The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2012-10-16T00:19:44Z Half of Australia’s carers are depressed – making a hard job even harder 2012-10-16T00:19:44Z half-of-australia-s-carers-are-depressed-making-a-hard-job-even-harder Research suggests that more than half of Australia’s carers (56 per cent) have at least moderate depression and a fifth of them have severe depression. Research also shows that due to the constant and sometimes overwhelming nature of their roles, these people are often at greater risk of developing depression.  With one in eight Australians supporting a family member or friend who is unwell, that amounts to thousands of people at risk of depression. CEO of beyondblue, Kate Carnell AO, said when a person has depression or anxiety, it’s like the ripple effect of a stone being thrown into a pond. “It’s not just the person with depression or anxiety who is affected, it’s their partners, parents, children, extended family members, friends and colleagues who are likely to be affected as well. “With a million people in Australia having depression at any one time – and over two million experiencing an anxiety disorder, many people are supporting or caring for someone who’s having a tough time, or coping with the repercussions of their mental health problems. Just do the maths; it’s a huge problem for our community. “While the spotlight is on the army of carers Australia-wide this week, it’s a good time to remember, it’s a round-the-clock commitment, 52 weeks a year. “It’s important that carers look after their own mental health and if they are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, seek help from a GP. Some symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, unhappy, tired, rundown, worried, anxious, panicky, having difficulty calming down or sleeping, and not wanting to go out. “It is even harder for a carer if your own health is not good,” Ms Carnell said. beyondblue has a free booklet and free DVD aimed specifically at helping people who support and care for someone with depression or anxiety.  The resources provide practical strategies, advice and guidance on how to deal with situations people in a caring role may face. These resources were produced in association with people who have cared for family members with mental health problems and who know what a tough job it can be. The booklet beyondblue Guide for Carers and the DVD Carers’ Stories of Hope and Recovery can be ordered via the website www.beyondblue.org.au or by calling the info line 1300 22 4636. The booklet is also available in Greek, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin, Dari and Vietnamese.   New research shows more seniors get depression info online 2012-10-05T08:32:10Z new-research-shows-more-seniors-get-depression-info-online  beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO says beyondblue’s Depression Monitor survey shows that in the past seven years, the number of older Victorians turning to the internet to find information about depression has increased three-fold... up from 10 % in 2005 to 30 % in 2012. “This is fantastic news because we know that older people are often reluctant to talk to friends and family about their mental health. If they can use a computer and search the internet, there is a wealth of reliable information online about depression and anxiety including interactive checklists and e-health programs that they can look at privately. “We also know that older people tend to focus on their physical health and are comfortable accepting treatment for those ailments, but often they don’t want to talk about their mental health. However, what they might not realise is that some physical ailments may be symptoms of depression or anxiety, and these problems can be alleviated with the right treatment,” she said. Older people can be at risk of developing depression and anxiety for a range of reasons including physical health problems, chronic pain, medication side-effects, social isolation and feelings of loss associated with reduced independence, work and income, mobility and relationships. Besides having a low mood or feeling sad, other signs of depression include feeling restless, disturbed sleep, changes in appetite, headaches and unexplained pains, and general slowing down. Symptoms of anxiety include excessive worrying, increased heart rate, feeling shaky and short of breath. Ms Carnell said: “beyondblue is aware of the importance of having information available online specifically for older people. Other figures reinforce what the Depression Monitor tells us, that internet usage by people over 50 is rapidly increasing, so we’re endeavoring to meet their needs.” According to research by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at Swinburne University of Technology, older age groups experienced the most growth in internet usage between 2007 and 2009 with the 50-64 group going from 66.1% to 79.2%and those aged 65 or over, up from 29.8% to 40.0%. Besides www.beyondblue.org.au having a dedicated information page for older people, beyondblue has online: Checklists to check symptoms of depression or anxiety www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=103.99 An interactive awareness exercise (designed for use in the workplace, but suitable for everyone) that will test your knowledge about depression and anxiety http://learn.beyondblue-elearning.org.au/BeyondBlue/ The Shed Onlinewww.theshedonline.org.au, an online version of a Men’s Shed where men can be part of a community, socialise, share information and chat to new mates An e-mental Health Directory which