Activities

  • Committee: Bring your carer/supporter experience to the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum

    by Jasmine Palmer | Oct 21, 2020

    Would you like to bring your experience supporting someone with mental health issues to a national forum?

    Beyond Blue is looking for a Blue Voices carer/supporter representative to sit on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum. You’ll advocate for the issues and concerns of consumers and carers to influence mental health activities nationally. To apply, please fill out the below form.

    Members receive remuneration for meetings in accordance with the Remuneration Tribunal Guidelines.

    About the NMHCCF

    • NMHCCF is a ‘national combined voice for mental health consumers and carers’. 
    • The forum includes 28 members (14 mental health consumers and 14 carers/supporters) from across Australia.
    • The forum is supported by the Australian government and the group is auspiced by Mental Health Australia.
    • Beyond Blue has two Blue Voices representatives on the Forum. We're currently recruiting for the carer/supporter representative position.

    About the role

    NMHCCF members use their personal experience, understanding of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate for, and promote, the issues and concerns of mental health consumers and carers.

    Members also represent consumers and carers on a large number of national bodies, including government committees and advisory groups, professional bodies and other consultative forums and events.

    People with experience caring/supporting someone with mental health issues are eligible to apply.

    What commitment is required?

    Please read the NMHCCF Operating Guidelines for an overview of the commitment. Note: these guidelines may be subject to future review and revision.

    The role currently includes a four year term with an annual review.

    We estimate that this role as a Blue Voices carer representative on NMHCCF will require a commitment of up to ten (10) hours a month. This will include meetings, preparation time and pre-reading where relevant. Remuneration is provided for meeting attendance only and rates provided cover preparation time. Any travel expenses will be reimbursed.

    The commitment of time for this role will depend upon several factors including:

    • Whether activities are attended in person (where travel may be required) or online.
    • Participation in any NMHCCF sub-committee.
    • Participation as a NMHCCF carer representative on external groups.

    The Blue Voices carer/supporter representative will be supported by Beyond Blue in their role through engagement, feedback, reporting and peer support.

  • Committee: Clinical Governance Committee

    by Jasmine Palmer | Sep 17, 2020

    Beyond Blue is looking for a community member to be part of our Clinical Governance Committee.

    The Clinical Governance Committee will provide assurance to the Board, relevant Board sub-Committees and the Executive Team, that our clinical governance systems and processes are strong, effective and align with the objectives of the Clinical Governance Framework.

    This Framework aligns with the National Clinical Governance Framework and the National Standards for Safety and Quality.

    What is a Clinical Governance Framework?

    The Clinical Governance Framework and associated systems will ensure that Beyond Blue “first do no harm”. Harm includes physical, emotional, psychological and socio-behavioural harm to those who interact with our evidence-based information, advice and support products and services.

    The specific role of the committee

    The committee will make sure clinical quality and safety approaches are achieved across the whole business including when we engage third-party providers. 

    The committee will report and monitor clinical quality and safety trends and outcomes for all clinically relevant activities. 

    In the context of clinical governance, the committee will ensure that Beyond Blue:

    • Appropriately manages and mitigates any clinical risks. 
    • Is flexible and adaptable.
    • Is contemporary and uses best-practice.
    • Enables compliance with any future external clinical standards.
    • Empowers its staff and volunteers.
    • Has community at the centre of all we do
    • Clinical governance must enable the organisation to succeed in its Vision and Mission and its three strategic priorities.

    The community member role

    As a community member, your role will be to assist the other Clinical Governance Committee members to keep community at the heart of decisions, actions and guidance provided.

    You'll be expected to actively participate in meetings, ask questions and bring your own personal experience to the table in the context of what is discussed. 

    Committee members

    There will be 11 committee members in total. 

    Beyond Blue representatives:

    • Two clinical staff members
    • Three Executive members
    • The Risk Manager
    • Two Heads of units

    External representatives:

    • One clinical governance subject matter expert
    • Two community members with expertise in bringing their mental health experience to the table (one has already been appointed).

    Support for the community members 

    Community members who sit on the committee will receive support and guidance from your main contact, our Clinical Governance Lead, Sanjeev.

    Support may include additional contact outside meeting times to discuss information provided, to ensure you feel confident you understand and can contribute to conversations and decisions. 

    Time commitment

    The committee will meet once a month for the first six months. After this time the committee members will determine any ongoing schedule and/or commitments.

    In the first six months the meetings will be:

    • Held monthly, during Melbourne business hours
    • 1.5 hours in length
    • Held online due to current circumstances but may be held face to face when permitted after the pandemic. The community member if required, will have the option of attending this meeting online.

    In addition to the meeting times, it is expected that there will be a total of two hours of reading/preparation per meeting. 

    Reimbursement for your time

    If selected, you will be reimbursed for your involvement. Reimbursement rates are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal at Determination and include:

    • Attendance at each meeting (sitting fees)
    • Any reading required (non-sitting fees)
    Where relevant, any travel costs (organised by Beyond Blue) to attend meetings.
  • Help create Beyond Blue's new signature fundraising event or campaign!

    by Jasmine Palmer | Aug 14, 2020

    We want your ideas!

    Help create Beyond Blue's new signature fundraising event/campaign!

    We want a fundraising event/campaign that will inspire people to get involved. That means we need to hear from community - that's you! You'll get the chance to go in the running to win one of two $50 Visa gift cards.

    Your response to this survey will help us understand what campaigns/events work for you. What interests you, motivates and ... what doesn't. 

    With input from you and other members of the community, we'll be able to choose the best signature fundraising event/campaign to raise much needed funds for the Beyond Blue Support Service - an important service that is fully funded by donations and community fundraising. 

    So, what is a signature fundraising event/campaign?

    A signature fundraising event or campaign can be run physically or virtually and is marketed and managed by a charity for fundraising purposes. This event/campaign will be repeatable, have national reach and happen every year across the country so everyone can get involved.

    Examples run by other organisations include:
    Why are we creating a signature fundraising event/campaign?
     
    The signature fundraising event/campaign will help raise funds for our Support Service so we can make sure every call, email and webchat is answered.
     
    Our Support Service, which provides 24/7 one-on-one access to mental health professionals, is fully funded by donations and community fundraising. We want to create a signature fundraising event/campaign that will help us keep this service available for the 22 people on average who call each hour. 

    Last year, people in Australia accessed our Support Service more than 192,000 times to discuss their concerns, and we know that increased demand will continue in years to come. The impact of this year’s bushfire crisis and the coronavirus pandemic means people are needing support now, more than ever before.
  • What strategies helped you when you faced financial hardship?

    by Jasmine Palmer | Aug 06, 2020

    We want to hear from people who have experienced financial hardship in the past. We particularly want to learn about the strategies and supports that helped you cope.

    As someone who has been there, do you have strategies or messages of support for those who are now facing financial challenges? Beyond Blue is wanting to hear and learn from your experiences to help guide the creation of resources to help others.

    You may have come through a difficult financial period in your life with a better understanding of how to take control of your finances and manage your mental health. You might have sought support or counselling, from either a financial or mental health perspective (or perhaps both). 

    How will we use your response?

    All responses to this activity will be shared with the Beyond Blue Content team. Your responses will help them develop content as part of work we are doing with one of our community partners, Financial Counselling Australia. It may be used on the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website.

    In some instances, they may:

    • Lightly edit your responses (for clarity, grammar and spelling) as required and republish them with your permission (using first names only).
    • Contact you to find out if you would be interested in being interviewed for an article speaking to a specific aspect of your response (via video conference call or over the phone).

    Any personal information provided by you will be collected and used in accordance with Beyond Blue’s Privacy Policy which can be viewed at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/general/privacy-policy.

    What is the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website?

    The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website provides regularly updated information, advice, tools and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Share your experience: Recovering from a natural disaster and managing your mental health

    by Jasmine Palmer | Jul 30, 2020

    Beyond Blue is seeking your input to help shape content about how people manage their mental health through the process of recovery from a natural disaster. You may have been directly impacted by bushfires, a cyclone, flood or another type of natural disaster in the past or more recently.

    We’d like to know what you learnt about managing your mental health and supporting the mental health of those around you during the recovery process.

    How will we use your response?

    All responses to this activity will be shared with the Beyond Blue Content team. Your responses will help them develop content for the Personal best hub of the Beyond Blue website.

    In some instances, they may:

    • Lightly edit your responses (for clarity, grammar and spelling) as required and republish them with your permission (using first names only).
    • Contact you to find out if you would be interested in being interviewed for an article speaking to a specific aspect of your response (via video conference call or over the phone).

    Any personal information provided by you will be collected and used in accordance with Beyond Blue’s Privacy Policy which can be viewed at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/general/privacy-policy.

    What is Personal best?

    Personal best is an information hub on the Beyond Blue website. Here, people can find engaging and evidence-based articles related to mental health. Article focus ranges from highlighting the stories and experiences of our community to sharing practical advice and providing expert insight.

  • How can Beyond Blue better support the social and emotional wellbeing of your mob?

    by Jasmine Palmer | Jul 02, 2020

    Give your feedback on how Beyond Blue can better support the social and emotional wellbeing of your mob through a short survey.  All respondents go in the draw to win a great prize! 

    This survey is open to all people who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. We encourage you to share this survey with anyone you know who identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

    How to Take Part

    If you would like to share the survey with someone, please send them the following link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/beyondblue20

    Questions?

    Please contact Cox Inall Ridgeway Director, Yatu Widders-Hunt at yatu.widders-hunt@coxinallridgeway.com.au.

  • Survey: Coronavirus Mental Health Support Service

    by Jasmine Palmer | Jun 10, 2020
    Beyond Blue is developing a new mental health support service and we are keen to hear your thoughts and ideas of what it could look like. 

    We are asking all Blue Voices members to complete this initial short survey. The survey will only be open until midnight Sunday 5 April. This survey is the first of many ways we plan to involve community in helping us to design and deliver a service that is relevant and accessible to anyone living in Australia seeking mental health support through the coronavirus pandemic. 

    The Coronavirus Mental Health Support Service
    Julia Gillard, Beyond Blue Chair, recently spoke in the media about the importance of looking after your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. The Australian Government has acknowledged this need by committing $10 million to support Beyond Blue to develop a new Coronavirus Mental Health Support Service. Learn more.

    Our usual Beyond Blue Mental Health Support Service will continue to provide 24/7 support with this new service providing coronavirus-specific support. 
  • Co-designing mental health and wellbeing support during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond

    by Janelle Woods | Jun 04, 2020

    We need your help!

    Beyond Blue is seeking to better understand the experiences of people living in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic so we can better support the community.

    We want to work with the community to create solutions together to support the mental health of all people in Australia during and after the pandemic.

    We have put together a project to build this understanding and to work collaboratively with community to create solutions. 

    What's involved

    Time: Selected participants need to commit to two hours per week over a 6-week engagement.

    Method: A range of engagements options will be provided including:

    • Participation in an online community
    • Diary entries
    • Individual activities
    • Online / phone interviews
    • Workshops

    Given the sensitivity of the topic, the project team will speak with participants to discuss which activities will work best for them.

    Thanks: To thank participants for sharing their thoughts and their valuable time, they will receive $300 in Visa gift cards.

  • Co-designing mental health and wellbeing support during COVID-19 and beyond

    by User Not Found | Jun 01, 2020

    We need your help!

    Beyond Blue is seeking to better understand the experiences of people living in Australia during the coronavirus pandemic so we can better support the community.

    We want to work with the community to create solutions together to support the mental health of all people in Australia during and after the pandemic.

    We have put together a project to build this understanding and to work collaboratively with community to create solutions. 

    What's involved

    Time: Selected participants need to commit to two hours per week over a 6-week engagement.

    Method: A range of engagements options will be provided including:

    • Participation in an online community
    • Diary entries
    • Individual activities
    • Online / phone interviews
    • Workshops

    Given the sensitivity of the topic, the project team will speak with participants to discuss which activities will work best for them.

    Thanks: To thank participants for sharing their thoughts and their valuable time, they will receive $300 in Visa gift cards.

    How to take part

    If you are interested in participating, please complete the form below and we contact you.

    Please note the following points before expressing your interest:

    • Due to the high volume of interest we generally receive, we are unable to select all applicants to be involved in this project.
    • We have partnered with an external agency to assist with the recruitment of participants. The agency will ensure that all co-design participants represent diversity of experiences and perspectives, and will coordinate payment of incentives.
    • By providing your information in the link below, you will be consenting to be contacted by an external agency who will only be contacting you for the purpose of this project.

    We understand that it's a difficult time for many of us. We encourage you to consider whether this activity is right for you at this time. If you decide not to apply, there will be other opportunities to have your say in future.

  • Your say: Beyond Blue Support Service recorded messaging update

    by Jasmine Palmer | May 21, 2020

    We're updating the recorded messages people hear when they call the Beyond Blue Support Service and we want your feedback! We want to understand whether the new recordings are clear and easy to follow. 

    If you feel upset at any stage during or after listening to the recordings, we encourage you to stop the recordings and visit Beyond Blue's get immediate support page for ways to get support.

  • Your say: The easing of coronavirus restrictions & your mental health

    by Jasmine Palmer | May 14, 2020

    Beyond Blue is urgently seeking your input to guide content we’re creating regarding mental health and the easing of the coronavirus restrictions.

    The easing of the of the coronavirus restrictions may bring feelings of hope and relief, or for some, feelings of unease and concern. Perhaps there are new things you’ve learnt during this time, or fresh hopes you have for what the future holds as a result of the past few months. You might have feelings around returning to work (as an employer or an employee), or feel unsettled by the idea of more people being out and about. Maybe you’ve enjoyed being at home and don’t feel ready to begin the resumption of a more ‘normal’ life. No matter how the events of this time are affecting you, we’d like to hear your thoughts. 

    How will we use your story?

    All responses to this activity will be shared with the Beyond Blue Content team. Your responses will help them develop content for the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website.

    In some instances, they may:

    • Lightly edit your responses (for clarity, grammar and spelling) as required and republish them with your permission (using first names only).
    • Contact you to find out if you would be interested in being interviewed for an article speaking to a specific aspect of your response (via video conference call or over the phone).

    Any personal information provided by you will be collected and used in accordance with Beyond Blue’s Privacy Policy which can be viewed at https://www.beyondblue.org.au/general/privacy-policy.

    What is the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service?

    The Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website provides regularly updated information, advice, tools and strategies to help you manage your wellbeing and mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Your say: Help Beyond Blue develop resources for 'eating well' during the coronavirus pandemic

    by Jasmine Palmer | May 07, 2020

    Do you have any tips for cooking, shopping and/or preparing healthy meals during the coronavirus pandemic? Help Beyond Blue develop practical tips on eating well as part of managing mental wellbeing during these challenging times.

    As we continue to develop our resources to support people during the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking feedback on what can make it easier to prepare nutritious meals while we are being asked to stay at home. 

    How will we use your response?

    Your responses will be used to inform the development of a food and cooking resource for the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service website. We’ll seek permission before using your direct quotes.
  • Speakers: Join the Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau (NSW)

    by Jasmine Palmer | Apr 23, 2020

    Are you interested in speaking publicly about your experience with anxiety and/or depression (personally or through caring for others) to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues? 

    If you are, this opportunity could be for you. The Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau are currently recruiting for volunteer Speakers to join the team in New South Wales.

    The Beyond Blue Speakers team is making sure they grow the volunteer speakers bureau to support as many communities as possible. Therefore, in this recruitment, they are asking for applications from members living in NSW who are over 65 or living in regional to remote areas.

    People affected by anxiety or depression who meet at least one of following criteria are eligible to apply:

    • People living in rural and remote areas of NSW
    • Australians 65 years or older living in NSW

    Is being a Beyond Blue Speaker right for you?

    It can be a big step to talk publicly about your mental health. 

    Some people find publicly sharing their personal experience, and responding to sensitive audience questions, can be confronting or stressful.

    If you're interested in becoming a Beyond Blue Speaker we encourage you to reflect on your own wellbeing and whether this type of activity is right for you at this time.

    Recruiting speakers is an ongoing process so you'll be able to apply again if now isn't the right time for you.

  • Your say: Suicide safety plan to stay connected with people and places

    by Janelle Woods | Apr 01, 2020

    How are you staying socially connected?

    The need for physical distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has had an impact on many of our usual habits. Public events are cancelled and we need to stay at home which means that some steps in your personal suicide safety plan may not be realistic right now.

    We want to hear from members who have a suicide safety plan. We want to learn how you are updating your plan now that physical distancing is in place. We especially want to hear what changes you have made to step 5: People and places I can connect with.

    Beyond Now is a suicide safety planning app and website that enables you to create a personalised seven-step safety plan. One of the Beyond Now app’s features is providing suggestions for each step of the plan, intended to help anyone who’s stuck and looking for ideas.

    The steps relate to:

    1. My warning signs
    2. My reasons to live
    3. Making my space safe
    4. Things I can do for myself
    5. People and places I can connect with
    6. People I can talk or yarn to
    7. Professional support

    How will we use your response?

    All responses will be reviewed by the Beyond Blue Suicide Prevention team. The team is looking for ideas and quotes to share with other app and website users. 

    Your responses will be used to update the app and our Beyond Now website, including:

    • providing new suggestions in the Beyond Now app for others looking for ideas to fill out or update their plan.
    • refreshing the content on our Beyond Now web pages with guidance and ideas around updating or creating a safety plan for the first time. 

    We’ll seek permission before using your answers on the app or website. We may also contact some respondents by phone to further explore their responses.

  • Join the Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau (Victoria)

    by Janelle Woods | Mar 05, 2020

    Are you interested in speaking publicly about your experience with anxiety and/or depression to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues? 

    If you are, this opportunity could be for you. The Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau are currently recruiting for volunteer Speakers to join the team in Victoria.

    What's involved in being a Speaker?

    Beyond Blue receives hundreds of requests each year for people to speak at a range of events, including community forums, conferences, schools and community sports clubs.

    Beyond Blue Speakers share their personal stories of anxiety, depression and recovery to increase awareness, reduce stigma, encourage people to talk about how they’re feeling and to take action to get help.

    All Speakers receive training on public speaking, how to share your story and responding to tricky questions.

    Is being a Beyond Blue Speaker right for you?

    It can be a big step to talk publicly about your mental health. 

    Some people find publicly sharing their personal experience, and responding to sensitive audience questions, can be confronting or stressful.

    If you're interested in becoming a Beyond Blue Speaker we encourage you to reflect on your own wellbeing and whether this type of activity is right for you at this time.

    Recruiting speakers is an ongoing process so you'll be able to apply again if now isn't the right time for you.

  • Your story: What has changed your life for the better?

    by Janelle Woods | Feb 12, 2020

    Beyond Blue is seeking stories that tell how That_changed my life. The 'that' will be different for everyone but it will have had an ongoing profound positive impact on their life and mental health.

    The first story shared as part of That_changed my life series is about singing.

    If you’ve experienced something that has truly changed your life, something that lifted you up when you were low and that continues to bring you happiness – we’d love to hear from you.

    Your story may be about a new hobby like joining a craft group, writing poetry or participating in a theatre group. Perhaps you started a new physical activity like running, hiking, cycling, team sports or ocean swimming. Has music changed your life? Either learning to play a musical instrument, singing with a group or listening to a composer that never fails to move you. Or perhaps you adopted a beloved pet. 

