Beyond Blue

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Beyond Blue
FormationOctober 2000
PurposeTo provide a national focus and community leadership to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the Australian community.
HeadquartersHawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Region served
Julia Gillard
Georgie Harman
Quentin Bryce

Beyond Blue is an Australian independent non-profit organisation working to address issues associated with depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental disorders.

Beyond Blue works in partnership with health services, schools, workplaces, universities, media and community organisations, as well as people living with anxiety and depression, their friends and family, to raise community awareness of anxiety and depression and reduce associated stigma. The founding chairman was Jeff Kennett and the current Chair is Julia Gillard. The CEO is Georgie Harman.

Beyond Blue takes a public health approach to anxiety and depression, focusing on improving the health of the whole population, across the whole lifespan. Beyond Blue works with specific population groups in a range of settings - including educational settings, workplaces, health services and online - in order to be accessible to as many people as possible.


Beyond Blue began in October 2000 as a five-year initiative of the Australian federal and state and territory governments after a period of public debate on the treatment of depression sufferers assisted by intensive and persistent lobbying by former Liberal Premier of Victoria, Jeff Kennett . The aim was to raise awareness of depression and to reduce the associated stigma.

Politicians who have encouraged people to both donate to and utilise the services of Beyond Blue include Geoff Gallop and John Brogden.

Since 2006, the Australian Football League has supported the organisation with the Beyond Blue Cup awarded annually to the winner of clashes between the Geelong and Hawthorn football clubs.

In March 2017 it was announced that former prime minister Julia Gillard would take over as chair of Beyond Blue from founder and chairman Jeff Kennett.[1] Gillard replaced Kennett on 2 July 2017.[2]


Beyond Blue addresses a range of mental health issues in Australia,[3] including mental health stigma[4][5] indigenous issues,[6][7] post-natal depression[8] school based interventions[9] and youth mental health.

LGBT Australians[edit]

In 2011 Jeff Kennett remarked publicly that children of gay and lesbian parents have worse mental health outcomes,[10] and amid a resulting controversy Beyond Blue staff and supporters called on the organisation to create specific programs for gay and lesbian Australians.[11] In 2012, Beyond Blue launched a $1.5 million year-long campaign to reduce discrimination against gay, lesbian and transsexual people in Australia.[12] In 2015, the organization issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage.[13][14]

In 2018, Beyond Blue rejected a donation of $5,000 from wrestler Dave Marshall. Marshall, who is gay, publicly stating the donation was a portion of the money he earned selling pornographic photos and videos. Beyond Blue subsequently said they would not accept money that comes from "gambling, alcohol or pornography"[15]. Marshall instead donated the money to the suicide prevention group Black Dog Institute.[16]


In 2013 Beyond Blue campaigned against the insurance industry’s discrimination against people who have experienced anxiety and depression.[17] They also launched a campaign featuring actor Ben Mendelsohn as the character "Anxiety", describing symptoms and how it feels to experience anxiety,[18][19][20] and conducted a survey into the mental health of doctors and medical students finding very high rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.[21]

A 2015 survey of 1,200 Australians by TNS Australia revealed that 1 in 5 Australians still believe that people with anxiety are just "putting it on".[22] Beyond Blue is launching another campaign on radio and TV to raise awareness of anxiety and its symptoms. Australian actor Guy Pearce provided the voice over for this campaign.[23]

Men are a key audience for Beyond Blue and the Man Therapy campaign achieved widespread coverage. The campaign was a "first of its kind" program in Australia and featured a humorous character, Dr Brian Ironwood, urging men to take action when it comes to their wellbeing.[24][25] Launched in 2013, it was an international collaboration with the Colorado Office for Suicide Prevention, whose Man Therapy was adapted for an Australian audience.[26] The campaign was programmed to last one year.[24] Ipsos Social Research Institute evaluated the campaign's effectiveness for Beyond Blue and found that 1/3 of men 18 and over recognised the Man Therapy campaign, 280,000 visited the website and 5-15% of men aware of the campaign changed their attitudes to mental health.[27]

Beyond Blue and AOMB also reached agreement to fundraise an initiative to raise awareness of anxiety and depression in Australia by organising several charity events.[28]


