In 2010, the Australian Government announced the Taking Action To Tackle Suicide initiatives. Beyond Blue was contracted by the Australian Government to develop a multiplatform health promotion campaign targeting men to improve men’s help-seeking behaviour around anxiety and depression, and ultimately suicide.
Beyond Blue subsequently established the Beyond Barriers Strategy between 2012 to 2014 to encourage men to take action against depression and anxiety through reducing barriers to seeking support.
Informed by research commissioned by Beyond Blue in 2015 into men’s experience of psychological distress in the perinatal period, the Healthy Dads project aimed to support the mental health of men during the transition to fatherhood. This led to the creation of the Dadvice campaign and a suite of new resources.
Social connectedness program
This program aimed to demonstrate how depression, anxiety and suicide can be prevented through early interventions targeted at enhancing social connectedness for men and pioneer a preventative, wellbeing-focused approach to mental health interventions.
Beyond Blue commissioned research and a literature review in 2014 into social connectedness in men in their middle years and social isolation in older Australians that outlined the extent of the issue and barriers to seeking support.
In October 2015, the Movember Foundation and Beyond Blue launched the Social Innovators Challenge to challenge creative and forward thinking people to propose innovative, outside the box concepts that could lead to game changing products or services and increase levels of social connections and feelings of belongingness for men.
Operating between July 2014 and December 2016 the New Roots project promoted good mental health of males recently settled in Australia through a humanitarian visa from the Arabic, Farsi-Dari and Tamil speaking communities. The project developed three outputs: a smartphone application for the community, an online toolkit for case managers, and a community leader training package.
Reducing stigma in men
The Stigma Reduction Interventions: Digital Environments (STRIDE) Initiative was a research program reflecting Beyond Blue's interest in the effectiveness of 'real world' interventions and prioritising research partnerships between the community and academics. In 2013, six research projects were commissioned with thanks to funding from the Movember foundation:
- Better Out Than In, led by the AFL Players Association
- Contact + Connect led by Incolink
- Out of the Blue: Pete & Dale, led by VAC
- Tell Your Story, led by UNSW Refugee Trauma & Recovery Program
- The Ripple Effect, led by the National Centre for Farmer Health
- Y Fronts, led by CGA Consulting
The Shed Online
The Shed Online was a public health initiative developed by Beyond Blue with the support of the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA). The dedicated website, active from 2010 to 2016, was designed to help men meet, contribute, learn from and support other men across Australia.