    Selected stories will be shared as part of the Personal best That_changed my life series which celebrates anything that has helped someone through tough times, changing their life for the better.

    How will we use your story?

    All responses to this activity will be shared with the Beyond Blue Content team. Your responses will guide the team to decide what they might include in an article on the Personal best pages of our website.

    In some instances, they may:

    • Seek your permission to quote you in one of the articles
    • Contact you to find out if you would be interested in being interviewed for the article (either in person or over the phone)

    What is Personal best?

    Personal best is an information hub on the Beyond Blue website. Here, people can find engaging and evidence-based articles related to mental health. Article focus ranges from highlighting the stories and experiences of our community to sharing practical advice and providing expert insight.

  • Committee: Beyond Blue Independent Evaluation Advisory Committee

    by Janelle Woods | Feb 12, 2020

    Beyond Blue is seeking to appoint two community members to sit on an advisory committee that will help shape how the organisation’s work is evaluated.

    About the evaluation

    In 2020 Beyond Blue will contract an external provider to undertake an independent evaluation of its work.

    An independent evaluation will support and inform Beyond Blue’s continuous improvement and learning, and is a requirement in our funding agreement with the Commonwealth Department of Health. 

    This will be Beyond Blue's fifth independent evaluation since the organisation was founded in 2000. The previous evaluation findings are publicly available at on our website

    A key part of this next evaluation will be to explore how effectively Beyond Blue is serving the communities affected by depression, anxiety and suicide. 

    The next evaluation will cover the period 2020 to 2023.  

    The committee

    The purpose of the Advisory Committee is to provide strategic advice and guidance to Beyond Blue, and to ensure the evaluation scope, selected provider methodology and the evaluation progress are appropriate.

    This Advisory Committee members will include:

    • Beyond Blue staff managing the evaluation
    • A number of external individuals with expert knowledge and experience across government, not-for-profits organisations, academic research and evaluation design, commissioning and management.
    • Two community members with a personal experience of anxiety, depression and/or suicidal thoughts. 

    The involvement of community to inform Beyond Blue is important to us. As such, it is expected that the advice and guidance from this Advisory Committee will include recommendations to appropriately involve the participation of those affected by anxiety, depression and suicide throughout the design and delivery of this evaluation.

    The committee will provide strategic advice and guidance on:

    • the planning and progress of the 5th Independent Evaluation.
    • the tender specifications.
    • the assessment and appointment of the evaluation provider.
    • the preparation of interim and  final evaluation reports.

    The Terms of Reference for the Advisory Committee will be fully considered at the first meeting.

    Time commitment

    The Advisory Committee will meet on several occasions over three and a half years.

    All members of the Advisory Committee are expected to attend all meetings and complete all pre-reading.

    • Five meetings over three and a half years.
    • Meeting will be approximately three hours long.
    • Meetings will be held during business hours.
    • Some meetings will require up to two hours of pre-reading.
    • All but the first meeting can be attended via skype/teleconference.
    Reimbursement of your time

    If selected, you will be reimbursed for your involvement. Reimbursement rates are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal at Determination 2019 and include:

    • Attendance at each meeting (sitting fees)
    • Any reading required (non-sitting fees)
    • Any travel costs (organised by Beyond Blue) to attend meetings. 
  • Peer support role: Become a Beyond Blue online Community Champion

    by Janelle Woods | Feb 11, 2020

    The main Beyond Blue Forums are an online community that supports and learns from each other.

    We're currently recruiting for volunteer Community Champions to provide online peer support via the forums to people experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

    About Community Champions

    Having a space to ‘vent’ and let others know about the difficulties we’re experiencing in life is important.

    Community Champions help maintain a warm and friendly community. They spark new conversations, guide and welcome newcomers and, when needed, remind forum members of the rules. In particular, Community Champions help by:

    • Actively looking for and answering unanswered questions or posts
    • Welcoming new members and helping them find their way around – particularly in connecting them with other members or threads that are similar to theirs
    • Helping the community be a vibrant, respectful, and enjoyable place
    • Starting new threads on topics of interest relating to hope, recovery and staying well
    • Referring any concerns you have about a member’s wellbeing to our moderators

    Please note this is purely a peer support role and you are not expected to be responsible for the wellbeing of individual members.

    You can read more about what the role involves in the Community Champions Guide.

  • Your story: Has your culture influenced your mental health?

    by Janelle Woods | Feb 05, 2020

    We want to explore the role that culture has played in someone's mental health.

    If your culture has significantly influenced your mental health (or the mental health of someone close to you), we’d love to hear from you. You may have found strength and connection through your cultural community or practices, or perhaps you have felt isolated due to beliefs and ideas about mental health within your cultural community

    Beyond Blue will be sharing stories of people from different cultures and backgrounds throughout Australia, with a focus on the role that their culture played (or plays) in their mental health.

    How will we use your story?

    All responses to this activity will be shared with the Beyond Blue Content team. Your responses will guide the team to decide what they might include in an article on the Personal best pages of our website.

    In some instances, they may:

    • Seek your permission to quote you in one of the articles
    • Contact you to find out if you would be interested in being interviewed for the article (either in person or over the phone)

    What is Personal best?

    Personal best is an information hub on the Beyond Blue website. Here, people can find engaging and evidence-based articles related to mental health. Article focus ranges from highlighting the stories and experiences of our community to sharing practical advice and providing expert insight.

  • Testing: Youth Beyond Blue website content - part two

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 14, 2020

    Over the years Beyond Blue has set up and managed separate websites with information for specific people.

    As we move towards updating our main Beyond Blue website we're looking to bring the information on these websites into one place - www.beyondblue.org.au.

    Youth Beyond Blue is the first website content we'll moving to the main Beyond Blue website.

    This activity follows the activity run last year. That activity involved getting your input on what you would look for when searching the youth content on our website - in particular the language and menu options. 

    Thanks to the input we received, we now have a menu to further test with potential users to make sure we get this right.

    How you can help

    We need your help to ensure that the way we have organised the youth content is logical and findable. 

    An online 'tree jack' exercise has been set up to help you share you feedback with us.

    This will help us to understand if the labels and menus make sense, and if the content is grouped logically. Ultimately, that you and others can easily and quickly find what you are looking for. 

     

  • Workshop: Engaging LGBTIQ communities in conversations about suicide safety planning

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 09, 2020

    Beyond Blue’s free suicide safety planning app, Beyond Now, is available to anyone who could benefit from creating a safety plan that they can access anywhere, any time on their phone.

    Why we need your help

    We are in a process of evaluating the use of the app throughout many communities and groups across the country. We want your help to identify the best way to engage with the LGBTIQ communities in the evaluation process. 

    Who we are looking for

    We are looking for two Blue Voices members from the LGBTIQ community who have experienced suicidal thoughts or have attempted to take their own life.

    People who identify as bisexual and/or transgender report the highest rates of suicidal thoughts and suicide which is why we are particularly keen to include voices from these groups.

    The Blue Voices members will be part of two in-depth workshop discussions to provide their insights and advice. 

    What your input will mean

    Your input will help us design the best approach to the evaluation – in particular how we safely and supportively engage LGBTIQ people to discuss suicide-related topics (e.g. through focus groups, one-on-one interviews), the types of questions to ask, and how we can best support people in these forums.

    The other workshop participants

    In addition to two Blue Voices members, the workshop participants will include:

    • Beyond Blue Diversity & Inclusion staff
    • A member of the LGBTIQ community
    • Snr Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, La Trobe University
    • LGBTIQ mental health researcher
  • Workshop: Engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in conversations about suicide safety planning

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 09, 2020

    Beyond Blue’s free suicide safety planning app, Beyond Now, is available to anyone who could benefit from creating a safety plan that they can access anywhere, any time on their phone.

    Why we need your help

    We are in a process of evaluating the use of the app throughout many communities and groups across the country. We want your help to identify the best way to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the evaluation process.

    Who we are looking for

    We are looking for two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people who have been affected by suicide. This can be as someone who has experienced suicidal thoughts or attempted to take their own life, or someone who has supported someone who has attempted suicide or took their own life. 

    These Blue Voices members will be part of two in-depth workshop discussions to provide their insights and advice.

    What your input will mean

    Your input will help us design the best approach to the evaluation – in particular how we safely and supportively engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in discussions around suicide (e.g. through focus groups, one-on-one interviews), the types of questions to ask, and how we can best support people in these forums.

    The other workshop participants

    In addition to two Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Blue Voices members, the workshop participants will include:

    • Beyond Blue Diversity & Inclusion staff
    • Aboriginal Elder in Residence, Deakin University
    • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community member
    • Aboriginal Health Worker/social work/counsellor
    • Snr Lecturer, Monash University Rural Health
  • Share your experience: Personal Best story ideas

    by Helen Malley | Jan 09, 2020

    Personal Best is an information hub on the Beyond Blue website that presents a unique range of engaging and evidence-based articles around mental health.

    From sharing personal experiences of community members and looking at what’s happening on our forums to providing practical and expert advice, Personal Best aims to help people find the support they need in a way that relates to them.

    How can you help?

    We recognise the personal experience and insight that you, as Blue Voices members, possess. And we’d value the opportunity to involve you in the creation of content for Personal Best.

    Each month we'll share a selection of ideas and themes we’re looking to feature. If any of these relate to your experience of mental health, we’d love to hear from you.

    What's involved?

    On receiving your input, we'll share it with the Beyond Blue Content Team. They’ll use it to guide the direction of stories and, in some circumstances, a writer and/or producer may also reach out to you individually to see if you’re interested in being interviewed (either in person or over the phone). In doing so, we’ll have support available should sharing your story bring up any distressing emotions. 

  • Phone interview: Workplace Monitoring and Evaluation Framework

    by Helen Malley | Nov 28, 2019

    Beyond Blue's workplace program strives to create mentally healthy workplaces across Australia.

    The community are encouraged to understand how to build a workplace that protects the mental health of all staff, promotes wellbeing and supports staff with mental health conditions.

    This is done through the Heads Up website, engaging with the workplace community and delivering tailored programs for higher-risk workplaces, like the Police and Emergency Services sector and small business community.

    But how do we know if we're achieving our mission and making a difference?

    Beyond Blue is currently exploring opportunities to strengthen how we monitor and measure our overall workplace program performance. To support this, a new Workplace Monitoring and Evaluation Framework is being developed.

    Why is a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework important?

    The framework will allow Beyond Blue to better measure our impact on workplaces and track opportunities to improve our operations, services, programs and campaigns.

    How Blue Voices can help

    Your experiences with mental health and workplaces will help make sure the Framework is relevant and useful to address workplace mental health.

    Sharing your ideas will involve a thirty-minute phone interview with an evaluation consultant.

    We're ideally looking for three Blue Voices members who have one of the following to take part:

    • experience with Beyond Blue Workplace initiatives including Heads Up (i.e. used the Heads Up resources as an employee, manager or any exposure to it in their workplace)
    • experience with similar workplace initiatives
    • skills in strategic level thinking, business improvement, impact measurement or monitoring and evaluation
  • Testing: Youth Beyond Blue website content

    by Helen Malley | Nov 19, 2019

    Over the years Beyond Blue has set up and managed separate websites with information for specific people.

    As we move towards updating our main Beyond Blue website we're looking to bring the information on these websites into one place - www.beyondblue.org.au.

    Youth Beyond Blue is the first website we'll be closing and moving the content onto the main Beyond Blue website.

    How you can help

    We need your help to guide us on how to group this information and make the new web pages easy and logical to navigate.

    An online 'card sorting' exercise has been set up to help you share you feedback with us.

     

  • Workshop: Mental Health Continuum

    by Helen Malley | Nov 11, 2019

    Beyond Blue is in the process of developing a Mental Health Continuum - a visual way to show how people move between good and poor mental health.

    Earlier this year we invited Blue Voices members and professionals to help us work out a general structure structure for an Australian mental health continuum.

    We're now in the next phase and interested to hear from Blue Voices members to make sure the Beyond Blue model is as useful and appropriate as possible.

    Once we’ve received feedback from Blue Voices and mental health professionals, we'll create a model incorporating the range of perspectives received. We will then test this model with different groups to make sure it is as great as it can be.

  • Volunteer opportunity: Australian Open 2020

    by Helen Malley | Oct 22, 2019

    Beyond Blue is excited to once again be partnering with Tennis Australia and returning to the iconic Australian Open (AO) in 2020.

    We have some exciting opportunities for Blue Voices members to join in the volunteering fun at the first Grand Slam of the year.

    We’d love you to help us raise awareness and funds for Beyond Blue at this world-famous event.

    Volunteer roles at the AO will include helping at the Beyond Blue stall, interacting with the public and sharing Beyond Blue information and resources. 

    Volunteer shifts are available for each day of the tournament, so there are plenty of options!

    Once your shift is over, you are more than welcome to soak up the atmosphere of the AO, as your accreditation will allow you to access the ground pass areas including the outside courts and stage area. Entry to Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena is not included in volunteer accreditation.

    Volunteers will be eligible for up to $30 in reimbursements to cover the costs for transport, food & drinks. 

  • Have your say: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience as a Blue Voices member

    by Janelle Woods | Oct 10, 2019

    Beyond Blue is conducting research with Cox Inall Ridgeway (CIR) to understand cultural safety and appropriateness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders when joining and participating in Blue Voices activities. 

    Members who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander are invited to respond to a short list of questions by email and an opportunity to take part in some workshops to help explore how Blue Voices works or doesn't work for you. 

    You should have received an email invitation from CIR on Friday 11 October. If you missed out and would like to be involved, you can complete the questions via the link below or contact CIR directly on the details provided.  

    If you have any questions about this research project please contact the Blue Voices team (bluevoices@beyondblue.org.au) or CIR. 

     

  • Share your story: Sit on a suicide prevention panel

    by Helen Malley | Sep 30, 2019

    Professor of Medical Psychology and research expert into suicide, suicidal behaviour and non-suicidal self-injury, Barbara Stanley will be visiting Australia in November.

    In conjunction with Beyond Blue, Barbara will be hosting a discussion panel on suicide safety planning.

    This panel discussion for clinicians aims to increase their understanding and use of suicide safety plans.

    Sitting on the panel will be

    • Prof Barbara Stanley, Clinical Psychologist, Columbia University (USA),
    • A/Prof Glenn Melvin Clinical Psychologist, School of Psychology, Deakin University and
    • A/Prof Michael Gordon, Child Psychiatrist, Unit Head Early in Life Mental Health Service, Monash Health.

    To share experience of people using suicide safety plans we'd like to have a Blue Voices member sitting on the panel discussion.

    How you can help

    We're looking for a Blue Voices member who has used a suicide safety plan, and found it beneficial, to sit on the panel.

    You will be asked to share your experience and answer any questions the audience may have.

    Beyond Blue will support you and help you prepare for the panel with media training and clinical support.

    Panel discussion details

    Date: Monday 11 November

    Venue: Deakin Downtown Conference Centre, Docklands VIC

    Time: 9am - 1pm

    To acknowledge your time, you will receive a gift voucher if you are selected.

  • Have your say: You're not alone perinatal campaign

    by Helen Malley | Aug 20, 2019

    complete-survey

    Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Awareness (PANDA) Week is from 10 – 16 November 2019.

    Beyond Blue is running a campaign during PANDA Week to encourage mums and their loved ones to check in by doing a short mental health checklist.

    This campaign builds on the success of our campaign launched in May 2018. That campaign highlighted the search terms new and expecting parents have Googled. The aim of sharing these search terms was to let new and expectant parents know that they are not alone - that other parents have the same thoughts and questions.

    These search terms highlight moments of stress and anxiety. A moment when someone has felt alone and unheard. But the reality is, these thoughts are not uncommon, which is why we're starting this conversation. 

    How you can help

    We have seven new search terms. We can't use them all, so we are asking Blue Voices members to help us choose. Your feedback will assist us to determine which terms we use in the next campaign.

  • Share your story: Anxiety campaign social media videos

    by Helen Malley | Aug 14, 2019

    Beyond Blue has been running the ‘Know when anxiety is talking’ campaign since 2017. The campaign aims to help break down stigma and help encourage people to seek help when they need it. 

    The final phase of the campaign will be launching in early October

    Research has shown that on average it takes eight years from the first signs of an anxiety condition, for someone to seek professional support.

    This phase of our campaign is focused on changing these stats and helping people to know where to go if they think they might be experiencing anxiety.

    How you can help

    To help get this message across we're looking to make a series of social media videos sharing the real stories of people who got help for their anxiety.

    The videos will highlight the experience of anxiety with a focus on why, when and how people get help and how they manage their anxiety now.

    We're looking for five Blue Voices members to share they experience with anxiety for these social media videos. Selection for videos will be influenced by us wanting to get a variety of experiences and backgrounds. 

    We are also looking at other ways we might be able to share more stories we get through this activity. This may include articles or quotes on our website, or through other media channels. 

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Bunnings Trade Expo Hobart

    by Helen Malley | Aug 06, 2019

    Are you comfortable having one-on-one conversations about mental health and referring people to relevant Beyond Blue resources and services? If so, we’d love to hear from you. 

    We are proud to be attending the highly anticipated Bunnings Trade Expos across Australia for the first time in 2019 and are looking for volunteers to assist at the Beyond Blue booth.

    At the Beyond Blue booth we’ll be running free ‘mental health check ups’ using the K10 Anxiety and depression checklist.

    A range of resources will be available to support conversations and referrals to relevant services.

    A Beyond Blue representative will be attending the events and will provide a briefing to volunteers prior to a shift.

  • Survey: The cost of mental health services

    by Janelle Woods | Jul 18, 2019

    This short survey will help Beyond Blue understand what people in Australia are having to pay, out of their own pocket, for the mental health services they need.

    The results will be used to strengthen our advocacy activities and inform the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into mental health.

  • Have your say: Beyond Blue's Community Engagement Strategy

    by Helen Malley | Jul 18, 2019

    Beyond Blue is developing a Community Engagement Strategy to help us better engage and understand our community.

    The Partnerships and Community Engagement Team have been busy working on the strategy and are preparing to present it to the Beyond Blue Board in September 2019.

    We need your feedback

    Before presenting to the Board, we want to find out what you think of the Community Engagement Strategy 2020-22 Summary.

  • Have your say: how can Beyond Blue help develop your committee skills?

    by Helen Malley | Jul 03, 2019

    Developing skills in applying for and sitting on a committee was the top request in the 2019 Blue Voices annual survey.  

    We asked what you wanted to learn and how you would like to learn. You told us that tip sheets and training videos would work best.  

    What's next

    To help us design or find the best support tools for you, we need a bit more information.

    We want to know the questions you have around applying for or sitting on a committee. 

  • Have your say: help name our new Gift in Will Society

    by Helen Malley | May 28, 2019

    We recently sent out a survey to Blue Voices members to get a better understanding of how you felt about Beyond Blue starting a gift in Will program. The responses came back with a resounding “yes” we should start one. We are now ready to move on with the development of our gift in Will program.

    Next steps

    The next step is to develop a special society that will be built up from a community of people who have included Beyond Blue in their Will. The purpose of the society will be to connect people with a shared commitment to the future of Beyond Blue and our important work and recognise and thank their commitment.

    We want these people to feel special and appreciated and part of a group with special sense of purpose – to ensure we will still be here in the future to provide vital support to people with mental health conditions.