links to a range of self-help internet-based programs aimed at helping people to prevent, treat and manage depression and anxiety www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=107.1203 “We know that being isolated and feeling lonely may contribute to depression, so connecting with people online is a great way to stay in touch, find information and even try some online therapy, but I suggest, once you’ve done your research, you visit a GP or another health professional to discuss the treatments that are available,” Ms Carnell said. While the precise rates of depression and anxiety in older people are not yet known, a recent study commissioned by beyondblue suggests between 10-15% of older people living in the community experience depression symptoms and approximately 10% experience anxiety. Rates of depression in residential aged care facilities are thought to be much higher, with another Australian study showing 34.7% of aged care residents experience depression. *During the Victorian Seniors Festival, beyondblue will have a stall at Federation Square and will hold two information sessions at the Festival Hub, Melbourne Town Hall on Monday 8 October at 11 am and 1 pm. *For more info about events and activities go to www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au *For info about Council on the Ageing’s FREE depression & anxiety info sessions, call COTA VIC – 9654 4443 *Follow us on Twitter @beyondblueorg or ‘Like us” on Facebook.               Survey shows more than one in four Australians wrongly think people with severe depression should ‘pull themselves together and push on’ 2012-10-05T01:59:58Z survey-shows-more-than-one-in-four-australians-wrongly-think-people-with-severe-depression-should-pull-themselves-together-and-push-on beyondblue congratulates AFL on showing anti-homophobia ads at finals – but urges a long-term commitment 2012-09-21T02:51:45Z beyondblue-congratulates-afl-on-showing-anti-homophobia-ads-at-finals-but-urges-a-long-term-commitment Mr Kennett  said the showing of the No to Homophobia TV ads on the  big screen at tonight’s game between Sydney and Collingwood, and tomorrow’s clash between Hawthorn and Adelaide means the AFL is taking a stand  on discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or intersex (GLBTI) people. Showing the ads tonight and tomorrow is a good first step in a campaign that will need to be ongoing.  “I think the majority of Australians believe discrimination is simply unacceptable.  Discriminating against someone just for being themselves is wrong. The AFL has done a great job in curbing racist behaviour and comments in the AFL community, and I believe it can achieve similar results with regard to discrimination against gay men and others in the GLBTI community. “I want to congratulate Yarra Glen footballer Jason Ball, who is gay, for having the guts to speak out publicly and organise a petition to encourage the AFL to show the anti-homophobia ads.  Hopefully, his actions will allow other footballers to feel safe in being honest about their sexuality,” Mr Kennett said. Earlier this month, beyondblue launched a major national awareness campaign aimed at reducing discrimination and bullying particularly against young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or intersex (GLBTI) people. beyondblue CEO, Ms Carnell said she hopes the AFL will also promote beyondblue’s recently-produced antidiscrimination ads. “Besides the No to Homophobia ads, beyondblue, together withMovember, has contributed $1.5 million to a major national antidiscrimination and stigma-reduction campaign which includes cinema ads, TV, print and outdoor ads, and personal video stories from GLBTI people who have experienced depression and anxiety as a result of discrimination.” The ads focus on the outdated practice of past generations which forced children who were born left-handed to use their right hand, as this was deemed to be ‘correct’. Mr Kennett said: “Now it seems ludicrous that adults tried to make left-handed children conform to what they considered was the ‘right way’ of doing things. This campaign draws a parallel between past behaviour towards left-handed people and our current approach towards the GLBTI community. Is it all right to be left-handed? Of course. Is it all right to be gay or lesbian? Of course.” Ms Carnell said: “beyondblue research shows that, discrimination is a major contributing factor to depression and anxiety, and risk of suicide. GLBTI people are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population and are at greater risk of suicide and self-harm. Almost half hide their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations fearing violence or discrimination – with young people aged 16 to 24 years more likely to do so than any other age group. “beyondblue wants to reduce discriminatory and stigmatising, behaviour and attitudes that cause people real psychological distress which can lead to depression, anxiety and suicide. Discrimination, shame and stigma often stop people from getting help. “Things need to change. We want everyone in Australia to STOP the discrimination, THINK about how comments you make could cause real distress and harm, and RESPECT people who are different from you,” Ms Carnell said.     