Use Safe Storytelling to Communicate Sensitively About Mental Health and Address Stigma

Safe storytelling is an approach to communicating about mental health that prioritises safety of the person sharing their story, safety of people hearing their story and reducing stigma about mental health.

Effective storytelling is a powerful way to raise awareness about risk factors and early warning signs and promote ways people can find support. 

Safe stories have these key features: 

  • Messages of hope 
  • Avoidance of blame
  • Consideration of the effect on the audience 
  • Empowering 

The term ‘safety’ is used broadly, with the view to protect the psychological, social and physical wellbeing of the player telling the story as well as anyone hearing it. This guide is for media professionals and club officials in AFL football clubs, communication teams, state league football administrators and anyone working with or supporting players who would like to share the story of their mental health journey and recovery.