  • Volunteer opportunity: NRL Beyond Blue Cup 2019

    by Helen Malley | May 28, 2019

    The NRL Beyond Blue Cup aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma of anxiety, depression and suicide within the NRL community.

    Wests Tigers Rugby League Club are encouraging people to start the conversation about mental health and seek help, with the key message that ‘Talking About Mental Health is the Game Changer’.

    Game details

    Wests Tigers vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
    Bankwest Stadium
    Thursday 27 June

    Beyond Blue activities

    Beyond Blue will be running activities before and during the game to promote our message to the NRL community. These activities include a pre-game corporate fundraising game for Beyond Blue, and a half time on-ground promotion.

  • Survey: 2019 Blue Voices member survey - tell us what works and what doesn't.

    by Janelle Woods | May 23, 2019

    It's that time again!

    We want to know about your experience as a Blue Voices member. What works and what doesn't and importantly, where can we improve? 

    This is your chance to help shape how this program works.

    We've included a range of different types of questions including tick boxes, rating scales and open text responses. Respond in the way that best suits you. 

  • Volunteer opportunity: AFL Beyond Blue Cup 2019

    by Helen Malley | May 21, 2019

    For the past twelve years, Hawthorn Football Club has been a huge supporter of Beyond Blue, each year dedicating a game as the AFL Beyond Blue Cup.

    This year, Hawthorn will take on West Coast Eagles on Saturday 29 June at the MCG for the 2019 AFL Beyond Blue Cup. This is an afternoon fixture.

    The annual Beyond Blue Cup aims to raise funds, smash stigma and increase awareness of anxiety, depression and suicide prevention in the community.

    This year’s AFL Beyond Cup theme is: ‘Talking about mental health is the game changer’ and aims to encourage people to have the conversation about their own mental health and those around them.

    We are looking for around 100 volunteers to help before the match by handing out Beyond Blue wristbands, collecting donations and chatting to people attending the game. 

    Volunteers will receive a free ticket into the game afterwards as well as up to $30 in reimbursements to cover the costs of transport, parking, food and drinks for the day. 

    Volunteering Details

    Date: Saturday 29 June

    Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground

    Time: 11.30am - 2pm

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Bunnings Trade Expo Perth

    by Helen Malley | May 21, 2019

    Are you comfortable having one-on-one conversations about mental health and referring people to relevant Beyond Blue resources and services? If so, we’d love to hear from you. 

    We are proud to be attending the highly anticipated Bunnings Trade Expos across Australia for the first time in 2019 and are looking for volunteers to assist at the Beyond Blue booth.

    At the Beyond Blue booth we’ll be running free ‘mental health check ups’ using the K10 Anxiety and depression checklist.

    A range of resources will be available to support conversations and referrals to relevant services.

    A Beyond Blue representative will be attending the events and will provide a briefing to volunteers prior to a shift.

  • Survey: Help us develop Beyond Blue’s next strategic plan

    by Janelle Woods | Apr 30, 2019
    Beyond Blue has grown and changed since we began back in 2000. However, at the core of everything we do is our vision that all people in Australia can achieve their best possible mental health. That vision will guide us for many years into the future, but what we do, or don’t do, is driven by our Strategic Plan. 

    The importance of a strategic plan

    Since 2000, we have had four strategic plans, each lasting five years. A strategic plan is a critical document for any organisation like Beyond Blue, because it guides all our activities – it says who we are, what we do and why we do it.

    Our 2015 Strategic Plan focuses on supporting people to speak about and manage their mental health where they live, learn, work and connect – in early childhood centres, in schools, in workplaces, in the community and around the kitchen table.

    Our 2020 Strategic Plan

    We need a new strategic plan from mid-2020 to set our focus and direction for the coming years.

    The development of this Strategic Plan involves many parts including:

    • Reflecting on the implementation of our current 2015 Strategic Plan
    • Speaking with other mental health organisation and governments across Australia
    • Discussions by our Board, management and staff
    • Consultation with community 

    Your voices

    We have already learned valuable insights from the community through consultations done for several major projects including our Know Anxiety campaign, the development of our Policy Reform Agenda and the Beyond Blue brand refresh.

    In this survey we ask you some key questions to help us get more clarity on what our next strategy focus needs to be. 

  • Survey: We need your help to develop Beyond Blue’s next strategic plan

    by Janelle Woods | Apr 30, 2019
    Beyond Blue has grown and changed since we began back in 2000. However, at the core of everything we do is our vision that all people in Australia can achieve their best possible mental health. That vision will guide us for many years into the future, but what we do, or don’t do, is driven by our Strategic Plan. 

    The importance of a strategic plan

    Since 2000, we have had four strategic plans, each lasting five years. A strategic plan is a critical document for any organisation like Beyond Blue, because it guides all our activities – it says who we are, what we do and why we do it.

    Our 2015 Strategic Plan focuses on supporting people to speak about and manage their mental health where they live, learn, work and connect – in early childhood centres, in schools, in workplaces, in the community and around the kitchen table.

    Our 2020 Strategic Plan

    We need a new strategic plan from mid-2020 to set our focus and direction for the coming years.

    The development of this Strategic Plan involves many parts including:

    • Reflecting on the implementation of our current 2015 Strategic Plan
    • Speaking with other mental health organisation and governments across Australia
    • Discussions by our Board, management and staff
    • Consultation with community  

    Your voices

    We have already learned valuable insights from the community through consultations done for several major projects including our Know Anxiety campaign, the development of our Policy Reform Agenda and the Beyond Blue brand refresh.

    In this survey we ask you some key questions to help us get more clarity on what our next strategy focus needs to be. 

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Bunnings Trade Expo Newcastle

    by Helen Malley | Apr 24, 2019

    Are you comfortable having one-on-one conversations about mental health and referring people to relevant Beyond Blue resources and services? If so, we’d love to hear from you. 

    We are proud to be attending the highly anticipated Bunnings Trade Expos across the Australia for the first time in 2019 and are looking for volunteers to assist at the Beyond Blue booth.

    At the Beyond Blue booth we’ll be running free ‘mental health check ups’ using the K10 Anxiety and depression checklist.

    A range of resources will be available to support conversations and referrals to relevant services.

    A Beyond Blue representative will be attending the events and will provide a briefing to volunteers prior to a shift.

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Bunnings Trade Expo Brisbane

    by Helen Malley | Apr 24, 2019

    Are you comfortable having one-on-one conversations about mental health and referring people to relevant Beyond Blue resources and services? If so, we’d love to hear from you. 

    We are proud to be attending the highly anticipated Bunnings Trade Expos across the Australia for the first time in 2019 and are looking for volunteers to assist at the Beyond Blue booth.

    At the Beyond Blue booth we’ll be running free ‘mental health check ups’ using the K10 Anxiety and depression checklist.

    A range of resources will be available to support conversations and referrals to relevant services.

    A Beyond Blue representative will be attending the events and will provide a briefing to volunteers prior to a shift.

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Tough Mudder Queensland

    by Helen Malley | Apr 24, 2019

    Have you been looking to get your hands dirty and volunteer with Beyond Blue? Well we have the event for you!

    We’re looking volunteers to join us at Tough Mudder South East Queensland.

    Tough Mudder is the premier obstacle course in the world and we have something for everyone who wants to volunteer. From being the first to greet thousands of Mudders, cheering them on around the course or putting on those hard-earned headbands at the finish line.

    Whatever you do as a Mudder volunteer, you’ll be at the heart of it all, creating life-changing experiences for everyone – including yourself.

    Volunteers will also receive a discounted entry to participate in next year’s event.

    It’s the final year of our partnership with Tough Mudder, which has already raised over an incredible $250,000 for Beyond Blue.

  • Reference Group: Help Design the Beyond Blue Performance Framework

    by Helen Malley | Apr 18, 2019

    At Beyond Blue we promote good mental health. We create change to protect everyone’s mental health and improve the lives of people, families and communities affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.

    We do this through a range of promotion, prevention and early intervention initiatives to raise awareness, increase knowledge, reduce stigma and discrimination, and encourage people to seek help early.

    But how do we know if we're achieving our mission and making a difference?

    Many of our current measures are based on individual program evaluations, qualitative data, marketing data, and anecdotal accounts.

    After a recent period of growth, now is a good time to look at strengthening how we measure our overall performance.

    What is a Performance Framework?

    Currently Beyond Blue does not have an accurate and reliable way to provide an organisation-wide picture of our performance and impact.

    The design and implementation of a performance framework will allow Beyond Blue to better measure our health impact on Australians and track opportunities to improve our operations, services, programs and campaigns.

    The Performance Framework Reference Group

    To help create the Performance Framework a reference group is being formed and will be made up of:

    • General Manager Strategy and Policy, Sam Rosevear
    • Eight Key Beyond Blue Staff Members
    • Two Blue Voices Members

    The Blue Voices representatives on the reference group will work alongside other members to:

    • Ensure the Performance Framework meets Beyond Blue’s strategic objectives
    • Develop a theory of change and program logic for the project
    • Design the Framework and standard measures
    • Help enable the successful implementation of the Framework
    • Ensure principles of diversity and inclusion are developed for the ongoing implementation of the Framework.
    • Ensure the Framework and standard measures are relevant and useful to address the mental health and wellbeing needs of people who had experienced anxiety, depression or suicidality.

    Blue Voices Input

    Your experiences with mental health will help the reference group make sure the Framework is relevant and useful to address the mental health and wellbeing needs of people with a mental health condition.

    Along with mental health experiences we're also looking for Blue Voices members who have experience in one or more of the following areas: strategic level thinking, business improvement, impact measurement, performance measurement and monitoring and evaluation. Specifically, experience in public health is desirable but not essential.

  • Survey: What prompted you to get help for your anxiety?

    by Helen Malley | Apr 17, 2019

    Since 2017 Beyond Blue has ran a major anxiety campaign focused on increasing the public's understanding of anxiety and the stigma related. 

    2019 Anxiety Campaign

    Later this year we will launch phase three of the campaign, educating people on what to do next once they have identified they might be experiencing anxiety.

    Research has shown on average it takes eight years from the first signs of an anxiety condition to seeking professional support.

    For phase three we really want to know the things that enable and encourage people to seek support.

    How you can help

    We'd love to know what prompted you to seek support for your anxiety.

    The insights we receive from this survey will help us develop a more targeted survey for Blue Voices members later in the year. This will help direct the messaging of phase three and make sure it is relevant and practical advice.

  • Share your experience: Help develop a mental health guide for police officers responding to situations

    by Helen Malley | Apr 16, 2019

    The Australia and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) is a joint initiative of Australian and New Zealand Police Commissioners (ANZPAA’s Board).

    ANZPAA is currently developing a Mental Health Guide to assist police officers when responding to members of the public experiencing poor mental health or a mental health crisis. 

    The mental health guide is expected to include content such as:

    • behavioural indicators
    • response, engagement and communication strategies

    How Blue Voices can help

    It's important the mental health guide takes into account the experience of people who have had interactions with police when they’ve been experiencing poor mental health. This experience can relate to you or someone you care for.

    To make sure the guide is balanced ANZPAA are looking for Blue Voices members to share their experience.

    This feedback can be written or through an interview with ANZPAA, either face to face or over the phone. You are welcome to have a friend or family member join you for support during the interview as well.

  • Website testing: help improve the suicide prevention pages of the website

    by Helen Malley | Apr 04, 2019

    The Brand and Content Team at Beyond Blue are currently reviewing the suicide prevention pages on the website.

    The suicide prevention web pages help inform the community on:

    • ways to support a friend, family member or partner who might be thinking about suicide 
    • provide practical advice for people who might be thinking about suicide or have had a suicide attempt 
    • information for people who have lost someone to suicide. 

    By making sure the web pages are easy to find and navigate it will help people get the information they need when they need it.

    Along with updating the images and videos on the pages the Brand and Content Team are also wanting to test how users navigate the pages and use heading and menus.

  • Committee: Have you say and provide input to each project planned at Beyond Blue

    by Helen Malley | Mar 27, 2019

    We have an exciting opportunity for two Blue Voices members to join the Beyond Blue Portfolio Governance Group (PGG).

    About the Portfolio Governance Group

    All projects at Beyond Blue begin as an idea and go through various stages of planning according to our Portfolio and Project Management (PPM) system. It is the role of the PGG to  reviews all projects entering the PPM system firstly as an Idea, then as a more detailed business case. This is to make sure they deliver the maximum benefit to the community and fit with the Beyond Blue goals and priorities.

    The PGG is made up of senior leadership and staff across our six business groups and three Blue Voices members. PGG members provide their experience and strategic review as a value add to projects, to ensure every project moving forward has the best chance of success.

    Purpose of the PGG

    • Provide a consistent and transparent approach to project decision making that aligns to Beyond Blue's values and strategic goals
    • Be a constructive space for staff to get feedback on project ideas and business cases before submission to the CEO and/or Board for approval
    • Help improve integration of existing and planned work, reducing duplicated effort though developing a broad knowledge of all project submissions
    • Share learnings from other projects and make sure they are recorded and considered in future project appraisal criteria (e.g. Project Closure Reports)

    Blue Voices role on the PGG

    • Provide feedback and suggestions on project Ideas and Business Cases to help develop and deliver the greatest value for the community
    • Contribute to decision making, drawing on your personal insights and experiences both personally and professionally
    • Assist in prioritising project Ideas and Business Cases to align with Beyond Blue's values, strategic goals and resources

    Project examples

    Projects at Beyond Blue can directly support the community or help improve internal processes. Some examples of projects the PGG review are:

    • Equipping Families - creating a range of digital resources and information for parents and carers to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to actively promote wellbeing, and to recognise when additional support might be needed for their family.
    • Mental Health Continuum - researching if it would be valid and acceptable to incorporate a mental health continuum model at Beyond Blue and understand how it would impact our existing and future information architecture and communications frameworks.
    • Customer Relationship Management system - implementing an internal database to support good stakeholder engagement and communication.
  • Workshop: Drive policy change for early intervention services in mental health

    by Helen Malley | Mar 20, 2019

    Most of the Australian population would benefit from mental health early intervention services.

    People who are 'well' and those with mild-to-moderate mental health conditions make up 97 per cent of our population.

    While there are a lot of services for sever mental health conditions, there are far fewer for early intervention.

    To address this Beyond Blue is suggesting the Australian Government creates a national, low-intensity, early intervention service system to help everyone get the help they need to protect their mental health.

    MH in Australia graph

    What do early intervention and low intensity mean?

    Early intervention, in this case, means having specialist intervention and support for a person who is experiencing early symptoms of a mental health condition.

    Low intensity mental health services support people with or at risk of mild mental health conditions.

     

    How you can help us get it right

    To help form the policy suggestions Beyond Blue will put forward, we're hosting two interactive workshops and conversations with other people in the mental health system.

    Health professionals and Blue Voices members will provide feedback and opinions on what services and access is needed and how building a national, low intensity, early-intervention system might look.

    This is a unique and exciting opportunity to have your say on the position Beyond Blue will take on this important matter.

    The feedback from the workshops will directly guide the policy submission.

  • Workshop: Putting children first – preventing anxiety and depression from developing in childhood

    by Helen Malley | Mar 20, 2019

    There are well-established systems in place across Australia to make sure our children (even before they are born) receive physical health checks, medical care and education appropriate to their age and development.

    These systems are well established and accessible because we know how important the early years are for a child's future.

    By contrast, no such system exists to support children’s mental health.

    We now know half of all mental health conditions begin by the age of 14 and half of the Australian population will be affected by a mental health condition across their lifetime.

    To address this problem, Beyond Blue is suggesting the Australian Government develops a national system of mental health support for every child from birth to 12 years, their parents and carers.

    How you can help us get it right

    To tackle this topic Beyond Blue is hosting two workshops along with conversations with other experts in the area.

    During the workshops health professionals, educators and Blue Voices members will be asked "if we took children’s mental health as seriously as their physical health or education, what sort of system would we need and how would that change family journeys from conception to high school?"

    This is a unique and exciting opportunity to have your say on the position Beyond Blue will take on this important matter.

    The feedback from the workshops will directly guide the policy submission.

  • Workshop: Suicide prevention - improving access to care

    by Helen Malley | Mar 20, 2019

    Beyond Blue is working to ensure everyone experiencing suicidal thoughts, suicide ideation and self harm can get the help they need when they need it. 

    Even though over the last five years there has been a large investment in suicide prevention, much of the system is yet to be built.

    Crisis services are not available everywhere and there is little to no focus on early intervention. For those who may be thinking about or planning suicide, or are in a state of distress that could escalate into suicide, there aren't many pathways into care. Worse still, those who do engage with the mental health system often experience stigma.

    To address this Beyond Blue is suggesting the Australian Government builds a suicide prevention system where every person who experiences suicidality (ranging from pre-suicidal distress, to after attempt, to chronic suicidal ideation) has access to care that is compassionate and appropriate to their needs. 

    How you can help us get it right

    To help form the policy suggestions Beyond Blue will put forward, we're hosting two interactive workshops and conversations with other people in the mental health system.

    Health professionals and Blue Voices members will provide feedback and opinions on building a service system that meets the needs of people who are experiencing suicidal ideation or in pre-suicidal distress.

    This is a unique and exciting opportunity to have your say on the position Beyond Blue will take on this important matter.

    The feedback from the workshops will directly guide the policy submission.

  • Interview & Workshop: Australia and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency

    by Helen Malley | Mar 14, 2019

    The Australia and New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) is a joint initiative of Australian and New Zealand Police Commissioners (ANZPAA’s Board).

    In the role of forecaster, advisor and facilitator, ANZPAA proactively partners with police agencies to identify opportunities for improved performance that results in better community safety outcomes in Australia and New Zealand.

    ANZPAA is currently developing a Mental Health Guide to assist police officers when responding to members of the public experiencing poor mental health or a mental health crisis. The guide will also be supported by existing jurisdictional mental health training that is currently being delivered to police.

    The mental health guide is expected to include content such as:

    • behavioural indicators
    • response, engagement and communication strategies
    • de-escalation techniques
    • prompts around referral practices

    How Blue Voices can help

    To help develop this guide ANZPAA are looking for feedback from people who have had interactions with police when they’ve been experiencing poor mental health or a mental health crisis.

    This feedback can be given through an interview with ANZPAA and/or by taking part in a Q&A session as part of a Working Group.

  • Booklet Review: Gifts in Wills

    by Helen Malley | Mar 07, 2019

    Creating change to protect everyone’s mental health and improve the lives of people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide is at the heart of what Beyond Blue strives to achieve every day.

    As an independent, not-for-profit organisation fundraising plays an important role in ensuring we can continue to deliver our core support programs and services.

    Beyond Blue is currently developing a Gifts in Wills (also known as Bequest) program where donors, volunteers and supporters can include a gift in their Will to Beyond Blue.

    Part of developing this program is creating a booklet to explain to our supporters how leaving a gift will help the work of Beyond Blue and also provide information on how to leave a gift in their Will.

    Blue Voices Feedback

    The fundraising team have a draft of the Gifts in Wills booklet and looking for feedback on:

    • Why include a gift in your Will to Beyond Blue section
    • What have you seen other charities or organisations do that you think worked well
    • What have you seen other charities and organisations do that you think we should avoid

    The feedback and advice you provide will help guide the direction and content of the booklet.