National Stroke Week – 10 to 16 September 2012-09-12T01:11:44Z national-stroke-week-10-to-16-september-3 This week is National Stroke Week (10-16 September) - a good time to reflect on the link between depression and anxiety for people who have experienced a stroke.Up to two-thirds of people who have a stroke will experience depression and although it is more common in the first year after the stroke - stroke survivors, friends and family need to be aware of the symptoms of depression so treatment is accessed at an early stage.Stroke survivors need significant support before they can return to their daily lives – and research shows that many are at increased risk of developing depression.CEO of beyondblue Ms Kate Carnell AO said that managing a chronic illness, like stroke, places many demands and pressures on people with the illness and their carers - and can leave people feeling particularly anxious.“It can be tough managing treatments and symptoms, and this can get people down…and we know that ongoing stress and worry can lead to people developing depression and anxiety disorders,” she said.“Depression can often go unrecognised and undiagnosed in people who have had a stroke because the two disorders have many symptoms in common such as problems with memory, difficulty controlling emotions, mood and tiredness.“Stroke often occurs in older people and depression can be dismissed as being part of the ageing process, but this is not true and there are treatments that work.”beyondblue has produced specific resources for people who have had a stroke and their carers. There is a FREE DVD and factsheet available.The Tackling depression after stroke DVD, developed with the National Stroke Foundation, features interviews with stroke survivors, their families and their carers, and a psychiatrist who all speak candidly about how depression commonly affects stroke survivors and their carers.The DVD provides helpful insights for people who have experienced stroke and is useful to GPs, counsellors and other health professionals. It also features an interview with a psychiatrist who talks about the signs of depression after stroke and effective treatments.Ms Carnell said: “If people who’ve had a stroke have no interest in their usual activities and are getting little enjoyment out of life, they should talk to their doctor or health professional about the possibility of depression and anxiety.“It’s important that carers of people who have had a stroke look after themselves too, as they are also at increased risk of developing mental health problems. Don’t feel your problems aren’t important. If things are getting you down, talk to your doctor,” she saidTo order the FREE DVD, fact sheet on stroke and depression, or information to support carers, go to www.beyondblue.org.au or call the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636.To interview Kate Carnell, contact: beyondblue (03) 9810 6100Claire Quinn / 0438 680 019 or Julie Foster / 0409 433 501beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative – www.beyondblue.org.au or 1300 22 4636  beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett disappointed ACL rejects his offer to speak at conference 2012-09-10T01:04:55Z beyondblue-chairman-jeff-kennett-disappointed-acl-rejects-his-offer-to-speak-at-conference-3 beyondblue Chairman, The Hon. Jeff Kennett says he is not surprised that Mr Jim Wallace, the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has rejected his offer to speak at the ACL’s national conference in October, following the Prime Minister’s cancellation of her scheduled speech.Prime Minister Gillard withdrew from the conference last week following comments made by Mr Wallace comparing the deleterious health outcomes of smoking with those of gay marriage.Mr Kennett said: “It’s really disappointing that the ACL has declined my offer to speak at their conference. I would have thought they would have been keen to hear a different point of view, one which I believe is held by the majority of Australians – and that is, that discrimination is simply unacceptable.“It is hard to believe that people who call themselves Christians would support an approach that so overtly causes harm to so many people.“I urge Jim Wallace and the ACL to reconsider their position. STOP the discrimination, THINK about how comments you make could cause real distress and harm, and RESPECT people who are different from you,” he said.beyondblue research shows that, discrimination is a major contributing factor to depression and anxiety, and risk of suicide. Gay, lesbian, bi, trans and intersex (GLBTI) people in particular, face widespread discrimination which contributes to much higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population.GLBTI people are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population and are at greater risk of suicide and self-harm. Almost half hide their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations fearing violence or discrimination – with young people aged 16 to 24 years more likely to do so than any other age group.Last week, beyondblue together withMovember, launched a $1.5 million national antidiscrimination and stigma-reduction campaign which includes cinema ads, TV, print and outdoor ads, and personal video stories from GLBTI people who have experienced depression and anxiety as a result of discrimination. The ads and videos can also be seen on beyondblue’s Facebook and Youtube pages and at www.beyondblue.org.au and www.lefthand.org.auThe ads focus on the outdated practice of past generations which forced children who were born left-handed to use their right hand, as this was deemed to be ‘correct’.Mr Kennett said: “Now it seems ludicrous that adults tried to make left-handed children conform to what they considered was the ‘right way’ of doing things. This campaign draws a parallel and makes us question if some people in our community aren’t doing exactly the same thing to people whose sexuality or gender identification is different. Is it all right to be left-handed? Of course. Is it all right to be gay or lesbian? Of course.”Mr Kennett is overseas. For further comment, beyondblue CEO Ms Kate Carnell AO is available. Contact: Julie Foster 0409 433 501  Make the pledge to find out the signs of depression – You could save a life. 2012-09-07T08:38:39Z make-the-pledge-to-find-out-the-signs-of-depression-you-could-save-a-life Every day in Australia, 65 people will end up in hospital as a result of self-harm.  