The Work of Beyond Blue — Helping Battle Depression and Anxiety

The Work of Beyond Blue — Helping Battle Depression and Anxiety
Written by
Joe Allanson

Beyond Blue has been providing support and service to people in Australia for 20 years. They are Australia’s most well-known and visited mental health organisation, focused on helping people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide. 


Always remember, if you’re in Australia, you can reach out to their team 24/7 for support. You can talk to them by giving them a call (24/7), via their online chat (11 am - 12 am) and by emailing them (get a reply within 24 hours). 

Beyond Blue also has 24/7 online forums, which are a great way to connect with people online, in a safe and anonymous environment, to discuss anxiety, depression, suicide and a range of life issues. Anyone in Australia can participate in discussions, connect with others and share their experiences with our community.

To ensure that Australia achieves their best possible mental health, Beyond Blue works with the community to improve mental health and prevent suicide. They have developed their Beyond 2020 strategy that works across three strategic priorities:

  1. Promoting mental health and wellbeing, so people have greater knowledge, feel safe to talk openly about their issues and are supported to ask for help when they need to.


  1. Being a trusted source of information, advice and support so we can all better understand how to maintain our mental health and take steps to recover from mental health conditions.


  1. Working together to prevent suicide by playing a lead role in the national effort to prevent suicide through research, information, advice and support, and advocacy.


For Beyond Blue, community is the main focus of everything they do. Their dedication to actively listening to, understanding, partnering with and responding to community experiences and needs is the basis of their success. Adapting to the forever evolving mental health needs of Australians is a constant and difficult process. So, to better reach and support people in need, Beyond Blue works with and learns from the community.


Seeing themselves as the Big Blue Door for many in the community, Beyond Blue is a safe and reliable place where millions of people have access to information, advice and support — regardless of where they are on the mental health continuum. Whether you're well and want to stay that way, unwell and need support, or in recovery and want to reconnect with others and give back, Beyond Blue is a great place for you to visit or contact. 


Beyond Blue's strategic plan from 2020 to 2023 is aimed to streamline access to, and the responsiveness of their Big Blue Door. To better connect with people in the community, they are improving their online platform to create an enhanced experience. It's their aim that, regardless of how you connect with Beyond Blue, they want everyone to have access to relevant products and services that offer advice, information and support to anyone in need.

Beyond Blue's Unique Approach 

Did you know that 3 million Australians are living with anxiety or depression? Beyond Blue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

Beyond Blue envisions an Australia where people possess the knowledge, confidence and skills to maintain their mental health with strategies on hand to respond if they're struggling. To make this possible, they actively connect people with evidence-based products and services. This effective approach supports improvements in mental health literacy, greater prevention knowledge and management techniques and increased confidence to act when people need to. 


Utilising current and emerging technologies allows Beyond Blue to provide the community with easy to access information and tools. To ensure their resources are relevant and highly beneficial, Beyond Blue works in partnership with the community and leading experts. Their information, support and advice is continuously evolving to ensure that it's available to those in the greatest need. Beyond Blue understands that social deterrents are significant contributors to depression, anxiety and suicide.


Beyond Blue aims for an Australia where communities work together to create non-stigmatising, caring and respectful areas that support good mental health. To promote this way of life, Beyond Blue provides communities (families, neighbourhoods, educational settings, workplaces and online communities) with evidence-based products and services to enable the development of mentally healthy communities. Beyond Blue is able to inspire people through their events and speakers to motivate good mental health communities at large.


The importance of helping children and young people achieve their best possible mental health is paramount. To do this, Beyond Blue focuses on improving mental health literacy so that they have the knowledge and skills to provide assistance to the younger people in their lives.


To encourage an Australian society that provides equitable, safe and affordable access to the correct type of support at the right time, Beyond Blue works with others to contribute to the mental health and suicide prevention base. This is done through mixed-method research and utilising this information to put it into practice. Through evidence from their research and understanding insights from the community, Beyond Blue put these findings into practice to influence their advocacy efforts and policy positions.


Beyond Blue and Anxiety

Anxiety is much more than just a feeling of worry or stress. Whilst anxious feelings and stress are a common reaction to a situation where we feel under pressure, these feelings usually pass once the 'stressor' is removed or the particular circumstance has passed.


From time to time, we can all feel anxious. However, when anxious feelings don't go away, occur without any specific reason or make coping with day-to-day life difficult, it may signify an anxiety disorder.

 

In Australia, anxiety is the most common mental health condition. About one in four people will experience anxiety at some stage of their life — one in three women and one in five men. Sadly, more than two million Australians experience anxiety every year.


There are many ways to help manage anxiety, and the sooner people with anxiety get support, the more likely they are to recover. There are a large selection of health professionals and services that offer information, treatment and support for anxiety conditions. They can also assist you with many things that you can implement to help yourself. 

Finding effective treatment is the key to ensure that you remain in control of your anxiety so that it doesn't control you. The type of anxiety you are experiencing will decide which treatment will be most successful. 


If you visit the Beyond Blue website, it will present you with many helpful and valuable resources. You can understand the signs and symptoms of anxiety and utilise the information to recognise your current situation. There's also a simple questionnaire that allows you to check in and understand if you have been affected by anxiety.

 

Finding effective treatment sooner rather than later allows you to be on the road to recovery as soon as possible. Beyond Blue provides you with information to help you find the right treatments specifically for you and a range of anxiety management strategies that you can use in your day-to-day life to help control your anxiety.


Remember: Anxiety affects everyone differently. So it may take some time to find the best treatment and management strategies that work best for you. Think you or someone you know may be experiencing signs and symptoms of anxiety? Contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.