    There's also a chance to give us some feedback on what you think about Beyond Blue setting up this type of program.

  • Share your story: Zoetis 2019 Partnership

    by Helen Malley | Feb 28, 2019

    Since 2016 leading animal health company Zoetis have been a proud supporter of Beyond Blue.

    By donating $5 from each sale of cattle, sheep, pig, poultry and goat vaccines and drenches, Zoetis has donated $300,000 over the past three years. This money has gone towards the Beyond Blue Support Service, providing advice and support for people 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Zoetis are once again partnering with Beyond Blue and hoping to donate $100,000 in 2019. The theme for this year's partnership is mateship.

    The recent drought and floods around Australia have created hardship for many communities and highlighted the importance of rallying together, reaching out and seeking support from others, such as talking to your friends and neighbours, during these times.

    Sharing your story

    To help promote this ongoing partnership Zoetis is looking to share the stories of the people they are helping, in particular those who live in rural and regional areas.

    We're seeking real stories of mateship having a positive effect on mental health. We are looking for one or two stories to share at the launch and promotion of the partnership in magazines, newspapers and there may also be opportunities for TV and radio interviews.

  • Survey: Beyond Blue's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2019 – 2024

    by Helen Malley | Feb 15, 2019

    At Beyond Blue we are committed to our vision, that all people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.

    Having worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations for most of our history, Beyond Blue acknowledges the significant gap between the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous people.

    To help close this gap, Beyond Blue is developing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2019 – 2024 (Plan).

    This survey is a great opportunity to have your say in the Plan and help shape how we can develop and improve priority areas.

  • Volunteer opportunity: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

    by Helen Malley | Feb 14, 2019

    Beyond Blue is proud to be the official charity partner for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show for 2019-2021.

    As part of this partnership Beyond Blue will have a garden display at the show and be engaging with the crowd with our important message of hope, resilience and recovery.

    The Volunteer Team are seeking volunteers to help out with building the garden display before the show opens and also to engage with the crowds during the show.

  • Committee: National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF)

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 31, 2019

    Beyond Blue is looking for a suitably qualified person who has a personal experience of anxiety, depression or thoughts of/attempted suicide to sit on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). This person would sit on the forum as a consumer (someone with a personal experience), representing Beyond Blue’s blueVoices community.  

    About the NMHCCF

    The NMHCCF aims to improve the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of mental health consumers and carers throughout Australia through promoting their rights; creating a responsive, recover focused service system; and through supporting innovation in service delivery across the life span. The NMHCCF is represented on many national committees and has produced a range of policy submissions, advocacy briefs and high quality, frequently referenced position statements on issues important to consumers and carers.

    Members use their personal experience, understanding of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate and promote the issues and concerns of consumers and carers.

    What level of commitment is required?

    The successful representative will be appointed for four years. The NMHCCF representative commitment and expectations include:

    • Attendance at least two face-to-face meetings per year (that can be held across the country). 
    • Attendance at least two NMHCCF teleconferences throughout the year.
    • Annual participation in at least one working group of the NMHCCF. Involvement in these additional committees will require a commitment to attend additional face-to-face meetings or teleconferences.
    • Consulting broadly through existing consumer networks to ensure a broad range of views and experiences of consumers are heard at a national level.
    • Reporting back to Beyond Blue and blueVoices.
    • Working with Beyond Blue to identify opportunities for blueVoices to contribute to NMHCCF objectives.

    Please read the operating guidelines for more information.

  • Committee: Clinical Risk and Quality Sub-Committee for The Way Back Support Service

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 31, 2019

    About the Clinical Risk and Quality Sub-committee

    The Way Back Clinical Risk and Quality Sub-committee (CRQSC) provides technical advice and expertise to support the expansion, implementation and sustainability of the service long term. The purpose of the CRQSC is to ensure that the implementation of The Way Back is informed by expert advice to ensure its effectiveness.

    The CRQSC will be responsible for:

    • reviewing and guidance on clinical governance associated with The Way Back expansion and implementation
    • providing guidance and advice regarding best practice of clinical governance systems and processes to promote continuous improvement (effective, safe, accountable, person-centred)
    • ensure the implementation is evidence based and informed by the broader landscape of mental health and aftercare initiatives
    • ensure the implementation prioritise patient safety and quality in service delivery model review
    • advising best practice on clinical risk and incidence management within service delivery
    • briefing and reporting to Beyond Blue and the National Advisory Committee regarding clinical governance
    • timely decision making to progress The Way Back data management and evaluation
    • engaging key thinkers where required

  • Committee: Data Management and Evaluation Sub-Committee for The Way Back Support Service

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 31, 2019

    About the Data Management and Evaluation Sub-committee

    The Way Back Data Management and Evaluation Sub-committee (DMESC) provides technical advice and expertise to support the expansion, implementation and sustainability of the service long term. The purpose of the DMESC is to ensure that the implementation of The Way Back is informed by expert advice to ensure its effectiveness.

    The DMESC will be responsible for:

    • providing data management expertise and advise for The Way Back expansion, ensuring in recording and reporting including data governance, quality, access, definitions and reporting standards.
    • informing development and planning of the Way Back evaluation including scope, phasing and implementation. 
    • reviewing and advising on interim and final evaluation reports.
    • advising on best practice data management and evaluation within service delivery to ensure the integrity of the program is reflected through the recording, reporting and analysis of processes and outcomes.
    • identifying existing and/or arising issues that may impact on the programs data and evaluation direction and advising on approaches to barriers and enablers
    • ensuring that the implementation is evidence based and informed by the broader landscape of mental health, suicide prevention and aftercare initiatives.
    • briefing and reporting to Beyond Blue and the National Advisory Committee regarding data management and evaluation implementation, progress and status.
    • timely decision making to progress The Way Back data management and evaluation.
  • Committee: National Advisory Committee for The Way Back Support Service

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 31, 2019

    About the National Advisory Committee

    The Way Back National Advisory Committee (NAC) is a key advisory body for the national implementation of The Way Back. The purpose of the NAC is to ensure that the implementation of The Way Back is informed by expert advice to ensure its effectiveness.

    The NAC will be responsible for:

    • providing expert advice to inform robust, efficient and effective implementation of The Way Back
    • expansion measure across all work streams
    • advising Beyond Blue and The Way Back Project Steering Committee on key strategic and implementation issues.
    • seeking and considering advice from The Way Back Sub‐committees across the work streams to inform and guide implementation.
    • facilitating and supporting the development of collaborative links with relevant community, industry, government, university and research groups.
    • advising on strategic planning and priority setting for The Way Back implementation.
  • Committee: National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum member

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 31, 2019

    Beyond Blue is looking for a suitably qualified person to sit on the National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF). This person would sit on the forum as a carer (someone who has cared for/supported someone with a personal experience), representing the Blue Voices community.  

    About the NMHCCF

    The NMHCCF aims to improve the safety, wellbeing and quality of life of mental health consumers and carers throughout Australia through promoting their rights; creating a responsive, recover focused service system; and through supporting innovation in service delivery across the life span. The NMHCCF is represented on many national committees and has produced a range of policy submissions, advocacy briefs and high quality, frequently referenced position statements on issues important to consumers and carers.

    Members use their personal experience, understanding of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate and promote the issues and concerns of consumers and carers.

    What level of commitment is required?

    The successful representative will be appointed for four years. The NMHCCF representative commitment and expectations include:

    • Attendance at least two face-to-face meetings per year (that can be held across the country). 
    • Attendance at least two NMHCCF teleconferences throughout the year.
    • Annual participation in at least one working group of the NMHCCF. Involvement in these additional committees will require a commitment to attend additional face-to-face meetings or teleconferences.
    • Consulting broadly through existing consumer and carer networks to ensure a broad range of views and experiences of carers are heard at a national level.
    • Reporting back to Beyond Blue and Blue Voices.
    • Working with Beyond Blue to identify opportunities for Blue Voices to contribute to NMHCCF objectives.

    Please read the operating guidelines for more information.

  • Research interviews: Help Beyond Blue improve how we communicate mental health information to the public

    by Janelle Woods | Jan 24, 2019

    Beyond Blue are partnering with market and social research agency Whereto to help us improve how and when we provide information to the public to best support people at different stages of their mental health experience. Learning from people with a personal experience is a vital part of this research project. 

    We are recruiting 12 blueVoices members to take part in a one-hour interview (face-to-face) as part of a broader community consultation process. We are looking for diversity in experience, background, gender and education.

    Interviews will take place in person between 13-26 February. 

    • Sydney (21 February)
    • Parramatta (20 February) 
    • Melbourne (13 -21 February) 
    • Shepparton (26 February)
    • Dandenong (13 February).

    To ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we will ask all members involved to be cleared for participation in the research with their mental health practitioner. 

    The project has approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee at Victoria University, and a plain language statement that explains the project in full will be provided to all who express an interest in participating.

  • Focus group: Community Engagement Strategy

    by Helen Malley | Jan 23, 2019

    Following on from the Community Engagement Survey, a focus group is being held with a range of Beyond Blue supporters ranging from speakers to volunteers to blueVoices members.

    Based in Melbourne the focus group will further explore the themes that arise from the survey (linked above) being conducted the weeks before.

    To take part in the focus groups you will need to complete the online survey first.

  • Survey: Tell us how we can improve our community engagement

    by Helen Malley | Jan 23, 2019
    Beyond Blue aims to provide information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

     To do this, we have designed programs for people when they are at work, at their place of study and at home. 

    But there are those who are harder to reach but have an important perspective that we want to hear. This includes those who may struggle to gain employment, or who are facing challenges such as chronic illness, pain, and/or disability, those for whom English is not their first language, older Australians with poorer access to internet resources, those in housing stress and those who frequently find themselves in financial hardship.

    That’s where we want your thoughts and ideas.

    We are developing a Community Engagement Strategy that aims to reach all Australians, including those who may be at greater risk of poor mental health because of where they live, their background, or life circumstances.
     
    We hope to improve our use of events, volunteering opportunities, Speakers and Ambassadors program and community partnerships and fundraising to increase our reach and understanding of communities that face a number of challenges.
     
    We are asking all our Speakers, volunteers and blueVoices members to tell us your thoughts and ideas in this survey, which will then be shared with the Community Engagement Team.

    Your views, along with information we have gathered from a recent community survey, conversations and focus groups, and previous discussions with Beyond Blue volunteers and Speakers, will inform our strategy into 2020 and beyond.
  • We're updating our website and need your help

    by Helen Malley | Jan 09, 2019

    Beyond Blue is well known for its support services and online resources. To ensure these services and resources are accessible, easy to locate and user friendly we're undertaking a complete review and redevelopment of the Beyond Blue website. 

    Known as the 'single front-door website redevelopment', this exciting project will consolidate the four Beyond Blue websites into a single, easy to use website.

    Currently in the planning phase of the project, we are mapping out how the future website may be structured.

    For this, we need your help.

    The Customer Experience and Digital Team are seeking 15 blueVoices members to complete online testing to provide feedback on how to best arrange information on the website, this is also known as the 'information architecture'.

  • Working with your local Primary Health Network

    by Helen Malley | Dec 17, 2018

    Primary Health Networks (PHNs) were established in 2015 by the Australian Government to improve the coordination of care so patients can receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

    Beyond Blue works closely with PHNs to support them to improve mental health services and we often promote opportunities for blueVoices members to get involved in PHN consultations and committees. Many Beyond Blue services, such as NewAccess and The Way Back Support Service, are also offered by PHNs.

    As Beyond Blue builds on its relationship with PHNs we are interested to know about your experience with your PHN and what you know about them.

  • What do you think about our video promoting The Way Back Support Service?

    by Helen Malley | Dec 04, 2018

    The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) is one of Beyond Blue's suicide prevention services, supporting people for up to three months after they’ve attempted suicide, as a previous attempt is a strong indicator of future suicidal behaviour.

    The Way Back recently received government funding to reach more people in Australia with this vital service. 

    As The Way Back enters this exciting new chapter, the Suicide Prevention Team is expanding how Beyond Blue promotes and explains the service. As such, the team is looking to create a video that explains what the service does in an engaging, short-film style animation. 

    We're currently seeking blueVoices to review and provide feedback on the video to ensure it doesn’t contain stigmatising language or themes around people who have attempted suicide or experienced a suicidal crisis.

  • Volunteer Opportunity: Australian Open – 13 to 20 January 2019

    by Helen Malley | Nov 28, 2018

    Beyond Blue is proud to be partnering with Tennis Australia for the Australian Open for the first time in 2019.

    We have some exciting opportunities for you to join in all the fun at the first Grand Slam of the year and help raise awareness and funds for Beyond Blue by volunteering at this world-famous event.

    The Beyond Blue Volunteer Team are looking for around 60 people to volunteer each day for the first week of the Open, Sunday 13 – Sunday 20 January 2019.

    Volunteers will assist at the Beyond Blue hub in the grounds, chat with tennis fans about Beyond Blue and hand out our resources. This is also a great way to meet other blueVoices members and volunteers for Beyond Blue.

    Morning and afternoon shifts are available. Once your shift is over, you can soak up the atmosphere of this brilliant event with access to the ground pass areas of the Australian Open.

  • Help update our Suicide Planning app BeyondNow

    by Helen Malley | Nov 27, 2018

    BeyondNow is a mobile app that puts your suicide safety plan in your pocket, making it easy to access and edit at any time.

    You can also email a copy to trusted friends, family or your health professional so they can support you when you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or heading towards a suicidal crisis.

    Previous BeyondNow Review

    In 2017 surveys and consultations were conducted with blueVoices and at-risk communities to identify enhancement opportunities for the app.

    From these consultations five major components for improvements were identified:

    1. Accessibility to LGBTIQ and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences
    2. Personalisation
    3. User experience and navigation flow updates
    4. General look and feel (new branding)
    5. Enhance general accessibility and analytics 

    How blueVoices can help

    We're now beginning concept development in response to the improvements above and looking for blueVoices members to guide us on:

    • Where our efforts should be focused on the specific improvements
    • How you feel about the improvement ideas we've addressed
    • Your thoughts on the new design and layout ideas

    What's next

    The concept at this stage is very much a work in progress and is not a functional application. We will engage with blueVoices members throughout the project, especially after the first build stage to re-test the functionality and usability.

  • What do you think of our new Suicide Prevention campaign idea?

    by Helen Malley | Nov 15, 2018

    In 2017, Beyond Blue commissioned research to find out more about attitudes towards suicide and suicide prevention.

    About the research

    The research showed people at risk of suicide often communicate their suicidal thoughts and intentions, both directly and indirectly, before they make a suicide attempt. However, because many people are unsure how to best interpret and respond to this information their reaction may unintentionally be unhelpful or dismissive.

    What's next

    Beyond Blue wants to educate and equip people in Australia to know when and how to respond if someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts. We also want to show the impact of suicide on the Australian community.

    To help achieve this, Beyond Blue is looking to develop, implement and evaluate a suicide prevention campaign.

    How blueVoices can help

    The next step in the campaign development is to test the concept on various audiences.

    We're seeking eight blueVoices members to help guide the project team on:

    • your opinion of the concept
    • if you find it sets off your mental health or suicidal thoughts.
  • Ticket giveaway - ‘With One BIG Voice’ 10th Anniversary Concert

    by Helen Malley | Nov 08, 2018

    Our friends at Creativity Australia have generously offered blueVoices members 50 freedouble passes to the ‘With One BIG Voice’ 10th Anniversary Concert.

    This very special event will be a fun packed show for all the family in the presence of Lord Mayor Sally Capp; with inspiring stories, songs and sing-alongs from the With One Voicemassed choirs from all around Australia.

    Special guests on the night include Tania de Jong AM (Founder of Creativity Australia and International Soprano), Alan Fletcher (Dr Karl from Neighbours) and Lydia Griffiths (Les Miserables & The Royal Variety Performance).

    If you don't know what to expect from the With One BIG Voice concert, here is a short video to give you a taste of what to expect.

  • Review and evaluate Beyond Blue workplace training resources

    by Janelle Woods | Nov 01, 2018

    Beyond Blue provides free online workplace training resources, including six online training modules and mental health toolbox talks, to increase the understanding of mental health in workplaces across Australia and provide practical strategies to support everyone.

    To ensure these resources are relevant, useful and user friendly Beyond Blue is undertaking an extensive review and evaluation. 

    As part of the evaluation we are looking for blueVoices members to assist with User Experience (UX) testing that will be conducted by an external provider (ARTD Consultants).

    The UX testing will take around 2 hours and be held in Sydney and Melbourne. It will be an in-person interview designed to gather as much feedback on the training resources as possible.

    This feedback will influence changes and updates to the content and look and feel of the resources to make it as easy and practical to use as possible.

    Having practical resources will help employers and employees understand mental health in the workplace and play a significant role in more people achieving their best possible mental health.

  • Media opportunity: Perinatal/Post-natal depression and anxiety

    by Janelle Woods | Oct 24, 2018

    Have you experienced perinatal or post-natal depression and anxiety (PNDA)? Are you ready to share your story to encourage others to seek help? 

    We are looking for mums or dads (or expectant mums and dads) from the Gippsland region, who have experienced perinatal or post-natal depression and anxiety to share their story in the local media during Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Week.

    This is ahead of the launch of a new Beyond Blue program designed to support Gippsland mums and dads who are experiencing or have experienced PNDA.

  • Committee member: youth-led, national mental health initiative

    by Janelle Woods | Oct 24, 2018

    Beyond Blue has been invited to be an active member of a steering group, led by headspace, to guide the development of a new program and its activities. We will have a staff member on this steering group to represent Beyond Blue.

    Beyond Blue is seeking a young person (16-25 years) affected by anxiety, depression or suicide to join the Beyond Blue staff member on the steering group. Could that be you?

    What we're looking for:

    • young person (16-25 years) living with anxiety and/or depression
    • has participated in one or more Beyond Blue programs/services
    • is interested in sitting on a steering group to help guide the development of a new program/initiative for young people.

    The time commitment will be:

    • a 1.5 hour teleconference in late November
    • a co-design full-day workshop in early 2019 in Melbourne.

    The role involves:

    • sharing your perspectives and insights as a young person who has experienced anxiety and/or depression.
    • sharing your experience of participating in Beyond Blue programs and/or services. 
    • being supported by the Beyond Blue staff member at all times.
  • Media opportunity: SBS Preventative Health Show

    by Janelle Woods | Oct 18, 2018

    SBS is planning to go to air with a new show (three episodes) about preventative health to be hosted by Dr Michael Mosley (creator of the 5:2 diet, among other things).

    One episode will will focus on mental health.

    The episode:

    • will be a panel discussion facilitated by Dr Mosley
    • will include a panel of experts in discussion with three people living with mental health conditions and one person managing a mental health condition.
    • will be filmed during an afternoon within the first two weeks of December in the Sydney area.
    • will NOT be filmed in front of a live audience.

    We are looking for:

    • Three people currently living with anxiety and/or depression
    • People who are happy to be identifiable if they are selected to be part of the panel. 
  • Media opportunity: Men's Health Magazine

    by Helen Malley | Oct 02, 2018

    Men's Health magazine is Australia's number one men’s lifestyle brand showcasing expert tips and life hacks from grooming and style, to food, tech, travel, business, fatherhood and mental health.