Six will die as a result of suicide. Twice as many young people die from suicide than as a result of road accidents. Mental illness and untreated mental illness in particular, is a risk factor for suicide. Research shows mental illness is present in at least 90 per cent of completed suicides and more than 80 per cent are untreated at the time of death. On World Suicide Prevention Day, beyondblue CEO Ms Kate Carnell AO urges people to get to know the symptoms of depression and to seek help both for themselves and others if they think there’s a problem. Ms Carnell said: “Many injuries and deaths could be prevented if people got help earlier. “Around a million Australian adults live with depression at any one time. It’s alarming that less than half of these people get the help they need – so this puts thousands of people with untreated depression at greater risk of suicide. “It would help people with depression immensely, if today everyone pledged to find out what the symptoms of depression are – and to seek help for themselves or someone else if the warning signs are there.” If people feel sad for a prolonged period and lose interest in work, hobbies or things they usually enjoy, it could be a sign of depression. Other symptoms include sleeping problems, lack of energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating and managing day-to-day activities.  If these symptoms persist for more than two weeks, the person should talk to a GP or other health professional. Ms Carnell said: “There are treatments that work effectively, so you don’t have to put up with feeling like you’re living in a black hole. Even if life seems hopeless, treatment can give you your old life back. Thinking that life’s not worth living is not the answer. “If you or someone you know is having a tough time, it’s important to talk about it. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help... and people shouldn’t be embarrassed or feel ashamed to talk about how they are feeling.  A doctor can help get the right type of treatment for you. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you’re on the road to recovery. “On World Suicide Prevention Day, if everyone recognises the importance of getting help for themselves or someone else, then perhaps there would be fewer bereaved families and more people would be able to get their lives back on track,” Ms Carnell said. To find out more about depression and anxiety, and where to get help, call the beyondblue info line/1300 22 4636 or visit the beyondblue website www.beyondblue.org.au   beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett challenges the Australian Christian Lobby 2012-09-07T06:12:25Z beyondblue-chairman-jeff-kennett-challenges-the-australian-christian-lobby In the letter, Mr Kennett offered to speak at the ACL's national conference in October, following the cancellation yesterday by the Prime Minster of her scheduled speech.Prime Minister Gillard withdrew from the conference following comments made by Mr Wallace comparing the deleterious health outcomes of smoking with those of gay marriage. Mr Kennett said he does not deny the individual’s right to comment, but when language is discriminatory or racist, it should immediately be answered by those with different views. Mr Kennett said: “For the Prime Minister to cut and run from the conference denies the vast majority of Australians the opportunity to have a more tolerant and accepted view conveyed in that forum. “This is all too reminiscent of the beginnings of the Pauline Hanson period, when political leaders of the time failed to challenge her views on immigration. “Discrimination is never acceptable, whether it’s about people with physical or intellectual disabilities, or because of people’s sexuality or gender identity. “I challenge the Australian Christian Lobby to allow me to speak at their national conference in October to put a more temperate, and I suspect, a more Christian view because nowhere in the Bible do I find the act of discrimination acceptable,” Mr Kennett said. beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO supported Mr Kennett’s action and agreed that the ACL’s national conference would be a good opportunity to put the record straight and refute the unfortunate misconception that being gay, lesbian, bi, trans or intersex (GLBTI) is a lifestyle choice. “beyondblue has been working with the GLBTI community for two years and this week, we launched a campaign to reduce discrimination and stigma against GLBTI people who are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader community. GLBTI people are also at greater risk of suicide and self-harm. “Mr Wallace’s linking of the deleterious outcomes of smoking with gay marriage is ludicrous. Suggesting that same-sex marriage is bad for the health of GLBTI people is simply wrong – as well as being offensive. The thing that is bad for GLBTI people’s health is discrimination, such as the remarks made by Mr Wallace. “I encourage Mr Wallace to accept Mr Kennett’s challenge, to open his eyes, ears and more importantly, his