A moving mayoral minute has called on Maitland councillors to sign a charter pledging their support to a unified approach to mental health and suicide prevention.
Councillors unanimously supported the minute to note the charter and take time to deliberate on signing the document at the next meeting.
At the meeting, which also coincided with World Suicide Prevention Day, mayor Loretta Baker implored councillors to consider the importance of signing the National Communications Charter: A unified approach to mental health and suicide prevention.
"It's a timely reminder of the great loss that we have every day in our country due to suicide," Cr Baker said.
"The number of people between 15-years-old and 44-years-old who die from suicide is more than the number killed in motor vehicle accidents. It's a tragic loss of young lives.
"The national communications charter is about removing the stigma from suicide. It's about using a language that is safe and respectful, and respected the lived experiences of everyone."
The charter promotes a common language in mental health, mental illness and suicide and equips organisations and individuals with a set of eight principles to support how we respond to and communicate about suicide.
"We have a big opportunity here to advocate for suicide prevention in our communities, our schools and our country," Cr Baker said.
The charter was launched by Health Minister Greg Hunt in 2018.
"I believe in this case ... awareness and our perceptions of the language that is out there in the community and people use do can make a real world difference to the outcomes," Cr Ben Whiting added.
"Any part we can play in improving that culture, discourse and language really will save lives.
"There's a lot of people touched by suicide in our community, and going forward how we can make that better ourselves in our families, in our workplaces and in our council."