This visible display demonstrates to employees, clients and carers that the organization is committed to providing an environment that does not stigmatise mental illness. This presents a platform for conversation, and for raising concerns regarding stigmatisation, should it occur.

Adopting the Charter requires that discussions take place within signatory organizations regarding mental illness stigma, thus promoting an organizational culture that supports Recovery.


Jo is a Strategic Project Coordinator at Murray PHN, with a focus on the mental health sector. In addition to this work, she is also a mental health consumer representative at the local, state and national level, which has seen her involved in projects such as the development of the national mental health digital gateway. In both roles, Jo uses her experience of living with a mental illness to advocate for improvements in the mental health system, promote the importance of consumer and carer participation, conceived and went onto to develop, with Murray PHN, the stop mental illness stigma charter.

For further information on the 19th International Mental Health Conference and to secure your spot please visit