heart and to take a more Christian and evidence-based approach to his fellow men and women who are gay, lesbian, bi, trans or intersex,” Ms Carnell said. To view videos and TV ads for beyondblue’s antidiscrimination campaign go to www.beyondblue.org.au or www.lefthand.org.au Mr Kennett is overseas. For further comment, beyondblue CEO, Ms Kate Carnell is available. beyondblue disputes comments made by the Australian Christian Lobby comparing the health outcomes for smoking with those of gay marriage 2012-09-06T01:18:05Z beyondblue-disputes-comments-made-by-the-australian-christian-lobby-comparing-the-health-outcomes-for-smoking-with-those-of-gay-marriage   Ms Carnell said: “Comments made yesterday by Mr Jim Wallace, acknowledging that gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex people (GLBTI) people have higher rates of substance use and suicide than the broader community show just how important and timely the campaign launch this week by beyondblue to reduce discrimination really is. “Mr Wallace’s linking of the deleterious outcomes of smoking with gay marriage is ludicrous. Suggesting that same-sex marriage is bad for the health of GLBTI people is simply wrong. The thing that is bad for GLBTI people’s health is discrimination. “beyondblue research shows that, discrimination and bullying are major contributing factors to depression and anxiety, and risk of suicide. The GLBTI community, in particular, faces widespread discrimination which contributes to much higher rates of anxiety and depression than in the general population.” beyondblue Chairman, The Hon. Jeff Kennett  launched beyondblue’s campaign yesterday and today supported Ms Carnell’s comments. “GLBTI people are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population and are at greater risk of suicide and self-harm. Almost half hide their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations fearing violence or discrimination – with young people aged 16 to 24 years more likely to do so than any other age group. “This is why beyondblue, together withMovember, has contributed $1.5 million to this major national antidiscrimination and stigma-reduction campaign which includes cinema ads, TV, print and outdoor ads, and personal video stories from GLBTI people who have experienced depression and anxiety as a result of discrimination. The ads and videos can also be seen on beyondblue’s website, Facebook and Youtube pages,” he said. The ads focus on the outdated practice of past generations which forced children who were born left-handed to use their right hand, as this was deemed to be ‘correct’. Mr Kennett said: “Now it seems ridiculous that adults tried to make left-handed children conform to what they considered was the ‘right way’ of doing things. This campaign draws a parallel and makes us question if our society isn’t doing exactly the same thing to people whose sexuality or gender identification is different. Is it all right to be left-handed? Of course. Is it all right to be gay or lesbian? Of course.” Ms Carnell concluded: “Itwas unacceptable to discriminate against people for being left-handed in the past and it is equally unacceptable to discriminate against GLBTI people today. It is wrong to discriminate against anyone for just being who they are, whether it be left-handed or gay! “Mr Wallace seems to believe that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex is a lifestyle choice.  This is not the case. He should have a look at the powerful personal stories that form part of beyondblue’s campaign and support our call for Australians to STOP discriminating against people for just being themselves, THINK about how the comments you make could cause distress and harm, and RESPECT people who are different from you.”   Contact: Major new anti-discrimination campaign launched by beyondblue 2012-09-05T00:29:58Z major-new-anti-discrimination-campaign-launched-by-beyondblue Today at 10.30 am at Event Cinemas, Westfield Shopping town, Bondi Junction, Chairman of beyondblue, The Hon. Jeff Kennett, launches a major national awareness campaign aimed at reducing discrimination and bullying particularly against young gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or intersex (GLBTI) people.Mr Kennett said: “It’s unreasonable to think you would discriminate against someone just for being themselves. We don’t want people to feel they have to hide who they are because they fear discrimination, ridicule or violence.“beyondblue research shows that, discrimination and bullying are major contributing factors to depression and anxiety, and risk of suicide. The GLBTI community, in particular, faces widespread discrimination which contributes to much higher rates of anxiety and depression than in the general population.“GLBTI people are at least two to three times more likely to experience depression and anxiety than the broader population and are at greater risk of suicide and self-harm. Almost half hide their sexuality or gender identity in a range of situations fearing violence or discrimination – with young people aged 16 to 24 years more likely to do so than any other age group.