    The magazine is currently researching an article focused on the mental health impacts of being made redundant, or fired, from a job. They would like to interview someone with personal experience as part of the article.

    The article will include details of your experience, the effects on your mental health and may require a photo. It’s important to note that the magazine is published nationally and is read by up to 2 million people.

    The journalist is particularly interested in profiling a man who held a fairly senior role before he was made redundant or was fired. The focus of his story is to identify the link between the redundancy and/or firing and his mental health decline. He will also include the steps taken to improve mental health.

    The reporter will also interview a Beyond Blue mental health expert for the story.

    The article is planned to feature in a 2019 edition of the magazine and online articles. 

  • Help guide Beyond Blue’s research strategy by joining the Research Advisory Committee

    by Helen Malley | Oct 02, 2018

    We have an exciting opportunity for a blueVoices member to join Beyond Blue’s Research Advisory Committee.

    About Research at Beyond Blue

    High quality research is critical to Beyond Blue delivering evidence-based initiatives and programs. We use evidence generated by those affected by anxiety, depression and suicide, and combine this with evidence generated by researchers and evaluators. Since 2000, Beyond Blue has funded over $58 million in research. 

    The Research Strategy 2015 -2020 emphasises the importance of linking our research activities with our strategic and business goals through a priority-driven approach to investment. It also highlights the importance of fostering close collaboration between Beyond Blue, researchers and people with personal experience in order to produce high-quality, relevant research.

    A range of scoping, pilot and translational research is funded through the Research Strategy. Considerable emphasis will be placed on actively promoting the findings of the research to the widest possible audience to ensure that our research influences practice and policy and improves people’s lives.

    About the Research Advisory Committee

    The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) provides advice and assistance related to the Research Strategy 2015-20. In particular the RAC will:

    • Provide ongoing high-level strategic advice on the implementation of Beyond Blue’s Research Strategy, with reference to the broader mental health research environment in Australia
    • Where possible, develop specific research questions, to guide the allocation of resources across the funding schemes outlined in the Research Strategy (Program Grants, Partnership Grants and Strategic Grants)
    • Ensure that the research themes and research questions align with the Beyond Blue Strategic Plan 2015-2020, Business Plans and Research Strategy
    • Provide high-level strategic advice on maximising opportunities for co-investment with other funders.

    blueVoices role in the Committee

    The Committee includes two blueVoices members who participate through:

    • Contributing to discussions and providing advice, drawing on their professional experience, as well as their personal insights from experiencing a mental health condition or supporting someone who does
    • Attending meetings twice a year held in Hawthorn, Melbourne (meetings are held during business hours and run for around two to three hours)
    • Preparing for meetings with any required pre-reading (this may take a few hours depending on the meeting agenda)

    As an acknowledgement of the commitment required for this role, you will be offered reimbursement for your reading and meeting time as well as interstate travel if applicable.

    This role is an 18-24 month term commencing in December 2018. If selected, you will be invited to join the next meeting on 12 December 2018.
  • Have your say on life insurance mental health underwriting questions

    by Helen Malley | Sep 20, 2018

    beyondblue have been providing advice to an Australian life insurer on how they can enhance their mental health underwriting questions, to ensure that they:

    • are simple to understand
    • are focused on the customer’s diagnosed mental health condition
    • consider both risk and protective factors that affect an individuals’ mental health and their ability to manage their condition and return to work.

    We are seeking feedback from blueVoices members on the draft mental health underwriting questions on whether this aim is being achieved, and if any further changes should be considered.

  • Join the Portfolio Governance Group and help guide Beyond Blue's future

    by Helen Malley | Sep 19, 2018

    We have a unique and exciting opportunity for a blueVoices member to join Beyond Blue’s Portfolio Governance Group (PGG).

    About the Portfolio Governance Group

    The PGG reviews and provides input to each project planned at Beyond Blue, ensuring the responsible use of funds to maximise benefits achieved for Beyond Blue and the community we serve.

    Meeting monthly, the PGG review and assess project ideas and business cases before they're submitted to the CEO and/or Beyond Blue Board for approval and allocation of resources. 

    The PGG consists of senior leaders and representatives from across the organisation and three blueVoices members as appointed by the CEO.

    The purpose of the PGG is to:

    • Promote a consistent approach to transparent project decision making that aligns to Beyond Blue’s values and strategic goals;
    • Provide a forum for Beyond Blue staff to present project ideas/business cases prior to submission to the CEO and/or Board for approval, for constructive review, value adding and feedback;
    • Provide input on new project ideas and influence decisions that will deliver the greatest value for Beyond Blue and the community;
    • Review all project submissions to enable informed decision making, improve integration of existing and planned work and eliminate duplicated effort;
    • Foster a culture of continual business justification and improvement, so ideas pool resources allocated to projects that are not proceeding or no longer aligning with the strategic direction can be reallocated to new or existing innovative activities;
    • Promote learnings from Beyond Blue projects and ensure they are captured and embedded into future project appraisal criteria (e.g. Project Closure Reports);
    • Champion commercial acumen by ensuring Beyond Blue employees are aware of the need to maximise value generated by our investments and resources. 

    blueVoices role in the group

    There are currently two blueVoices members sitting on the group. We're recruiting for a third member to join the group and participate through:

    • Contributing to decision making, drawing on your personal insights from experiencing mental health conditions
    • Attending monthly meetings held in Hawthorn, Melbourne (meetings are held during business hours and run for two hours)
    • Preparing for meetings with any required pre-reading (this may take a few hours depending on the amount of project submissions)

    As an acknowledgement of the commitment required for this role, you will be offered reimbursement for your reading and meeting time if selected.

    This role is an 18 month term commencing in November 2018. If selected, you will be invited to join the November meeting as an observer and make sure the group is right for you.

  • Help organise the categories on the Beyond Blue forums

    by Helen Malley | Sep 18, 2018

    The main Beyond Blue Forum is a great hub of advice and support for a community of over 100,000 users per month.

    To help improve the navigation of the forum we're updating the categories, and need your feedback on how to best organise them.

    If you're a new forum user or a veteran, we're keen to hear from you.

    The link below will take you to a page where you can drag and drop the categories into an order that makes sense to you, and provide names for the groupings you create.

    Following the exercise, you will also be given an opportunity to provide feedback on any new categories you think should be added.

    Click here to go directly to the exercise in a new window

     

    find-out-more

  • Join The Way Back Support Service Governance Group for South East Melbourne (Casey)

    by Helen Malley | Sep 13, 2018

    The highest risk period to die by suicide is in the first three months after an attempt, and in particular the first day, week and month after discharge from care.

    The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) is an innovative suicide prevention service developed to support people for up to three months following a suicide attempt or experienced a suicidal crisis, which is when they are most at risk of dying by suicide.

    The Way Back provides an essential service during this critical time delivering person-centred, non-clinical care and practical support after a suicide attempt.

    Support Coordinators link people into existing health, clinical and community-based services, ensuring people are safe and accessing the community-based support available.

    The Way Back South East Melbourne (Casey) Undertaking

    Beyond Blue, in partnership with South Eastern Melbourne PHN and Neami National, are currently implementing The Way Back in the South East Melbourne region.

    A unique and exciting opportunity exists for a blueVoices member to join the Project Governance Group, providing advice and direction on the project based on your experience.

    Project Governance Group role and function

    Overseeing the effective delivery of The Way Back in Casey, the overall role of the Project Governance Group is to:

    • Discuss key issues and make recommendations addressing barriers and challenges of The Way Back;
    • Put in place and regularly review risk management and quality policies;
    • Encourage and facilitate information sharing between stakeholders relating to delivery of the service; and
    • Monitor performance and outcomes.

    It is anticipated that the group will meet monthly for the first six months and then move to quarterly meetings.

    The meetings will be chaired by Neami National and attended by Beyond Blue, South Eastern Melbourne PHN and Monash Health.

    blueVoices role within the group

    The blueVoices representative holds a unique position, providing insight and knowledge based on personal experience of mental health services following a suicide attempt.

    You will be reimbursed for your time attending meetings by Neami National and supported in your role by Beyond Blue staff.

    The selected blueVoices member will be required to:

    • Participate alongside other group members in the function and decision making of the group
    • Attend meetings located in Casey (it is anticipated for the first 6 months the group will meet monthly then move to quarterly meetings)
    • Be part of the group for at least 12 months
    • Act with confidentiality and integrity in the role
  • Anxiety Campaign social media videos

    by Helen Malley | Sep 11, 2018

    Know when anxiety is talking

    For many years, Beyond Blue has been working hard to promote understanding and support for the two million Australians each year who experience anxiety conditions. While we have seen improvements, there is still more work to be done.

    To help create change, Beyond Blue launched the ‘Know when anxiety is talking’ campaign in October 2017. The campaign focused on increasing the understanding of anxiety and encouraging help seeking as part of a broader anxiety strategy.

    The next phase of the anxiety campaign, launching on 14 October 2018, is focused on perceived stigma.

    Perceived stigma

    Research has shown there is a large gap between the actual and perceived social stigma associated with anxiety (see Fig.1). There is a clear discrepancy between what someone thinks others would think (perceived social stigma) about anxiety (e.g., “others would view me as weak”) and what they themselves actually think (actual social stigma) about others (e.g., “I would not view someone with anxiety as weak”).

    Figure 1. Perceived vs Actual Stigma in the Ipsos 2017 Survey. Nationally representative data of Australians (18+ years)

    Perceived vs actual stigma

    This campaign aims to bring perceptions in line with reality.

    To help reach more people living in Australia with the important messaging of the campaign, we're creating short videos for social media. The videos will be shared on our organic social media channels as well as disseminated more broadly via targeted paid social media activity reaching over 1 million impressions during the campaign period.

    How you can help - social media videos

    Filmed by a professional crew, the videos will share your personal experience with anxiety social stigma, looking specifically at when your perceived stigma was at a different level to the actual stigma - for example perceived social stigma resulted in you delaying or avoiding speaking to a friend or loved one about your anxiety only to find once you did open up they were supportive and non-judgmental.

  • Survey: Policy Reform Agenda Project

    by Helen Malley | Sep 10, 2018

    At Beyond Blue we are committed to our vision, that all people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health. One of the best ways to do this is to influence Australia’s mental health and suicide prevention policies.

    We want to advocate for the best possible mental health policies into the future.

    To make sure that we focus on what matters most, we want to hear from you.

    We want to better understand how you look after your mental health, and your experiences of anxiety, depression and/or suicide. Tell us what changes need to happen in Australia to make your life, and the lives of those around you, better.

    This survey asks your feedback on:

    • how to prevent anxiety, depression and suicide;
    • how to get support for your mental health;
    • how to reduce discrimination; and
    • the needs and experiences of people caring and supporting others; people aged 65 years and over; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • Share your story: The Way Back Support Service

    by Helen Malley | Aug 30, 2018

    The Way Back Support Service (The Way Back) recently received government funding to help Beyond Blue reach more people in Australia who need this important service. The Way Back supports people for the three months after they have attempted suicide - which is when they are most at risk of taking their own life.

    To reach more people with this important service we need to improve how we promote The Way Back. To do this the Suicide Prevention team is looking for people who have used the service to share their experience.

    Sharing real stories is powerful. Stories can help reduce the stigma surrounding suicide, help people understand more about the experience, and offer hope that recovery is possible.

    The stories we are looking for will focus on what it's like to use the service. These stories may be used in the media or on the Beyond Blue website.

    If you, or a family member or friend, have used The Way Back Support Service, we'd love to hear from you.

    Help us to improve how we promote The Way Back so that we can reach more people who need support after a suicide attempt to reduce their risk of taking their own life.

  • Suicide Prevention website enhancement project - photoshoot and/or video interviews

    by Helen Malley | Aug 22, 2018

    We're currently redeveloping the Suicide Prevention pages on the Beyond Blue website by updating the current content and including photos and video stories of people who have had a personal experience with suicide.

    In this activity we're looking for blueVoices members to participate in either a photoshoot or video interview about their experience with suicide. Family and friends are also invited to join the photoshoot or video interview if they'd like.

    Your experience with suicide can be your own experience or of a time when you supported someone you care about.

  • blueVoices new guiding principles

    by Janelle Woods | Jul 13, 2018

    The blueVoices evaluation included a workshops with members who defined a list of guiding principles to help shape the next steps for the program. We think they did a great job!

    Please read the edited principles and provide any feedback you might have.

  • Join our Policy Reform Agenda Project Steering Committee

    by Helen Malley | Jul 05, 2018

    Beyond Blue is commencing the ‘Beyond Blue Policy Reform Agenda’ project and is seeking two blueVoices members to sit on the Project Steering Committee.

    The involvement of blueVoices members on the committee will help us to ensure that we develop compelling policy propositions, that we will then advocate for, that are most likely to make a real difference to the lives of people with anxiety, depression and suicidality, and their support people.

    The Steering Committee will initially meet every four weeks, for up to 2 hours, generally on a Tuesday afternoon, until December 2018. The Committee will then meet once every two months between January and June 2019.

     

    Responsibilities of the Project Steering Committee

    The Steering Committee has a critical role in guiding the project. They are responsible for:

    • Identifying relevant policies, research, interventions and experts aligned with the project priority areas
    • Informing the project processes, including engaging with community members, specialist consultants, and Beyond Blue staff
    • Reviewing and providing feedback on the external scoping report
    • Informing which policy ideas will be developed into policy propositions
    • Informing the development of targeted advocacy strategies for each priority area, including advising on decision makers and influencers, and methods of engagement

     

    Steering Committee Membership

    • Representatives from across Beyond Blue Groups, including the Strategy and Policy Group; Services and Service Innovation Group; Education and Families Group; Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Group; and Workplace, Partnerships and Engagement Group.
    • Two blueVoices members – one who has a personal experience of depression, anxiety or suicidality; one who supports someone experiencing depression, anxiety or suicidality.

     

    Time requirements

    The Steering Committee will initially meet every four weeks between late July – December 2018. The Committee will then meet once every two months.

    Papers for the meeting will be distributed prior to the meeting for review prior to attendance. There may also be requests for feedback (provided via email or phone) on documents in-between meetings. It is anticipated that involvement, excluding any travel time, would take up to 5 hours per month between July – December 2018; and up to 5 hours every two months, between January – June 2019.

    The first Steering Committee is scheduled for Tuesday 31 July, between 2.00 – 4.00pm.
  • What do you think about the Beyond Blue brand?

    by Helen Malley | Jul 05, 2018

    Beyond Blue is exploring an update of our brand to help us better reflect the work we do as Australia’s go-to resource for managing mental health and enjoying a better quality of life.

    Beyond Blue is seeking your feedback to help inform this process and provide opinions about the current and suggested future brands.

    The purpose of the survey is to explore your current thoughts on the Beyond Blue logo and other national brand's logos and provide feedback. 

    Your views are particularly important to us and we hope that you can spare a few minutes to give your input through this survey.

  • Volunteer opportunity - 2018 Coastrek Adelaide

    by Helen Malley | Jul 05, 2018
    beyondblue is proud to be the official charity of the 2018 Coastrek Adelaide and are hoping to raise over $1 million to help deliver programs and services that make a difference in the lives of people affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.
     
    To help make this event run smoothly we're looking to have at least 100 volunteers to assist along the 60km course.

     

    Volunteer roles on the day

    beyondblue volunteers will assist and cheer on walkers along the course, at drink stations, the start area and finish village.
     
    It will be a fun day cheering on walkers and helping them reach their goal.
     
    100 volunteers is a large number, so we need every volunteer we can get to lock in this date and commit to helping at the inaugural Adelaide Coastrek. If you have any friends or family who would also be interested in helping, please let us know.
     
    Thank you so much for your support. We can't wait to have you involved with this event and helping us reach our $1 million target.

     

    Event Details

    Friday 21 September
    8am – 6pm
    Victor Harbour, SA

  • Your chance to join the Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau in SA or TAS

    by Helen Malley | Jun 25, 2018

    Are you interested in speaking publicly about your experience with anxiety and/or depression to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues? 

    If you are, this opportunity could be for you. The Beyond Blue Speakers Bureau are currently recruiting for volunteer Speakers to join the team in South Australia and Tasmania.

    What's involved in being a Speaker?

    Beyond Blue receives hundreds of requests each year for people to speak at a range of events, including community forums, conferences, schools and community sports clubs.

    Beyond Blue Speakers share their personal stories of anxiety, depression and recovery to increase awareness, reduce stigma, encourage people to talk about how they’re feeling and to take action to get help.

    All Speakers receive training on public speaking, how to share your story and responding to tricky questions.

    Is being a speaker right for you?

    It can be a big step to talk publicly about your mental health. 

    Some people find publicly sharing their personal experience, and responding to sensitive audience questions, can be confronting or stressful.

    If you're interested in becoming a Beyond Blue Speaker we encourage you to reflect on your own wellbeing and whether this type of activity is right for you at this time.

    Recruiting speakers is an ongoing process so you'll be able to apply again if now isn't the right time for you.

  • Volunteer opportunity - Blackmores Sydney Running Festival

    by Janelle Woods | Jun 12, 2018

    Beyond Blue is thrilled to be one of the headline charities for the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival. This event gives us a fantastic opportunity to reach and engage with participants and Beyond Blue fundraisers and this year we hope to raise over $100,000.

    We need 40 enthusiastic volunteers to help during the event.

  • Volunteer opportunity - NRL Beyond Blue Cup 2018

    by Helen Malley | Jun 06, 2018

    Beyond Blue is proud to once again be teaming up with the NRL for the Beyond Blue Cup. 

    This year’s game will be between the Wests Tigers and Gold Coast Titans at the iconic Leichhardt Oval on Sunday 1 July.

    Beyond Blue will be running a number of activities and promotions prior to and during the game to further promote our message and awareness, with a focus on starting a conversation about mental health.

    We're currently seeking volunteers to help out on the day by handing out Beyond Blue wristbands and tin rattling to the 15,000+ crowd expected to attend the game.

    This is a fun opportunity to meet other Beyond Blue volunteers as well as helping start the conversation about mental health.

  • Media request - Kochie's Business Builders rural mental health feature

    by Helen Malley | Jun 05, 2018

    Kochie's Business Builders is a Channel 7 program focused on helping small businesses grow.

    Beyond Blue has been approached by the program to work with them on a rural mental health feature.

    The feature will look at the farming industry and how mental health conditions can affect work, the ability to focus and how the pressures of farm work can affect your mental health.

    We're current seeking someone who works on a farm and has experienced a mental health condition to be interviewed for the show.

    Grant Blashki, Beyond Blue's  Lead Clinical Adviser will also be interviewed as a mental health expert.

    If you work on a farm (within 150km from Melbourne), have experienced a mental health condition and are willing to talk about it on camera we'd love to hear from you.

  • Help review the Beyond Blue 'A guide to what works' booklets

    by Helen Malley | May 31, 2018

    Every three years Beyond Blue reviews our resources to ensure the content is up to date, clinically correct and is meeting people’s social and emotional wellbeing needs.

    We're currently seeking feedback from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people on one of Beyond Blue’s booklets – A guide to what works for anxiety or A guide to what works for depression.

    We have a short survey on these booklets to collate feedback and help inform the update.

    To review the booklet we can either send you a hard copy or your can download a copy using the links below.