  1. ^ "Julia Gillard to replace Jeff Kennett as Beyond Blue chair". ABC News. 21 March 2017. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Former PM Julia Gillard takes over as new Chair of beyondblue" (Press release). beyondblue. 2 July 2017. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  3. ^ "Treating depression: the beyondblue guidelines for treating depression in primary care".
  4. ^ Griffiths, Kathleen M; Christensen, Helen; Jorm, Anthony F (2008). "Predictors of depression stigma". BMC Psychiatry. 8 (1): 25. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-8-25. ISSN 1471-244X. PMC 2386456. PMID 18423003.
  5. ^ Henderson, Claire; Evans-Lacko, Sara; Thornicroft, Graham (2013). "Mental Illness Stigma, Help Seeking, and Public Health Programs". American Journal of Public Health. 103 (5): 777–780. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301056. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 3698814. PMID 23488489.
  6. ^ "BeyondBlue to launch a new campaign highlighting the link between racism and depression". NewsComAu.
  7. ^ Hart, Laura M; Jorm, Anthony F; Kanowski, Leonard G; Kelly, Claire M; Langlands, Robyn L (2009). "Mental health first aid for Indigenous Australians: using Delphi consensus studies to develop guidelines for culturally appropriate responses to mental health problems". BMC Psychiatry. 9 (1): 47. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-47. ISSN 1471-244X. PMC 2729076. PMID 19646284.
  8. ^ Leigh, Bronwyn; Milgrom, Jeannette (2008). "Risk factors for antenatal depression, postnatal depression and parenting stress". BMC Psychiatry. 8 (1): 24. doi:10.1186/1471-244X-8-24. ISSN 1471-244X. PMC 2375874. PMID 18412979.
  9. ^ Spence, Susan; Sawyer, Michael; Sheffield, Jeanie; Patton, George; Bond, Lyndal; Graetz, Brian; Kay, Debra (2014). "Does the Absence of a Supportive Family Environment Influence the Outcome of a Universal Intervention for the Prevention of Depression?". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 11 (5): 5113–5132. doi:10.3390/ijerph110505113. ISSN 1660-4601. PMC 4053893. PMID 24828082.
  10. ^ Stark, Jill (2 October 2011). "Gay radio in push to oust Kennett from charity chair". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  11. ^ Stark, Jill (9 October 2011). "What lies beyond?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  12. ^ Hagan, Kate (5 September 2012). "Beyondblue in anti-discrimination push". The Age. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  13. ^ "Beyondblue backs marriage equality as a weapon against discrimination". The Guardian.
  14. ^ "Statement from beyondblue Board in support of marriage equality".
  15. ^ "'Thanks, but no thanks': Charity rejects $5k donation raised through gay porn". Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  16. ^ Gilet, Anthony (14 December 2018). "Even Charities Reject Our Sexualities". Cocktailsandcocktalk. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  17. ^ Lion, Patrick (23 January 2013). "Fight looms on insurance for mentally ill". Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  18. ^ Berry, Sarah (17 May 2013). "I am anxiety". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  19. ^ Coote, Gavin (6 May 2013). "Beyond Blue launches campaign to tackle anxiety". Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  20. ^ Sundstrom, Kathy (17 May 2013). "National campaign targets anxiety". Sunshine Coast Daily. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  21. ^ Harrison, Dan (7 October 2013). "Doctors more likely to get depressed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  22. ^ "One in five Australians believes people with anxiety 'put it on'". The Age. 18 April 2016.
  23. ^ "beyondblue ad campaign raising anxiety awareness". SBS News. 18 April 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
  24. ^ a b O'Leary, Cathy (5 June 2013). "Funny ads are serious about male depression". The West Australian. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  25. ^ "Beyondblue renews Man Therapy TV push during summer of sport". Mumbrella. 8 January 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  26. ^ "Man Therapy". Beyond Blue. Archived from the original on 25 January 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  27. ^ "Man Therapy Interim Evaluation Results to 31 December 2013" (PDF). Ipsos Social Research Institute / beyondblue. 2 January 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  28. ^ Australia Oriental Media Buddhist Charity Association