“This is why beyondblue, together with Movember, has contributed $1.5 million to this major national antidiscrimination and stigma-reduction campaign which includes cinema ads, TV, print and outdoor ads, and personal video stories from GLBTI people who have experienced depression and anxiety as a result of discrimination. The ads and videos can also be seen on beyondblue’s website, Facebook and Youtube pages.The ads focus on the outdated practice of past generations which forced children who were born left-handed to use their right hand, as this was deemed to be ‘correct’.Mr Kennett said: “Now it seems ludicrous that adults tried to make left-handed children conform to what they considered was the ‘right way’ of doing things. This campaign draws a parallel and makes us question if our society isn’t doing exactly the same thing to people whose sexuality or gender identification is different. Is it all right to be left-handed? Of course. Is it all right to be gay or lesbian? Of course.”Although the campaign is aimed at young men, the message is expected to have cut through to the broader mainstream community.beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said: “For our first 12 years, beyondblue focused on raising awareness of depression and anxiety. For the next decade, we will continue to raise awareness, but we will focus more on reducing discriminatory and stigmatising, behaviour and attitudes that cause people real psychological distress which can lead to depression, anxiety and suicide.“This phase of the campaign aims to change attitudes and behaviour towards gay, lesbian, bi, trans and intersex people, however, the big picture of our ongoing campaign will work towards reducing discrimination and stigma across the board, including amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse populations and everyone who has depression and anxiety – because discrimination, shame and stigma often stop people from getting help.“Things need to change. We want everyone in Australia to STOP the discrimination, THINK about how comments you make could cause real distress and harm, and RESPECT people who are different from you,” Ms Carnell said.Besides the ads, briefing packs for health professionals, community service organisations and schools will be distributed nationally to assist people working in these areas to be more inclusive of GLBTI people and more respectful and understanding of issues faced by this population group.beyondblue has developed this campaign in close consultation with national leaders of the GLBTI community and Movember. The cinemas ads will run until Christmas and, the TV ads will be seen on an ongoing basis with the support of media organisations. High res dub of cinema ad will be sent by Adstream to TV stations – key number BBL0003/120. beyondblue Research in NSW shows some people still misinformed about depression 2012-08-20T07:20:42Z beyondblue-research-in-nsw-shows-some-people-still-misinformed-about-depression beyondblue CEO, Ms Kate Carnell AO says while beyondblue has made significant progress in raising awareness of depression and anxiety in NSW over the past decade, a recent Depression Monitor survey shows there is still a long way to go, with many people still gravely misinformed about depression and how to help someone. When people in NSW were surveyed for beyondblue’s 2011- 2012Depression Monitor: 62% wrongly believed antidepressant medication is addictive 34% wrongly thought people with severe depression should ‘pull themselves together’ 25% wrongly thought it would be helpful to take a person with depression to the pub for a few drinks to help themforgettheirworries 19 % wrongly thought it would be helpful to tell a depressed person to ‘put on a brave face and push on’ 14% wrongly thought people with severe depression are weak-willed. Ms Carnell said: “It seems that many people still don’t know depression is an illness which needs and responds to treatment, and still don’t know how to help themselves or someone else who may be struggling. “This indicates we need to work harder to make people more aware of the signs and symptoms of depression. However, the good news for New South Wales is that while 63 per cent of survey respondents or their family members had experienced depression, 85 per cent of them had sought professional help for the condition.” For the first time in eight years, the Board of beyondblue will meet in Sydney on Tuesday August 21, and the results of the Depression Monitor survey will be one of the topics for discussion at a lunch for key players in the NSW mental health sector to be hosted by beyondblue after the Board meeting. beyondblue Ambassadors TV presenter, Jessica Rowe and lead singer of the Choir Boys, Mark Gable will also attend the lunch to share their personal stories of anxiety and depression. On Monday evening, beyondblue Chairman The Hon. Jeff Kennett AC will host a working dinner for Board members which will be attended by the NSW Minister for Health, The Hon. Jillian Skinner and Mr John Feneley, who is the newly-appointed inaugural Commissioner of the recently-established NSW Mental Health Commission. Discussions will take place regarding how beyondblue can best work with the NSW Mental Health Commission around reducing stigma, targeting hard-to-reach populations, increasing help-seeking and further raising awareness that depression is a serious, but treatable condition. The NSW Government has contributed funds to beyondblue since 2005. The importance beyondblue places on its relationship with NSW is demonstrated by having this meeting in Sydney in order to speak to members of government, major mental health agencies and other stakeholders. Event: beyondblue Board Meeting Locaton: Langham Hotel, Kent Street Sydney (formerly The Observatory) Time/ Date: 9.00am Tuesday August 21, 2012- Interviews at 12.30 pm: Chairman Jeff Kennett AC and CEO Kate Carnell AO beyondblue Board Directors from NSW include former NSW Premier The Hon. Morris Iemma,and Dr Michael Bonning, Medical Officer in the Royal Australian Navy. Job losses can lead to anxiety and depression 2012-08-16T23:51:57Z job-losses-can-lead-to-anxiety-and-depression 17 With thousands of Australians losing their jobs as cost-cutting across the board starts to kick in to both the government and private sectors due to the global economic slowdown and the high Australian dollar, thousands of people could be at risk of developing depression or anxiety.beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said: “This is why beyondblue has published a free booklet Taking care of yourself after retrenchment or financial loss to help people to manage and cope with a change in their circumstances.