  • Help develop the LGBTI content on the Head to Health website

    by Helen Malley | May 17, 2018

    Head to Health (H2H) is an Australian Government website with information, resources, and services to help guide people through their mental health journey.

    The H2H resource is looking to improve their information for the lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex (LGBTI), and bodily, gender and sexually diverse people and their family and friends.

    To help develop this content and ensure it is relevant and useful for the community H2H, Beyond Blue and the National LGBTI Health Alliance are inviting members to join an end-user planning workshop.

    This will be an interactive planning session where participants will work together to come up with the content needed for the H2H website. After the workshop there will be an opportunity to review the final content.

  • Do you use Beyond Blue’s websites or apps?

    by Helen Malley | May 10, 2018

    Beyond Blue are currently reviewing our digital products (websites, apps, online support services and forums) and need your feedback to understand how we best support everyone achieve their best possible mental health through our digital offerings. 

    Your feedback will help us understand how the community use our digital products and what their expectations are. We will be consulting with different Beyond Blue communities to understand what they think we should be providing as a digital offering to help people achieve their best possible mental health.

    The data collected through the survey, along with other data from website usage, business analysis and interviews will guide us in where Beyond Blue should move towards as part of its digital strategy.

  • What can be done to improve mental health services in rural and remote Australia?

    by blueVoices Manager | May 01, 2018

    The Federal Government is conducting an Inquiry about the availability and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia. In the review, they will consider a range of issues, including:

    • why fewer people access mental health services;
    • why the rate of suicide is higher;
    • the nature of the mental health workforce and mental health services; and
    • opportunities to use technology to improve services .

    Beyond Blue is preparing a submission to the inquiry and we are eager to reflect the experiences of blueVoices members, particularly those who are currently, or have previously, lived in a rural or remote area of Australia.

  • Small Business Project - focus group

    by Helen Malley | May 01, 2018

    The Beyond Blue Small Business Program is in its next phase - to determine the best approach to reach small business owners with workplace mental health information through intermediary channels.

    This will be achieved by working directly with associations and professions who already have regular contact with small business owners (e.g. the ATO, accountants, business banking centres, small business mentors etc).

    To ensure that this is developed in a way that is both useful and acceptable to all stakeholders, this project will be developed and driven in consultation with key small business intermediaries and small business owners.

    We're seeking blueVoices members who are small business owners to take part in a focus group to test the concepts and messaging that come out of the consultation with small business intermediaries.

    The focus group will be held in early June via video conference. It will take around 1 hour and participants will receive a gift voucher as a thank you for their time. Some pre-reading will be involved but shouldn't take more than 20 minutes.

    Following this consultation period a formal steering committee will be formed to drive and guide the development of this capacity building project and external reference group to assist in the review process. blueVoices members will also be invited to take part in this committee.

  • Know when anxiety is talking

    by Helen Malley | Apr 24, 2018

    Over the years Beyond Blue has run campaigns to change behaviour and reduce stigma around mental health in the community.

    We're currently working on a campaign for anxiety, moving into the next phase of the campaign that was launched in 2017.

    If you experience feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with your daily activities and make it hard to cope with everyday life, we would like to understand in greater detail your journey from the onset of symptoms to help seeking and ongoing management.

    We’re also interested in your thoughts about how anxiety is perceived and understood by others.

    Your input into this survey will give the campaign team a deeper understanding of personal experiences of anxiety, different coping strategies and help seeking journeys. 

    The survey will take around 30 minutes to complete, and your responses are confidential.

    We understand that reflecting on your mental health can be hard, and even trigger anxiety sometimes – so please consider whether now is a good time for you to be participating in this survey. And remember our Support Service is available 24 hours – 1300 22 4636.  

    The survey will remain open until Sunday 20 May 2018.

  • Have your say on a Beyond Blue booklet

    by Helen Malley | Apr 17, 2018

    Every three years we review our resources to ensure the content is up to date, clinically correct and is meeting people’s needs.

    We would love to get your feedback on one of our 'A guide to what works' booklets:

    • A guide to what works for anxiety,
    • A guide to what works for depression, or
    • A guide what works for depression in young people

    We have a short survey on these booklets to collate feedback and help inform the update.

    To review the booklet we can either send you a hard copy or your can download a copy using the links below.

  • Help services understand the importance of support after a suicide attempt

    by Helen Malley | Apr 12, 2018

    The Way Back Support Service is a Beyond Blue program designed to support people for 3 months after a suicide attempt.

    We are advocating for this model to be adopted more broadly across Australia to ensure people have access to the support they need when they are most vulnerable.

    One way to do this is to highlight the gaps that currently exist for people, and their families, who attend Emergency Departments after a suicide attempt.

    We want to share stories that highlight the difficulties in accessing support after a suicidal crisis, to help hospitals understand the benefits of The Way Back Support Service.

    Why your story matters

    We are looking for people who have a story to share about your, or a family members, experience at an Emergency Department after a suicidal attempt when you received little or no follow up support.

    By sharing your story you will help Beyond Blue to advocate for improved services for people who attempt suicide and their families.

    We acknowledge that this topic may bring up difficult emotions for many people. We encourage you to reflect on this and decide if this activity is something you feel able to take part in at the moment. We are asking people to reflect on past experiences; so we ask that you do not share any recent experiences that may still cause you distress to discuss.

  • Join our CRM Steering Committee

    by Helen Malley | Apr 11, 2018

    Beyond Blue is in the process of implementing a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and seeking a blueVoices member to sit on the steering committee.

    The involvement of a blueVoices member on the committee will help us ensure that we maintain a focus on the impact, benefits and needs of our external stakeholders. It will also provide another external view to our internal organisation perspective.

    The Steering Committee will meet every 4 weeks, for 30 minutes up to an 1 hour, generally on a Tuesday morning until June 2019. These meetings can be attended in person of via video/tele conferencing.

    Special one-off meetings may be called should some urgent decision or issue need to be addressed.

    Papers for the meeting will be distributed prior to the meeting for reviewed prior to attendance.

     

    Responsibilities of the CRM Steering Committee

    • Ensure that the organisational risks are being managed
    • Oversee project progress against plan (scope, timeline, budget, required quality) raising issues and advising on approaches to issue resolution
    • Ensure that across the organisation the needs and requirements of all areas are considered in key decisions and in the development and execution of key approaches

     

    CRM Steering Committee Membership

    • The Beyond Blue Executive Team (excluding the CEO),
    • A representative from Salesforce (bringing an external vendor perspective to the Steering Committee),
    • An external IT project management professional (bringing an external independent IT and project management perspective to the Steering Committee); and
    • A blueVoices member (bringing a key stakeholder community perspective and voice to the Steering Committee).

     

    Time Requirements

    It is expected that The Steering Committee will meet every 4 weeks, for 30 minutes up to 1 hour, generally on a Tuesday morning. 

    Special one-off meetings may be called should some urgent decision or issue need to be addressed.

    Papers for the meeting would be distributed prior to the meeting and these would need to be reviewed prior to attendance. There would be some review time of papers following the meeting.

    It is anticipated that this involvement, excluding any travel time, would take up 6 to 10 hours every 4 weeks.

    The first Steering Committee meeting would be mid-late May 2018. The final Steering Committee meeting would be as late as May/June 2019 depending upon project final delivery date and project approved closure date.

  • blueVoices Member Articles

    by Helen Malley | Apr 09, 2018

    In February 2018, we asked blueVoices members for feedback and ideas on the blueVoices Connect forum and what kinds of topics you’d like to discuss.

    The idea voted most popular was sharing articles written and submitted by blueVoices members.

    In response to this feedback we are now pleased to invite members to submit ideas for their written articles. As the expert on your mental health experience and what works for you, we’d love to be able to share your wisdom with other members.

    If you have a topic you'd like to share we'd love to hear about it!

    How it will work

    The topic that you write about should be related to mental health or wellbeing but feel free to be as creative and expressive as you like and write about something that’s important and meaningful to you. Also think about what might be useful or interesting to other members.

    Some ideas could be:

    • apps that you find useful and why
    • pets and the effect they can have on wellbeing
    • your experience sitting on a committee or taking part in a blueVoices activity
    • exercise and mental health
    • your experience of being a peer worker or mental health advocate

    The blueVoices Team is here to support you and will work with you through the process of posting and replying. If you're nervous about posting that's fine, we can work with you and give advice along the way.

    We hope that this will be a fun way to broaden the range and depth of information on the blueVoices Forum, and share some of the wisdom and experience that blueVoices members hold with others in the blueVoices community.

  • Volunteer Opportunity - Tough Mudder Brisbane

    by Helen Malley | Apr 05, 2018

    Beyond Blue is excited to once again be the charity partner of the Tough Mudder Series.

    There are  some great opportunities to join in all the muddy fun by volunteering at this unique event an hour north of Brisbane.

    Over Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May, Woodfordia will be turned into an outdoor mud-lovers obstacles course where up to 10,000 participants of all ages, genders, sizes and fitness levels will battle it out in teams around the challenging but fun course.

    We're looking for 50 volunteers to help support this amazing event on Sunday 20 May.

    Volunteers will help out on the course and in the venue, directing and encouraging participants as they pass and supporting them as required.

    Location: Woodforia, 87 Woodrow Rd, Woodford QLD 4514

    Volunteers can either help for half a day or full day:

    • Sunday 20 May - 8:00am to 4:00pm (full day)
    • Sunday 20 May - 7:30am to 1:00pm (half day)

    You will be eligible for up to $30 in reimbursements to cover the costs for transport, parking, food and drinks.

    You'll also be eligible for a 90 per cent discount entry to this year or next year’s events.

    This will be a great opportunity to meet other Beyond Blue volunteers and connect with the community.

  • Join the Mentally Healthy Workplace Framework working group

    by Helen Malley | Mar 16, 2018

    Beyond Blue is a member of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance (MHWA), a national approach by business, community and government to encourage Australian workplaces to become mentally healthy for the benefit of the whole community and businesses, big and small. 

    In 2017, it was agreed by members of the alliance that there would be value in creating a national Mentally Healthy Workplace Framework.

    The purpose of the framework is to provide guidance to all Australian workplaces on why mentally healthy workplaces are important and the key actions that workplaces can take to achieve a mentally healthy workplace.

    The MHWA is currently working on a project to establish the requirements for developing this framework, including high-level strategy and project plan.

    A working group is being established to oversee the project, with representation from each of the Alliance members and community members with a lived experience relating to a workplace environment.

    What's involved

    We're currently looking for one blueVoices member to join the working group.

    The working group will be primarily email-based, but will require participation in a small number of meetings (teleconference is available). The working group will run from now until July 2018.

    Members of the working group will:

    • advise on the project direction
    • provide feedback on project products, including strategy paper, business case and project plan.

    The time required is not expected to exceed 8 hours in total for the duration of the project and would roughly be made up of 4 hours of meeting time and 4 hours of pre-reading. Please note that, given the tight time frames of the project, it is anticipated in most instances, a response to requests for feedback would be required within five working days.

  • Workplace Strategic Workshops

    by Helen Malley | Mar 15, 2018

    In June 2017 the Beyond Blue Workplace Team held an initial consultation with blueVoices members on developing a strategy for mental health in workplaces. This initial consultation called for feedback, input and suggestions on the strategy.

    The feedback received in the initial consultation has been taken on board and a new strategy to guide program activities from 2018 to 2021 has been created.

    Now in the second phase, we're seeking blueVoices members to review the drafted strategy.

    blueVoices involvement in this review will ensure the voice of lived experience is represented in the strategy, and to confirm that previous consultation findings are accurately reflected in the draft.

  • NewAccess Australian Defence Force Project

    by Helen Malley | Mar 14, 2018

    The NewAccess Team at Beyond Blue are excited to have recently signed a contract with the Australian Defence Force.

    This new partnership will assist Defence personnel who are experiencing the symptoms of mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression but are unable or unwilling to access other services due to stigma barriers, for financial, social or cultural reasons, or because they are located in remote areas lacking in services.

    The program will be designed to help Defence personnel deal with their unique day-to-day pressures of life. This may include but is not limited to the following issues; work stress or uncertainty, change in living arrangements, new parent worries, family problems, health concerns or uncertainty, long-term isolation or loneliness, financial worries.

    To ensure NewAccess is seamlessly introduced into the Defence Force we're seeking a small project panel of blueVoices members to provide their feedback and comments on the program.

    The project panel will be made up of:

    • Current Defence personnel
    • ex-Defence personnel
    • Spouses of current or ex-Defence personnel
    • Family members of current or ex-Defence personnel

    If selected to join the project panel you will be asked to take part in series of activities from now until the 'go live' date of 1 July 2018. The activities could include:

    • Online surveys
    • Focus groups (via video conferencing)
    • Member polls
    • Subject matter experts (feedback on materials)

    While we would like as much feedback from blueVoices members as possible on this project we understand you may not be available to take part in each activity. If you join this project panel you can take part in as many activities as you like.

  • Become an online Community Champion and provide support to others

    by Helen Malley | Feb 28, 2018

    The main Beyond Blue Forum is an online space all about supporting and learning from each other.

    We're currently recruiting for volunteer Community Champions to provide online peer support via the forums to people experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.

    About Community Champions

    Having a space to ‘vent’ and let others know about the difficulties we’re experiencing in life is important.

    Community Champions help maintain a lively and friendly community by sparking new conversations, guide and welcome newcomers to the forum and remind members of the rules when needed. In particular we hope you can help by:

    • Actively looking for and answering unanswered questions or posts
    • Welcoming new members and helping them find their way around – particularly in connecting them with other members or threads that are similar to theirs
    • Helping the community be a vibrant, respectful, and enjoyable place
    • Starting new threads on topics of interest relating to hope, recovery and staying well
    • Referring any concerns you have about a member’s wellbeing to our moderators

    Please note this is purely a peer support role and you are not expected to be responsible for the wellbeing of individual members.

    You can read more about what the role involves in the Community Champions Guide.

  • Share your experience of using the BeyondNow suicide safety plan in our new video

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 15, 2018

    BeyondNow is Beyond Blue's suicide safety planning app, developed in 2015. The app helps people create a personal, structured plan that they can work through when experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis.

    BeyondNow has had some user feedback which suggests some changes are needed to help improve accessibility of the app.  

    From the feedback received, we have identified a need for a new video to help people understand if the BeyondNow app could be helpful for them, and how they can navigate using it. 

    The video will feature the personal story of someone who has used the BeyondNow app to create a safety plan and has found this helpful in managing their suicidal thoughts.

    The aim of the video is to help others who may be experiencing suicidal thoughts to understand how safety planning on the BeyondNow app may help them keep safe and assist them to manage periods of distress and suicidal thoughts. 

    The video would be featured on the BeyondNow page of the Beyond Blue website and may also be shared on Beyond Blue's social media channels.

  • Education Focus Group

    by Helen Malley | Feb 14, 2018

    The Beyond Blue National Education Initiative (bbNEI) is set to launch in Term 3 this year. The bbNEI will provide educators with mental health promotion and prevention information and resources to support children and young people from early childhood to secondary school.

    In preparation for the launch, the content team are hosting focus groups to inform the development of resources to be used in the bbNEI.

    Two focus groups will be held:

    1. Young people who are still at school or graduated within the last three years.
    2. Parents of a child or young person currently in early childhood education or care, or school,.

    The focus groups will gather information about young people’s experiences with school-based mental health support. These learnings will help Beyond Blue understand the types of support received from the school and teachers in response to a mental health condition.

  • Help evaluate Beyond Blue's work over the past four years

    by Helen Malley | Feb 14, 2018

    Beyond Blue is evaluating the last four years of our work - reviewing if objectives have been met and what benefit has been achieved for the Beyond Blue community.

    To help guide and manage this process an Independent Evaluation Advisory Committee has been formed. The committee will include membership from government organisations, research institutions, not-for-profit organisations working in mental health and Beyond Blue representation.

    We’re seeking two blueVoices members to join the committee as part of the Beyond Blue representation.

    A key part of the evaluation will be to explore how effectively we are serving our community.

    As a blueVoices member you will help inform the evaluation framework, objectives and methodology are influenced by those who have personal experience of anxiety, depression or suicide, or support someone who does, are represented at the highest level in this project.

     

    Committee Role and Function

    The purpose of the committee is to provide advice to Beyond Blue on the evaluation.

    The selected blueVoices members will be required to participate alongside other committee members and provide input to the planning and delivery of the evaluation including:

    • advise on the plan and progress of the evaluation of Beyond Blue’s fourth term
    • provide advice on tender specifications
    • support the assessment and appointment of the evaluation provider (2 members)
    • consider and advise on the final evaluation report.

    You will be required to attend three meetings of two hours each in March, July and November 2018. All meetings will occur in business hours. Attendance in person is preferred, however, we can organise video conferencing if required. You will be reimbursed for your time and any travel.

    The first meeting will be held the week of Monday 26 March at the Beyond Blue Head Office. The exact date will be confirmed with those who are shortlisted.

    Reimbursement for your time

    If selected, you will be reimbursed for each meeting attended. Where travel to meetings is required, Beyond Blue will arrange the travel and cover expenses. Reimbursement rates are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal at Determination 2017/18.

  • Join our Online Strategy Committee

    by Helen Malley | Feb 07, 2018

    Beyond Blue is developing a 5-year online strategy to make sure we provide digital support when and where it is needed.

    The first part of this project is to map out  the current experience  using Beyond Blue's online services.

    We're seeking two blueVoices members to join the Online Strategy Committee to assist in mapping out the online journey and share your experience with online interactions with Beyond Blue.

    Committee Role and Function

    The role of the Online Strategy Committee is to inform and steer the future direction of Beyond Blue’s online products. The blueVoices roles will be to:

    • Represent views and experiences of the community, industry and other stakeholders
    • Participate in the creation of a current digital experience blueprint
    • Assist in articulating the Beyond Blue digital vision
    • Participate in product ideation workshops
    • Consider practical and strategic implications arising from the workshop outcomes, and if appropriate, suggest recommendations to respond to these implications
    • Review and prioritise recommendations

    If selected, you will attend workshops and participate alongside other group members in a combination of full day and half day workshops. This will include:

    • Attending in-person workshops and activities (approximately 10) aimed at understanding Beyond Blue’s digital environment and mapping out the possible future direction.
    • The first face to face workshop in Melbourne in late February 2018 and the last face to face workshop in late May 2018.
    • The final number of workshops and sessions is to be confirmed.
  • Tell us about your experience of our services

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 01, 2018

    The Beyond Blue Brand and Content Team are conducting a review of the way people experience the Beyond Blue brand through our products and services.

    To assist with this review, Beyond Blue have engaged an external agency, Principals, who are keen to hear from blueVoices members who have used a Beyond Blue service, about your experiences and opinion of the service. This information will then inform how we grow and develop Beyond Blue’s products and services.

    We’re seeking seven blueVoices members to share their thoughts and opinions in a 45 minute phone interview with a member of the agency coordinating this review. 

    If you’ve used one the below services in the last six months we’d love to hear from you.

    • Check in app
    • BeyondNow
    • Support Service
    • Beyond Blue Forums
    • NewAccess
    • Beyond Blue Connect
  • Tell us what you think about Beyond Blue's LGBTI resources

    by Helen Malley | Jan 31, 2018

    The Wingmen resource has been developed for gay men, by gay men. 

