Guidelines and resources

The way we communicate about mental ill-health, suicide and alcohol and other drugs (AOD) can have either a positive or negative impact on a person’s life. The images we use in that communication are also important.

Images matter: Mindframe guidelines for image use is a practical, research-informed, and user-friendly resource that is designed for media and other communicators. It seeks to inform, support and empower people to select and use images in ways that minimise stigma and harm and maximise diversity of representation.

Incorporating these guidelines into practice will help to educate the public, break down misinformation and promote help-seeking, and help-offering behaviour.

This new resource was funded by the National Mental Health Commission and developed by Everymind in consultation with a diverse range of stakeholders in Australia.

The guidelines:

Use a diverse range of images

Images should show a diverse range of ages, genders, cultures, relationships and body shapes to reflect the diversity of the Australian population.

Use images of people who have personal or lived experience only with their knowledge or permission

Lived experience perspectives should be included when possible, ensuring that permission has been granted from the individual.

Use images that model hope or support

Including images that focus on offering or seeking help can reduce stigma, offer hope and increase protective factors.

Consider images you use as they can be helpful or harmful depending on the context

Specific guidance is available on images relating to mental ill-health, suicide, alcohol and other drugs, and disordered eating.

Consider practical elements such as accessibility or style

Images, artwork and symbols should be accessible and clear to limit any miscommunication.

View and download Images matter: Mindframe guidelines for image use

Supporting resources

Further to this Mindframe online image collection, the following resources have been developed to support implementation of Images matter: Mindframe guidelines for image use.

Images matter checklist

A handy checklist was developed to make image selection simpler, when communicating about mental health and ill-health, suicide and AOD. It is designed to be broad and overarching for ease, simplicity and timeliness of image selection.

Images matter guidance cards

Quick-use reference cards designed to provide specific examples of problematic and preferred images, so communicators can consider the impacts of their image selection.

Mental ill-health
Suicide and self-harm
Eating disorders