The Beyond Blue National Roadshow was launched in front of Parliament House, Canberra, on 25 February.
In front of dozens of media, federal politicians and the Beyond Blue Board, Prime Minister Tony Abbott helped to launch the big blue bus along with Beyond Blue Chairman Jeff Kennett and CEO Kate Carnell.
Here is a little of what Prime Minister Abbott had to say: “This really is a community campaign, it is a community campaign to reach out to our fellow Australians in need… and to try to do what we can – as friends, as family, as citizens, as professionals – to do everything we reasonably can to help people through the dark moments in their life. Dark moments will come – for some, very dark indeed. We need to be aware of them; we need to reach out to them. Mental health has been the hidden epidemic for so long, but thanks to people like Jeff (Kennett) and Kate (Carnell) and everyone associated with Beyond Blue… we are doing better… The challenge always is to do more and to do better.”
Following the launch, a workplace mental health presentation was held at the National Convention Centre in conjunction with the ACT and Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. More than 100 business owners and managers heard from Mr Kennett, Ms Carnell, CEO of the Chamber Andrew Blyth, and Chair of ACT Medicare Local Dr Rashmi Sharma about the importance of creating mentally healthy workplaces.
On 26 February the Roadshow visited Brindabella Business Park – a huge commercial precinct home to around 8000 workers. Many workers dropped by to pick up some free Beyond Blue information materials and chat to a NewAccess coach. NewAccess is an early intervention program intended to provide easily accessible, free and quality services for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety who are currently not accessing mental health services. (Read more about NewAccess.) The Lions Club of Canberra Valley also put on a delicious BBQ for workers.
On 27 February the bus set up in in front of Canberra Centre. Again, it was great to see so many people pop by to pick up information about depression and anxiety, have a chat and and find out more about Beyond Blue and local mental health services such as NewAccess.
Thanks to everyone who supported Beyond Blue’s visit and attended events! Thanks also to Medibank Community Fund for their support.
View other stops around Australia, and a gallery of National Roadshow highlights.