    Gay men have told us that they feel most comfortable turning to other gay men for advice and support when they need it. They’ve also told us they can feel unsure about how to support their friends, or worry they could say or do the wrong thing if they try to help. Wingmen will help you support your friends, both now and in the future.

    If you are a gay man and have used Beyond Blue resources we're interested in your feedback.

    Our evaluation agency will be conducting online discussions to hear what you think of the tools and how they helped you support other gay men.

    There's nothing to prepare and the online discussions will be casual and relaxed. Participation is voluntary and contributions are anonymous and confidential.

    Who can take part?

    We're inviting gay men in Australia, aged 25-64 who have used Beyond Blue's LGBTI resources to support other gay men.

    How do I get involved?

    If you'd like to register for this activity please express your interest by completing the online form.

    Please note that your details will be kept confidential and will be provided to our evaluation agency Whereto Research, who will contact participants about taking part.

    If you have any questions, please email Beyond Blue's Diversity Project Leader, Shaun Staunton 

    If you know of anybody that you think would like to participate, please let them know.

    Complete the online form now.

  • How can we improve the blueVoices Forum

    by Helen Malley | Jan 11, 2018

    The forum space in blueVoices Connect was created after members feedback showed the need for a space to connect with each other through discussions and shared experiences.

    To help make this a vibrant and relevant space for all members, we're reviewing the way that we and members use the discussion boards. We'd love to hear how you think we could improve the blueVoices Connect forum space to make it an area you would want to engage in.

    Please take 10 minutes to complete the survey below and tell us what you think!

    From the feedback we receive, we'll test and introduce new content to help build a thriving blueVoices online community.

     

    Please note: we always welcome feedback on blueVoices and your experience with the group. You don't have to wait for a survey to come out to provide suggestions and comments you may have. Feel free to email or call us (03 9810 6134) if you want to provide feedback.

  • Join the NEI Marketing & Communications Technical Advisory Network

    by Helen Malley | Jan 02, 2018

    The National Education Initiative (NEI), launching in August 2018, will be supporting the mental health of children and young people from birth to 18.

    The NEI Project Team are seeking a youth blueVoices member (16-18 years) to join the Marketing and Communications Technical Advisory Network (TAN).

    This advisory group will guide the development of brand and communications for the launch and ongoing engagement activities for the NEI.

    Having a youth voice on the advisory group will ensure teenagers are represented in the development of collateral, and that the brand and communications activity is appropriate. 

    No brand or marketing experience is needed to join the group.

  • Accessing mental health treatments through your employer

    by Helen Malley | Dec 11, 2017

    NewAccess is an existing Beyond Blue service that has already been used by over 6,000 people nationally. Beyond Blue are now looking to expand the reach of NewAccess to support more Australians.

    We know this service is effective with an independent evaluation showing a 67.8% recovery rate. It is also liked by participants with high completion rates of 88%.

    Based on this information we are currently looking into the feasibility of employers providing this service.

    The below survey will explore your likelihood as an employee to use this service.

    We need your help to better understand if you would use this service if offered by your employer and how and where you might prefer to use the service.

    Responses will be provided anonymously to the project team at Beyond Blue. Your responses are confidential and you will not be identified.

  • How can we improve our suicide safety planning videos?

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 30, 2017

    BeyondNow is Beyond Blue's suicide safety planning app, developed in 2015. The app helps people create a personal, structured plan that they can work through when experiencing suicidal thoughts, feelings, distress or crisis.

    BeyondNow has had some user feedback which suggests some changes which are needed to help improve accessibility. 

    Two of these changes include redevelopment of the BeyondNow app videos and soon, creation of a written resource for health professionals. 

    To help us understand how we can improve the videos and make these more valuable and useful to the community, we're asking for blueVoices members to review the videos and provide feedback. 

  • Get free advice on your resume and job interview preparation

    by Helen Malley | Nov 20, 2017

    Michael Page Recruitment are generously providing free resume and interview preparation advice to blueVoices members.

    These sessions will be helpful if you’re looking for information on how to prepare for an interview or what to include on your resume.

    On Wednesday 6 December, eight Michael Page consultants will be volunteering their time to run private sessions with blueVoices members by phone or in person.

    The session will take around 45 minutes and focus on interview skills or resume writing. Please note that the consultants won’t be able to provide personal career advice or help with workplace disputes in these sessions.

    Prior to the session you will need to send through a copy of your current resume for the consultant to review before they meet with you.

    The sessions will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Please register your interest by completing the form below as soon as possible.

    Your resume will be shared with the consultants, along with your phone number (if attending a phone session). Your information is only shared and held for the purposes of these sessions, you will not be contacted by Michael Page after your session, unless this is something you request. 

    Details

    Date: Wednesday 6 December 2017

    Time: between 9.15am - 5pm

    Session duration: 45 minutes

    Location: via phone or at Beyond Blue Head Office in Hawthorn, VIC

    RSVP: Friday 1 December 2017 - sessions may be filled prior to this, please RSVP as early as possible.

    If you have any queries or would like more information please contact the blueVoices team on 03 9810 6100 or via email.

  • Join Beyond Blue’s Education Voices

    by Helen Malley | Nov 20, 2017

    From August 2018, Beyond Blue will lead a new National Education Initiative (NEI) with support from headspace and Early Childhood Australia, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.

    Now in the initial planning phase, the NEI team are putting together a reference group of education professionals called Education Voices. 

    If you’re a teacher, educator, principal, school counsellor, student teacher, or have any other role in a school or early learning service, we’d love you to join Education Voices.

    What is the National Education Initiative?

    This new initiative will transform Australia’s approach to child and youth mental health care by providing a single end-to-end school-based mental health framework. Covering the continuum from early childhood to secondary school, it will support mental health promotion and suicide prevention activity. 

    The initiative will integrate and build on the strengths and evidence-based principles of key existing Commonwealth Government mental health initiatives being delivered in education settings.

    Education Voices

    Working in a similar way to blueVoices, the Education Voices reference group will share their experience, thoughts, opinions and ideas relevant to working in the education sector to help guide the development of the NEI. 

    The first activity will be a short online survey in December with the majority of activities being held in the first six months of 2018.

    How to join

    You can join Education Voices at any time until August 2018 with your involvement being at little or as much as you want. You don't have to take part in each activity and can come and go at any time.

    Education Voices will be managed by the NEI project team and they will coordinate the activities conducted through the program.

  • Early intervention service to support mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety

    by Helen Malley | Nov 17, 2017

    Thank you for your interest in providing feedback and sharing your Defence Force experience. The following questions relate to an existing low-stigma, early intervention service that Beyond Blue is looking to expand.

    For privacy and confidentiality reasons we cannot name the service but will refer to it as 'the service' for this consultation.

    Over 6,000 people have used the service nationally, we are now trying to expand the reach of the service to support more Australians. We know it is effective and promotes recovery with an independent evaluation showing a 67.8% recovery rate.

    Information about the service

    Beyond Blue has developed an evidence-based, low-intensity, early intervention service to support people who may be experiencing mild to moderate depression and/or anxiety.

    The service provides up to six free guided, self-help sessions delivered by a specifically trained coach. It's a confidential, practical and action-oriented service that does not use medical jargon, diagnose or label people. Sessions can occur face-to-face, over the phone, via Skype or FaceTime.

    Using Low-intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the service identifies the key cause of the mental health concern. A plan is then developed to tackle this using proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy strategies.

    The strategies developed during the coaching sessions are put into practice and consolidated through the completion of homework tasks.

    The service is easy to access in that individuals can 'self-refer' - meaning no GP referral or other consultation is required. Additionally, the service can receive referrals from family members, friends and organisations with consent from the individual who requires support.

    We need your help to better understand

    • the best way to communicate with Australian Defence Force (ADF), including Australian Public Service (APS), personnel and Veterans who may need this service

    • how Beyond Blue can increase awareness of the service amongst ADF including APS personnel and Veterans

    We are interested in hearing your thoughts and experience accessing mental health supports in the ADF.

    Responses will be provided anonymously to the project team at Beyond Blue. Your responses are confidential and you will not be identified. 

  • West Australian Ballet's Peter Pan

    by Helen Malley | Nov 15, 2017

    West Australian Ballet has generously offered 20 free tickets to blueVoices members to see their production of Peter Pan

    This is a traditional ballet, performed with the magnificent West Australian Philharmonic Orchestra. A fantasy filled adventure for the whole family this show is suitable viewing for a wide range of people.

    The free ticket offer is for the matinee show on Wednesday 6 December at 12 noon.

    After the event you'll be asked to answer a short feedback online questionnaire about the show.

    If you are interested in attending please complete the form below by Sunday 19 November

    If you receive free tickets, your name will be passed onto staff at West Australian Ballet for ticket collection on the day.

    Event Details

    Wednesday 6 December, 12 noon
    Estimated running time: 2 hours and 20 minutes

    Lotterywest Community Matinee
    His Majesty’s Theatre
    825 Hay St Perth

  • Review our new fundraising campaign

    by Helen Malley | Oct 31, 2017

    We’re currently reviewing the way we fundraise and the team are keen to hear what blueVoices members think of a new concept for hosting fundraising events.

    This campaign concept has been developed to encourage people to host a fundraising event for Beyond Blue, at any time of the year in any way they like. We'd love your feedback to ensure that the messaging of our campaign promotes action and reflects what you feel about Beyond Blue's brand.

    Haven’t you asked me about this before?

    You may recall we sent out a survey earlier this year asking for your thoughts and ideas on some new names and directions for Beyond Blue Bash.

    Based on the feedback received, we now have a fresh idea, which we hope you can help us improve before we launch this in February 2018. Your feedback will be provided anonymously to the fundraising team at Beyond Blue

    If you have any questions about this survey please contact blueVoices on 03 9810 6100 or blueVoices@beyondblue.org.au.

  • New forum section: Multicultural Experiences

    by Helen Malley | Oct 20, 2017

    We are seeking 30 Foundation Members to help champion a new section on the Beyond Blue online peer support forums focused on Multicultural Experiences.

    blueVoices members from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are invited to show their interest in becoming a Multicultural Champion - Foundation Member.

    People from CALD backgrounds, particularly those from non-English speaking backgrounds, are less likely to access mental health services.

    Stigma, lack of information in appropriate and accessible formats, and poor communication and cultural differences between clients and clinicians can all be major barriers to accessing mental health services.

    This new section on the forum will be launched in mid-November with the aim to reduce stigma, encourage action, share experiences and support our CALD community.

    Foundation Members will actively participate in discussions and starting up new ones on topics of interest. Topics may include:

    • Stigma and taboo – discussing experiences of stigma and taboos associated with mental health issues in your communities, family, work etc
    • Your migration story – sharing your (or your family’s) story of migration to Australia, your feelings and experiences
    • Living in a new country – adjusting to a new country and how you have coped
    • Daily wellbeing – what strategies you have in place to manage your stress
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of current and former Defence personnel

    by Helen Malley | Oct 11, 2017

    Beyond Blue is in the early stages of tailoring services to help improve the health of current and former Defence personnel and their family and friends.

    We understand that Defence personnel have unique experiences and that these experiences may impact health in different ways.

    With this in mind, Beyond Blue is investigating the suitability of two services to assist Defence personnel.

    To ensure we have a full understanding of the current situation and landscape, blueVoices members who identify as being current or former Defence personnel or someone who has supported them, will be invited to share their experiences and feedback.

    At this early stage we’re collecting information on who may be interested in being involved.

    Over the coming months, consultations will be held to gain further insight into the experiences of current and former Defence personnel. Depending on your unique experience, you may not be involved in all stages of the consultation.

    If you are a current or former serving member of Defence (or are a family member or friend of someone who is) and are interested in helping to guide Beyond Blue services to support Defence personnel, please express your interest by completing the form below. 

    If you have any queries please contact blueVoices on 03 9810 6134 or blueVoices@beyondblue.org.au.

  • Contribute to the wellbeing information on the Beyond Blue website

    by Helen Malley | Oct 06, 2017

    Keeping well is an important part of preventing, managing or recovering from a mental health condition.

    To help encourage better wellbeing for everyone, Beyond Blue is developing new content on our website focusing on practical ways to stay well.

    blueVoices members recently took part in a wellbeing survey, sharing attitudes, behaviours and actions regarding mental wellbeing.

    The responses from this survey provided a useful perspective and a deep insight allowing Beyond Blue to make more informed decisions.

    The next phase of this project is now underway.

    To further explore the findings of the survey, blueVoices members are invited to take part in an online focus group.

    You don’t need to have completed the previous survey to take part in this focus group.

    The focus group will explore your thoughts on wellbeing and help us create relevant content dedicated to promoting and improving wellbeing.

  • Have your say on the wellbeing information on the Beyond Blue website

    by Helen Malley | Aug 30, 2017

    We know that keeping well is an important part of preventing, managing, or recovering from mental health issues and blueVoices members have told us that information about how to stay well is important to you.  

    As a result, Beyond Blue is creating brand new content for our website focusing on wellbeing and the practical things that people can do to help stay well. 

    We would like blueVoices members to be part of this development and let us know what kind of information is important to you, as well as what actions you take to keep well. By sharing your perspectives you will help us ensure that the content covers the topics that you find meaningful and is relevant and useful for people who have an experience of mental health issues, as well as the broader community.

    Our mental wellbeing can change from moment to moment, day to day or year to year and there are a number of actions people take to stay mentally well. These range from reducing stress, to keeping active, to sleeping well.

    To share your wisdom on this topic, we’re asking you to complete a quick, anonymous survey so we can get a better understanding of the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around mental wellbeing and the actions people take to stay well.

  • Join The Way Back Support Service Governance Group in Geelong

    by Helen Malley | Aug 24, 2017

    We are seeking a blueVoices member to join a governance group developed to monitor and guide The Way Back Support Service based in Geelong. The group is seeking someone to provide insight and knowledge from using mental health services following a suicide attempt. This can be either personal experience or experience drawn from supporting a friend or family member after they've attempted suicide.

    Purpose of Governance Group 

    The Way Back Support Service Governance Group provides advice and direction to the project team to assist in the effective delivery of the service.

    Members include representatives from Beyond Blue, Barwon Health, Vic Health, Barwon Child, Youth and Family and Geelong Hospital.

    The responsibilities of the group are to:

    • Provide a forum for discussion of key issues that are relevant to the achievement of the Project aims and objectives, and make appropriate recommendations to address barriers and challenges to implementation;
    • Ensure risk management and quality policies are in place and establish mechanisms to review these strategies at the governance level;
    • Monitor performance and outcomes, ensuring that the Service complies with performance obligations, objectives and requirements accompanying the funding.

    blueVoices representative role

    The blueVoices representative will provide insight and knowledge based on experience of using mental health services following a suicide attempt. This can be either personal experience or experience through supporting a family member or friend after a suicide attempt. You will attend meetings and participate alongside other group members in the function and decision making of the group.

    You will be reimbursed for your time attending meetings by Barwon, Child Youth and Family in accordance with relevant policy.

  • Be part of our video helping young people through exam stress

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 23, 2017

    Are you aged 15-30 years and are interested in being part of a short Beyond Blue video that encourages young people to check-in with each other during a stressful time?

    The end of school year period can bring a lot of pressure and stress for young people.

    To help young people support each other, Beyond Blue has created The Check-in App to help people plan a conversation with someone they may be concerned about.

    Beyond Blue is creating a short (1 minute) video featuring young people sharing their stories about checking in with others to promote the app.

    The video will be promoted across Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram during November 2017 and look similar to Youth Beyond Blue's Getting Help video series.

    We’re currently seeking blueVoices members to share their stories on camera (or provide a voice over) about a time when either:

    • you checked in on someone - we’re seeking people aged 15-30 years
    • someone checked in with you - we’re seeking people aged 15-20 years

    We are not asking for people to share difficult, challenging or highly emotional experiences, just simply to share your memory of how the conversation went. 

    What's involved

    People taking part in the video will be asked to talk about either:

    1. when someone checked in with you (e.g. what did they say and how did it make you feel?)
    2. when you checked in with another young person (what made you decide to check in with them & how did it go?)

    Filming will take place in Melbourne on either Thursday 05 or Friday 06 October.

    If you are selected to take part in filming and live outside of Melbourne Beyond Blue will arrange travel for you (and a parent/guardian if you are under 18). 

    Although you will not be asked to talk in detail about an experience of mental health issues in the video, we still encourage you to give some thought whether being part of a video (which will be shared nationally on social media) is right for you at this time. 

    Who we are looking for

    As this is a youth check in app we’re looking for young people to share their story. We’re currently seeking anyone under 30 who has checked in with a young person; or a young person who has been check in on (aged 15-20 years).

    For this activity, a young person is anyone aged between 15 – 20 years old.

    If you know someone who may be suitable for this activity, please forward them the following link - https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-involved/bluevoices/be-part-of-our-video-helping-young-people-through-exam-stress.

    If the person sharing their story is aged under 18, consent from a parent or guardian will be needed to take part in the video. 

  • Tell us what you think of our Healthy Families website

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 09, 2017

    Have you visited our Healthy Families website?

    Beyond Blue is currently undertaking an evaluation of Healthy Families. If you have visited the site we ask that you please help us improve the site by completing a short evaluation survey. 

    Your responses will help us measure the impact of the site and help us make improvements to better support the mental health of children, their parents and other caregivers.  

  • Share your experiences for Women's Health Week

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 01, 2017

    This Women's Health Week (4 - 8 September 2017), Beyond Blue will be raising awareness of women's mental health issues and encouraging women to put themselves first and seek support. 

    Females are more likely than males to experience depression and anxiety. One in five females will experience depression in their lifetime compared to one in eight men; one in three females will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime compared to one in five men.

    To shine a light on the many faces of mental health issues experienced by women, we will be creating a video and web content featuring female blueVoices members talking about their unique experiences and their advice to other women. 

    The video will be promoted during Women's Health Week on social media channels and the Beyond Blue website - as well as through broader networks as part of our partnership with Jean Hailes for Women's Health, Women's Health Week campaign.      

    The quotes from blueVoices members will feature on the Beyond Blue website, alongside information relevant to women's mental health, how to seek support and keep well. 

    How to take part

    If you identify as female, we invite you to share your experience and advice for other women by answering a few questions. Your input will help guide our content and we may also quote your experience on our website.If your quote is selected, this will be displayed alongside your first name and age. You can choose for an alternative name to be displayed if you wish. 

    We will also be looking for a small number of blueVoices members to participate in filmed interviews as part of our video. If you are interested in being featured in the video, please let us know in your response. Filming will take place in Melbourne in mid-August, Beyond Blue will cover any related travel expenses. 

    The survey closes at midnight on Thursday 10 August

    To take part, please visit the survey page.

    (we are having technical difficulties with our activities in blueVoices Connect so this survey can be found on a dedicated webpage, via the link above. Please bear with us while we work on correcting this issue!)

  • Help educate others to recognise that someone may be thinking about suicide

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 01, 2017

    Over the past year, Beyond Blue has funded research conducted by the University of Melbourne, which aims to better understand the experience of people who have planned or attempted suicide. This project will inform a suicide prevention campaign aimed at family members and friends of people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts, to help them recognise when a loved one may be at risk of suicide.

    At this final stage of the project, we are asking blueVoices members with experience of suicidal thoughts or behaviour to help us better understand some important signs which may be present when someone is thinking about suicide. 

