is an independent, not-for-profit national organisation working to increase awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety in Australia and to reduce the associated stigma.
beyondblue’s LGBTI communities activities range from public campaigns, providing a phone, web chat and email support service, developing information resources, and supporting volunteers, ambassadors, speakers, and a reference group.
beyondblue is committed to raising awareness of how discrimination, exclusion and prejudice are contributing factors to the higher rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm experienced by people who are LGBTI compared with the broader population and helping to reduce discrimination.
beyondblue formed a LGBTI Reference Group to assist with assessing evidence of the incidence and risks for depression and anxiety within the LGBTI community. This led to the development of Is it ok to be left – a national community campaign to highlight the impact of discrimination and encourage behavioural change.
beyondblue is working with key LGBTI organisations, such as the National LGBTI Health Alliance, in the delivery of LGBTI activities.
The evidence clearly demonstrates that the compounding effect discrimination has on depression and anxiety for people who are LGBTI is preventable. Recognising the rights of all people to safety from discrimination and equality of access to health and social services is an important first step for improving inclusiveness for LGBTI communities. Ultimately, working to remove the discrimination faced by people who are LGBTI will assist in improving mental health outcomes.
In recognising this link and committing to reducing discrimination and its impacts, beyondblue has become a trusted and recognised source of support and information for LGBTI people. This can be seen in the high levels of LGBTI engagement with beyondblue’s support services and LGBTI resources, and the positive recognition of the beyondblue brand in consultations with the LGBTI community. In addition, the evaluation of beyondblue’s LGBTI-focused campaigns shows positive general community attitudes towards people who are LGBTI in those who have seen campaign material.
In addition, beyondblue undertakes a number of activities including:
- campaigns to raise awareness in the community around the issues experienced by LGBTI people and the impact of discrimination on the prevalence of anxiety and depression
- encouraging lobbying by LGBTI people to profile mental health issues and support provided by beyondblue
- disseminating LGBTI information fact sheets and resources, including a family resource that offers practical advice to families of LGBTI-identified young people and a video series featuring personal experiences of recovery and resilience from people who are LGBTI
- support and attendance of LGBTI community events
- ensuring other beyondblue activities for the general community are inclusive of LGBTI content, including SenseAbility, a strength-based resilience program for those working with young Australians aged 12–18 years
- funding and supporting a range of research projects focused on LGBTI communities
- raising awareness of the issues by supporting LGBTI Ambassadors to tell their stories and connecting them with the wider community
- inviting speakers to engage with beyondblue staff to increase their understanding of LGBTI issues, and contributing to LGBTI awareness training for support service staff to ensure all services are inclusive services.
beyondblue is proud of its role as a national mainstream organisation with a comprehensive and ongoing commitment to working with the LGBTI community in the area of depression and anxiety. To ensure LGBTI inclusion is sustainable over the long term, beyondblue considers LGBTI issues at a strategic planning level and provides adequate resources for all projects.