“Loss of employment, especially for the family breadwinner can be devastating and demoralising. Regardless of the circumstances, distress is a common and natural response to unexpected events that involve significant loss and change. This distress, if not managed properly, can become a major risk factor for depression.“During this time of belt-tightening, especially in the government, manufacturing, media and retail sectors, people may feel their life is unravelling,” she said. The booklet aims to support people through this difficult period by giving tips and advice about: accessing benefits from Centrelink and insurance policies managing redundancy payouts and living expenses finding employment realising when ongoing distress develops into depression or an anxiety disorder.“If this is the case, help is available and effective treatments can vastly improve your mood, the way you see yourself and your future. Finding a job after a retrenchment can be difficult enough, but if the person has depression, the task becomes even more difficult,” Ms Carnell said.“With so much to worry about after retrenchment, people often neglect their health. This is a time of high vulnerability when you need to look after your physical and mental health and access the support you need."Adapting to adversity and change can be difficult. There’s no shame in asking for help – everyone needs a helping hand occasionally. If you are feeling depressed or anxious, see your doctor, treatments that work are available. “Even thrifty, diligent and cautious people have been dealt a financial blow beyond their control. Try not to carry the load by yourself, there is help and support you can access in your community,” Ms Carnell said.The FREE booklet can be downloaded or ordered via the beyondblue website www.beyondblue.org.au - or by calling the beyondblue info line 1300 22 4636 beyondblue urges open discussion of suicide and how to reduce risk factors 2012-08-07T07:01:13Z beyondblue-urges-open-discussion-of-suicide-and-how-to-reduce-risk-factors 6 August, 2012 beyondblue urges open discussion of suicide and how to reduce risk factors beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO commends the NSW Government for organising community forums in regional areas to focus on suicide prevention strategies. “I agree with the NSW Minister for Mental Health Kevin Humphries when he says that suicide and suicide prevention are community issues on which we all need to work together to support people who are at risk. “While the reasons behind a person taking his or her own life may be complex, we know that untreated depression is a major risk factor for suicide, especially amongst men. “That’s why it’s so important for everyone to know the signs and symptoms of depression, to be able to recognise those symptoms in themselves or someone else and know when it’s time to get help,” Ms Carnell said. Depression is common. On average one in five women and one in eight men will be affected at some stage of their lives. Anxiety is even more common with one in four people likely to experience an anxiety disorder during their life. “It’s of great concern that less than half of the people experiencing depression actually seek help. So if you don’t recognise that something’s not right, and you don’t talk to your doctor, your depression goes undetected and untreated, putting you at greater risk of suicide. “So I would encourage everyone to attend the community forums if they can, but if you can’t, I urge you to familiarise yourself with the symptoms and risk factors for depression and anxiety by visiting our website or by calling our info line. “These are real illnesses. They’re not a sign of weakness and people shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for help. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that things will get better, but if you talk to your doctor, there are very effective treatments available. With the right treatment most people recover – and that’s good news for the individual, his or her family and their community. “If you’re reluctant to talk to your doctor, call the beyondblue info line on 1300 22 4636 or visit our website, www.beyondblue.org.au for more FREE information and resources about depression, anxiety, available treatments and where to get help,” Ms Carnell said. beyondblue seeks volunteers for online research into anxiety disorders 2012-08-02T07:33:54Z beyondblue-seeks-volunteers-for-online-research-into-anxiety-disorders 2 August, 2012beyondblue seeks volunteers for online research into anxiety disorders beyondblue is conducting research to develop a new advertising campaign to raise awareness and understanding of anxiety disorders across Australia.beyondblue CEO Ms Kate Carnell AO said beyondblue has engaged a market research company to establish an online community of people who have experienced an anxiety disorder themselves, or who live with a partner or family member who has experienced an anxiety disorder. “We want to gain