Beyond Blue and Depression

It can be common for all of us to feel moody, sad or low from time to time when we are reacting to situations that may be difficult, upsetting or tragic. However, some people can experience these feelings intensely and for long periods — sometimes weeks, months or even years — and sometimes without any apparent reason. 


More than just a low mood, depression is a serious condition that affects both your physical and mental health. According to Beyond Blue, you may be depressed if, for more than two weeks, you've felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities.


Head to the Beyond Blue website to understand and explore the signs and symptoms of depression. Some examples of the signs and symptoms include:


Feelings

  • Overwhelmed
  • Guilty
  • Irritable


Thoughts

  • 'I’m a failure.'
  • 'It’s my fault.'
  • 'Nothing good ever happens to me.'


Physical

  • Tired all the time
  • Sick and run down
  • Headaches and muscle pains


Please head to Beyond Blue's website for their extended list of signs and symptoms of depression.


It’s important to remember that we all experience some of these symptoms from time to time, and it may not necessarily mean you're depressed. Equally, not everyone who is experiencing depression will have all of these symptoms.


If you think that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, completing the Beyond Blue checklist is an anonymous, quick and easy way to give you more insight into the current situation. It’s important to note that; the checklist will not provide you with a diagnosis — you’ll need to visit a health professional for an accurate diagnosis — but it can help you better understand how you’re feeling.


Remember: There is no one proven way that people recover from depression, and it's different for everyone. However, there are a range of health professionals and effective treatments that can assist you on your road to recovery. Think you or someone you know may be experiencing signs and symptoms of depression? Contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Beyond Blue and Suicide Prevention 

Beyond Blue is a trusted source of support and information on suicide prevention. They provide information with support options to people at risk of suicide or who have attempted to take their life. Beyond Blue is also there to support and help people worried that someone they know might be suicidal. 


Beyond Blue provides vital information on suicide for people feeling suicidal, worried about someone suicidal, who have attempted suicide or grieving a suicide death.  


If you are experiencing thoughts about suicide, there could be some physical and/or behavioural changes that could let you know that something isn't right.


Non-verbal indicators may include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • A persistent drop in mood
  • Disinterest in maintaining personal hygiene or appearance


Indirect verbal expressions may include:

  • Hopelessness
  • Failing to see a future
  • Believing they are a burden to others


Please head to Beyond Blue's website for an extended list of suicidal warning signs. Always remember, no list of suicidal warning signs is ever complete or accurate to your current situation. Be guided by your instincts.


Sometimes referred to as vulnerability factors, risk factors increase the likelihood of suicidal behaviour. It's very important to recognise these risks so that you can better understand and control your current situation or if you believe someone you know may be experiencing suicidal behaviour, you can offer them the highest quality help.


Risk factors include: 

  • Previous suicide attempts
  • History of substance abuse
  • History of mental health conditions – depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD
  • Relationship problems – conflict with parents and/or romantic partners


Please head to Beyond Blue's website for their extended list of suicidal risk factors or vulnerability factors.


Beyond Blue's website has an extensive range of information on suicide prevention and steps to assist with the road to recovery. They also have information if you have tragically lost someone to suicide. Beyond Blue understands what you are going through and can provide much-needed assistance. 


If you are in an emergency or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000 or visit our Beyond Blue's Get Support page for other services.


Beyond Blue understands it is difficult to discuss suicide — maybe the most challenging thing you’ve ever done, but talking to someone could be one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

How can you help Beyond Blue?

There are many ways you can get involved and assist Beyond Blue. We can all work toward the goal of making sure all people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.


  1. 💛Donate through Little Phil —  By donating to Beyond Blue, you are showing a direct impact to their vital and important cause. When you give through Little Phil, you can see precisely where your giving is going. Your support allows Beyond Blue to:


  • Reduce the impact of depression, anxiety and suicide by supporting people to protect their mental health and to recover when they are unwell


  • Reduce people’s experiences of stigma and discrimination


  • Improve people’s opportunities to get effective support and services at the right time


Setting up monthly giving is a fantastic way to show your ongoing support and increase your impact toward saving the lives of many animals in need. 


  1. Volunteer — Volunteering for Beyond Blue is a great way to encourage conversations about mental health in the community, reduce the stigma and help reduce the impact of anxiety and depression. Your help, skills and passion are what Beyond Blue rely on so heavily to continue their inspirational work. 


  1. Join their online community — Connect with Beyond Blue and engage with their work to raise awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage help-seeking for people with depression and/or anxiety.


  1. Join Blue Voices — Become part of a diverse group of people who want to influence the development and innovation of mental health services, policies and programs.


You can also explore and attend Beyond Blue events near you and sign up for their email newsletter. 

Our Little Summary

We all want Australian’s to achieve their best possible mental health, and Beyond Blue is working hard to achieve that goal. Mental health affects a lot of people and is different for everyone. If you believe you or someone you know is experiencing depression, anxiety or the warning sides of suicide, it is important to visit or connect with Beyond Blue for information to help better understand and control the situation.


Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that #YouCanTalk. Chatting to someone could be one of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.


If you would like to support the work of Beyond Blue directly, head to their charity page on Little Phil today. It’s so clear that the support they receive from you and the community of givers is the main reason they can continue doing their incredibly important work every day.


Always remember, if you’re in Australia, you can reach out to the Beyond Blue team 24/7 for support. You can talk to them by giving them a call (24/7), via their online chat (11 am - 12 am) and by emailing them (get a reply within 24 hours).

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.