an insight into people's experiences of anxiety, so our anxiety awareness campaign will reflect exactly what it is like to experience these conditions. That way, people who may have dismissed their anxious feelings, either as part of their personality or who have developed coping mechanisms like drinking, will recognise these symptoms in themselves and seek help. These are real medical conditions that can be treated successfully, not character flaws,” Ms Carnell said. The online community will start discussions on 6 August and it will run for four weeks. During that period, the online moderator will post topics for discussion (around three to four a week), and participants will be notified by email updates. By logging onto the private invitation-only website, people will be able to share their thoughts on any of the topics in their own time. All participants will remain anonymous.Ms Carnell said: “Unfortunately, awareness and understanding about anxiety disorders in the community is low when compared to people’s understanding and knowledge about depression. People are now more aware of depression and are more likely to seek help than they were 12 years ago when beyondblue was established. Next, we want to increase awareness of anxiety disorders in the same way as we’ve done with depression.” Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in Australia - even more common than depression. One million adults in Australia live with depression at any one time, but over two million have an anxiety disorder. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. With depression it’s one in six people – one in five women and one in eight men. There are six different main types of anxiety disorders: Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Phobia or Specific Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Panic Disorder. While the symptoms for each disorder are different, there are general signs and symptoms common to all disorders. Feeling worried or anxious most of the time Finding it difficult to calm down Feeling overwhelmed or frightened by sudden feelings of intense panic /anxiety Experiencing recurring thoughts that cause anxiety , but may seem silly to other people Avoiding people, places, events that cause anxiety Experiencing ongoing difficulties (e.g. nightmares, flashbacks) after a traumatic event. People wanting to participate in the online community should go to the home page of the website www.beyondblue.org.auandclick on Share your thoughts and experiences on anxiety. Prospective participants will be required to answer a short questionnaire and will be notified by email prior to the start of the online community on August 6. 'Million Likes' Facebook Campaign goes online at beyondblue AFL Cup 2012-07-31T03:00:59Z million-likes-facebook-campaign-goes-online-at-beyondblue-afl-cup The new campaign aims to enlist 1 million Australians as Facebook fans of beyondblue to get people talking about depression and anxiety, increase awareness and understanding, and end discrimination and stigma. The campaign is being launched at this Friday’s beyondblue Cup between AFL clubs Hawthorn and Geelong, who are contesting the Cup for the seventh consecutive year in support of people with depression and anxiety. “Our goal is big, but so is the problem. One million Australians at any given time are living with depression. Once we have reached ‘1 million likes’, we will aim for another two million to represent those Australians living with anxiety,” beyondblue CEO, Kate Carnell AO said. “As a society with an unacceptably high suicide rate, it is imperative that we talk about depression and anxiety, debunk myths, share stories, educate people about signs and symptoms, and encourage people to seek help sooner rather than later.” Ms Carnell said that only 35 per cent of people with depression and/or anxiety access professional help, with stigma being a major barrier to accessing care. “Not receiving treatment increases the impact and disability of these conditions and is also associated with increased risk of suicide. Only yesterday, one of our Facebook supporters shared her story about the suicides of her father and brother and said it was amazing how sharing her story online started people talking, asking questions and opening up.” “With one in three Australians experiencing depression and/or anxiety at some point in their life, it is very likely that either you or someone in your social media network may need information or help. Social media channels, including Twitter which we also recently launched, are enabling beyondblue to increase the reach of our messages and engage with the community in a very immediate and personal way,” Ms Carnell said. She said the beyondblue Cup was an ideal opportunity to launch the campaign in front of 80,000 football fans who already know what a difference a strong support base can make. The campaign is also being kicked off with the opportunity to win a signed and framed Hawthorn or Geelong football jumper. Hawks’ Captain Luke Hodge said: “We are proud to be partnered with such an important organisation and enjoy doing our bit to help reduce the stigma surrounding depression and anxiety in our community.” Geelong Cats Captain Joel Selwood said: “We are proud to play for the beyondblue cup against the Hawks to raise awareness about depression and mental health. We want the opportunity to let our supporters know how important it is to seek help and talk to someone if you’re feeling depressed.” Event: Seventh Annual AFL beyondblue Cup – Hawthorn v Geelong at MCG Time/Date: 7.50 pm on Friday, 3 August 2012