    The research showed that many people who are thinking about suicide may not talk about their thoughts with anyone else but may instead display certain behaviours that could indicate to others that they are considering suicide. 

    We are keen to better understand what these behaviours or signs may be, so that we can educate others through our campaign to know how to recognise when someone may be at risk of suicide. 

    Taking care of yourself

    Answering these questions may remind you of difficult past times, or even present feelings. If while completing the survey you feel distressed, we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself. 

    You may choose to contact the Beyond Blue Support Service online or on 1300 22 46 36. 

    If you feel unsafe, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

  • blueVoices Advisory Group 2017-18

    by Helen Malley | Jul 27, 2017

    Expressions of interest are now open to join the blueVoices Advisory Group.

    The purpose of the group is to guide the direction and development of the blueVoices program at Beyond Blue.

    Advisory Group Role and Function

    The role of the blueVoices Advisory Group is to represent member interests and provide input into the development of the blueVoices program, by:

    • Assisting in decision making and design of features and projects relating to the function and future direction of blueVoices
    • Providing input on blueVoices process and systems and any improvements needed
    • Guiding direction of member content in blueVoices Connect and the monthly newsletter
    • Providing feedback into the future direction and function of the blueVoices advisory group after the end of the committee term

    Projects areas that the group will participate in will be determined by the group but may include:

    • Evaluation of the blueVoices program
    • Enhancement of blueVoices online space
    • Reward and recognition of blueVoices members
    • Content and topics of interest to blueVoices members

    The group will include five blueVoices member representatives and will be chaired and facilitated by the blueVoices Manager, Tiffany Fox, with assistance from blueVoices Coordinator, Helen Malley. Meetings will be held during business hours Tuesday-Thursday.

  • Engage and Participate in Mental Health project

    by Helen Malley | Jul 11, 2017

    The National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) is currently conducting the ‘Engage and Participate in Mental Health’ project.

    The aim of the project is to better understand and develop a national view of how people with a personal experience of mental health conditions, and their family and friends, engage and participate in mental health policy, practice and research.

    This consultation is a great opportunity to inform future policy, practice and research priorities.

    Community Conversations

    In support of this project, we’re inviting blueVoices members to join a 'Community Conversation' to discuss your views with other members. We’d love to hear what engagement and participation mean to you.

    A summary of the blueVoices conversation will be provided to the NMHC to inform their consultation. Feedback will be shared anonymously, you will not be identified. Closing date is 9am Monday 24 July. Any comments received after this time will not be passed on.

    More Information

    For more information about the National Mental Health Commission visit www.mentalhealthcommission.gov.au

    For more information on the National Mental Health Commission Engage and Participate Project visit www.engageandparticipate.com.au

  • Provide your views on workplace mental health training

    by Helen Malley | Jul 05, 2017

    To ensure Beyond Blue’s Workplace training programs are delivering on their desired outcomes, and to support the development of new initiatives, Beyond Blue is conducting a review of workplace mental health training needs.

    An external research provider (GfK) has been engaged to consult with Australian employers and employees, to understand what is working well and not-so-well and to better understand the needs and expectations of, future workplace mental health training.

    We are seeking five blueVoices members to provide input to this project by taking part in a phone (or video conference) interview. Interviews will be conducted between end July - mid August 2017 and will take 30 - 40 minutes. As an acknowledgement of the time provided, GfK will offer interview participants a $50 gift voucher or charity donation.

    We would like to hear your views on:

    • awareness of mental health training products in your workplace
    • you current workplace mental health management approaches and the strengths and/or limitations
    • what you would like to see included in an ideal training package
    • are there other services or support in your workplace you may be seeking

    blueVoices member input in the training review will help inform the next phase of Beyond Blue’s workplace mental health training program by either building upon a number of existing training products or developing new approaches to educating employers and employees towards creating a better mentally healthier workplaces.


  • Provide your feedback on Beyond Blue's new fundraising campaign concepts

    by Laura Prerau | Jun 07, 2017

    Beyond Blue is currently in the process of re-naming and re-scoping an existing fundraising campaign and are in the concept testing phase.

    Two concepts have been provided to us by external agencies and we are looking for blueVoices members to review the series of stimulus provided in each approach.

    We want to ensure that the messaging of our campaign promotes action and is consistent with what you feel aligns with our brand and culture.

    The project is currently at concept phase and the feedback we're seeking is around the general concept rather than the specific design elements.

  • Help guide Beyond Blue's Strategic Plan (2017-20) for workplaces

    by Laura Prerau | May 31, 2017

    Beyond Blue's Workplace Team is currently developing a three-year strategic plan (2017-20) to guide the future focus of its activities aimed at creating more mentally health workplaces. As part of this process the Team is consulting with different areas within Beyond Blue as well as a range of external groups and stakeholders. We have recently sought input from blueVoices members on some key messages which outline the foundational beliefs and focus of Beyond Blue's work in this area.

    On this occasion we are seeking input from up to 20 blueVoices members by asking them to provide written responses to 5 high level questions relating to mental health in the workplace. These questions will touch on the importance of mentally healthy workplaces, general trends that are occurring that impact on mental health in the workplace, and the role of Beyond Blue in this area.

    We are hoping to receive input from members with a diversity of backgrounds who can represent their own and other people’s experience in the area of workplace mental health. This includes members who have had different roles within an organisation (e.g. employer, manager, senior leader, small business owner), and worked in different industries and business sizes.

  • Provide your feedback on Heads Up's 'Taking care of yourself at work' website content

    by Laura Prerau | May 24, 2017

    Beyond Blue is currently seeking blueVoices members feedback on Heads Up website content. Heads Up is an initiative of Beyond Blue and the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance that promotes the benefits and methods of fostering good mental health in workplaces for employees and employers: CEO’s, HR Directors, senior managers and line managers.

    The Heads Up website contains a number of sections and work is currently underway on updating each area as well as renewing the look and feel of the site, changing the navigation and section headings and reviewing the content.

    The Heads Up team are seeking your assistance with the ‘Taking care of yourself’ section of the website. Within the survey below we have sub-divided each area of this section and ask that you review:

    • Language appropriateness (Might a person who is experiencing or has experienced a mental health condition view the way any points are expressed particularly positively or negatively)
    • Individual strategies that you feel are particularly relevant or that you would recommend that may not have been included
    • Any additional comments you feel might help to improve the website content

    All responses will be confidential and anonymous.

    Please note we are only asking you to review the text. It will be formatted differently on the final website.

  • Help inform Beyond Blue's Social Media strategy for 2017- 20

    by Laura Prerau | May 22, 2017

    Beyond Blue's Social Media team are seeking 10 blueVoices members to take part in an externally conducted analysis of Beyond Blue's social media footprint for the development of the 2017- 20 Social Media Strategy. We are looking for five members that currently follow Beyond Blue on any one of our social media channels and five members that do not currently follow Beyond Blue

    Interviewing members will help the social media team determine the type of content Beyond Blue should prioritise and produce, the tone of voice and which topics should be focused on for each audience segment.

    Members that are interviewed will receive a $20 Myer/Coles gift card as a thank you for their contribution.




  • Help Beyond Blue increase the use of low intensity support services through this research project

    by Laura Prerau | May 11, 2017

    Many people who experience mental health conditions do not seek treatment. Poor help-seeking is particularly high among people with mild-moderate depression and anxiety. Low intensity mental health support services have shown to be a safe and effective treatment option, but are believed to be underutilised. One of the key barriers to the empowerment of self care is insufficient information about the public's awareness, knowledge and use of low intensity support services.

    Beyond Blue is undertaking a research project to establish an understanding of why people do, or do not, use low intensity mental health services. We are seeking two blueVoices representatives to participate in an Expert Advisory Group throughout the duration of this research project.

    Low intensity mental health services are defined as:

    • alternative options to traditional primary care medical and psychological services and have low or non-clinical intervention;
    • focused on self-management (self-help, self-care);
    • provide people with practical cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) based strategies, such as psychoeducation, mood monitoring, goal setting, behaviour activation, structured problem solving and re-framing self-talk;
    • information and strategies delivered through various channels such as social media, eHealth, and telehealth, including mobile applications, self-guided or clinician supported online learning programs, online and in person peer support, or by lay coaches trained and supervised to deliver CBT strategies

    Committee Role and Function:

    The blueVoices representatives will attend meetings and participate alongside other group members in the function of the group, including:

    • Representing views and experiences of the community
    • Ensuring views and needs of relevant population groups and organisations are considered in the design and implementation of the project
    • Providing advice on the best ways to engage relevant population segments
    • Identifying and monitoring risks associated with undertaking of the project
    • Consider practical and strategic implications arising from the findings, and if appropriate, suggest recommendations to respond to these implications
    • Review and prioritise recommendations
    • Inform approach to translation of knowledge

    As an acknowledgement of the commitment required for this role, blueVoices members participating in the group will be offered reimbursement for time spent fulfilling the requirements of the role.  

  • Review our draft key messages for the Heads Up initiative

    by blueVoices Manager | May 10, 2017

    Beyond Blue's Workplace team is currently planning for the future development of Beyond Blue's Workplace Program, including its Heads Up initiative. 

    They have defined some key messages which will outline the foundational beliefs and focus of Beyond Blue's work in this area and are inviting blueVoices members to provide their input.

    The key messages will be an important cornerstone for the Workplace Program. They will be used to guide the content on the Heads Up website and resources, as well as marketing and other communication activities. They will also inform an advocacy plan for the Beyond Blue Workplace Program for the next couple of years.

    We know that blueVoices members are passionate about workplace issues and invite you to review the draft key messages and provide your feedback. 

  • Melbourne members - be part of our photoshoot!

    by blueVoices Manager | May 04, 2017

    Do you have some time to spare on Thursday 18 May? 

    We're looking for blueVoices members who live in Melbourne to be part of a photoshoot at the Beyond Blue office in Hawthorn. Photos will be used in promotions for blueVoices on our website and social media channels (you will not be named) and may also be used in other Beyond Blue materials. 

    Beyond Blue's work is broad and it's important that the blueVoices membership reflects the diversity of the Australian community who experience mental health issues; so we regularly promote blueVoices to Beyond Blue supporters to encourage more people with experience of mental health issues to join and provide input into our work. Photos are an important part of this and who better to feature in them than blueVoices members themselves!

    What's involved

    The photoshoot will be held from 1 - 5pm on Thursday 18 May. You can drop in anytime that suits you during the afternoon. 

    Photos will be taken as groups and pairs and will be 'action shots' of you chatting, sitting around a table, using a computer, etc. to demonstrate the type of activities that blueVoices members get involved in. 

    You also have the option to have an individual photo taken if you feel comfortable with this. If you do, we'll ask for a couple of quotes from you about the reasons you joined blueVoices or what you enjoy about your participation which we will display with your photo. 

    Everyone who attends the photoshoot will receive a $20 Colers/Myer voucher as a thank-you for your time. 

  • Tell us about what issues are most important to people supporting loved ones with mental health conditions

    by Laura Prerau | May 03, 2017

    The Victorian Government and Carers Victoria are producing a Carer Statement which will outline what carers want from health and community services and what they think is important in the services that are available in Victoria. 

    Beyond Blue is providing a response to the consultation as we feel it is important that the needs of people who support a loved one with mental health issues are reflected in the Carers Statement. 

    We would like to hear from blueVoices members who have experience supporting a loved one with a mental health condition on the issues that are important to you so that we can ensure we are reflecting the areas that matter most to you in our response. 

    Who can take part 

    We're inviting any blueVoices members with experience supporting a loved one to share your views, no matter what state or territory you live in. 

    Beyond Blue responds to a range of submissions throughout the year to advocate to changes to the system to benefit carers across Australia. 

    We would like to get a sense of the different carer experiences across the country, to help us accurately reflect these experience in all of our submissions. 

  • Play a role in guiding Beyond Blue's future

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 12, 2017

    We have an exciting opportunity for two blueVoices members (one with a personal experience of mental health issues and one who has experience supporting a family member with mental health issues) to join Beyond Blue’s Portfolio Governance Group (PGG) for a one-year term and participate in decisions guiding future Beyond Blue projects.

    The aim of Beyond Blue's PGG is to ensure responsible use of funds to maximise benefits achieved for Beyond Blue and the community we serve. 

    The PGG meets monthly to review project ideas/business cases submitted by Beyond Blue teams and assesses these prior to submission to the CEO and/or Beyond Blue Board for approval and allocation of resources. The PGG consists of senior leaders from across the organisation as appointed by the CEO.

    blueVoices Representative role

    The role of the blueVoices representatives is to contribute to the decision making of the group by drawing on their personal insight gained from experiencing mental health issues.  The role is for a one-year term (unless there is a desire or need to step down from the role earlier), commencing in June 2017. 

    The blueVoices representative will attend meetings and participate alongside other group members in the function of the group, including:

    • Attending monthly meetings of the PGG held in Hawthorn, Melbourne (meetings are held during business hours and run for two hours). Teleconferencing facilities are available for those living interstate
    • Preparing for meetings by completing required pre-reading (this may require up to a few hours of reading depending on the activities occurring during the period)

    As an acknowledgement of the commitment required for this role, blueVoices members participating in the group will be offered reimbursement for time spent fulfilling the requirements of the role.

  • Quick quiz! Help name our new peer support service

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 05, 2017

    Peer Supported Recovery, (PSR), is a new Beyond Blue initiative operating in the Greater Dandenong region (Victoria) which offers peer support to people with, or at risk of experiencing mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

    PSR is focused on connecting people with mild depression and anxiety with peers who have had a personal experience of these conditions themselves, to share their stories of recovery.

    The PSR project team have asked if blueVoices members can assist with naming the service and the support workers. We know that 'peer work' may not be a meaningful phrase for everyone so we'd love your ideas on what title could work better. 

    Please share your ideas in response to the questions below!

  • Insights into Anxiety

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 05, 2017

    For many years, Beyond Blue has been working hard to promote understanding and support for the two million Australians each year who experience anxiety conditions. And while we have seen improvements, we understand there is still much more work to be done.

    To create this change, Beyond Blue is starting on a new program of work to reduce the impact of anxiety. To guide us at this early stage, we are asking blueVoices members to help us better understand what makes a real difference to people living with anxiety. 

    The survey below will ask you about your general experiences of anxiety, and what kinds of strategies you use to manage your anxiety on a regular basis. We’re also interested in your thoughts about what needs to change in the way anxiety conditions are understood in Australia.


  • Gay Men's Stories

    by Laura Prerau | Mar 24, 2017

    Beyond Blue, the National LGBTI Health Alliance and the Movember foundation, are developing a website to help Australian gay men support the mental health of their gay friends and partners. 

    To ensure the resource is the most helpful that it can be, we want to share your stories on the website about reaching out to gay mates or partners to check in on their mental health.

    Beyond Blue will share excepts of your de-identified stories on our gay men’s website and in promotional material for Beyond Blue and partners.

    Who can take part

    We are seeking stories specifically from gay men who have ever reached out to gay mates or partners to check in on their mental health. If you have a friend or contact who you feel would like to take part, please feel free to share the form with them.

    Why your story is important 

    Our gay men’s website will explore the experiences that gay guys have reported to us that they often have when reaching out to a mate or partner; seeing something that worries them, preparing to have the conversation, bringing it up with their mate or partner, and reflecting on how it went. 

    Sharing your story about this experience will mean that other gay men can learn from your experiences and feel more confident in reaching out to their mates or partners. 

    In the interests of your well being and that of our other community members, we ask that you write about an issue you've resolved or are feeling OK about. If you're feeling distressed, need support or have questions you'd like answered, you can access our forums to continue the discussion or get in touch with our Support Service or QLife.

    What happens to your story

    The stories we publish are designed to create a safe space to talk about mental health issues and the impact on people's lives.

    To do this, all stories submitted will be carefully reviewed by the project team at Beyond Blue and may need to be edited. To respect the privacy of others who may be involved in your story, we will also remove information which may identify others.
    If we have concerns about a persons safety, we may contact you. If your story reflects current distress we will not be able to publish it. 

    Stories will be displayed on the website and promotional material with your first name. You can choose an alternative name/nickname if you prefer not to use your real name.

    Taking care of yourself

    Writing about difficult past experiences can be overwhelming at times. If you are distressed we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself. 

    You may choose to contact the Beyond Blue Support Service. If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000.

  • Great Wall of China Trek Case Studies

    by Laura Prerau | Mar 10, 2017

    As part of our fundraising activities, Beyond Blue partners with Inspired Adventures to host international adventure trips. Participants fundraise for Beyond Blue while also challenging themselves along the way.

    We are currently working with Inspired Adventures to arrange a trek of the Great Wall of China. We are interested to hear from blueVoices members who have done this trek themselves and might be willing to share their story as a case study in promotional materials.

    Reading about another’s experience helps potential participants understand what might be involved in taking part and feel motivated to get involved. You can see an example here of a personal story from a Beyond Blue Speaker used as part of the information pack for our upcoming El Camino trek (page 3). 

  • Provide support to others as an online Community Champion

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 08, 2017

    We are currently recruiting for a handful of Community Champion volunteer roles on Beyond Blue’s online forums.

    We are looking to appoint ten new Community Champions who will post between 6 – 10 times per week providing online peer support via the forums to people experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. You must be aged 18 or over to apply for this role. 

    We’re looking for people who can:

    • Use their time, skills and empathy to support people online
    • Be a warm and welcoming voice for new members
    • Use their own experience of anxiety and depression to help set tone of the community as a place of hope and recovery. 

    What the role involves

    Having a space to ‘vent’ and let others know about the difficulties we’re experiencing in life is important.  Community Champions engage people in the forums, using their personal experiences to demonstrate hope, proactive wellbeing, new ways of problem-solving and help to show others the benefits in help-seeking and undertaking different forms of treatment (whatever may work).

    Please read more detail about what the role involves in the Community Champions Guide before deciding to apply.


  • Take part in our National Youth Week campaign

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 08, 2017

    This National Youth Week 2017 (31 March - 9 April 2017), Beyond Blue will be running a campaign on our website and social media channels focusing around looking after yourself and staying well. 

    Under the banner of the #Keepsmewellproject, young people will be encouraged to share creative work about ‘what keeps them well’ which will then be featured through a user generated content platform. 

    To help promote this activity and encourage young people across Australia to get involved, we would like to create an image displaying quotes from young blueVoices members about what you do to stay well and advice you'd give to others. 

  • Seeking blueVoices representatives for Discrimination & Insurance Survey Advisory Group

    by Laura Prerau | Feb 20, 2017

    Beyond Blue is seeking two blueVoices representatives for a project advisory group that will develop and conduct the second Mental Health, Discrimination & Insurance: Consumer Experiences Survey. The role of the advisory group is to attend the initial project planning meeting, provide feedback during the development and testing of the survey tools and provide feedback on the draft final report. 

    The survey of people with either current, past, both current and past or no mental health condition will give a clear indication of the prevalence of insurance discrimination and the impact that it is having on the lives of people living with, or caring for someone who has, a mental health condition.

    Beyond Blue works in partnership with Mental Health Australia, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and Victorian Legal Aid on this project.

    Beyond Blue’s Diversity and Access Project Manager, Rachael Neumann will lead the project advisory group and will consult with all members to provide guidance on project planning, development and outcomes.

    The working group will be active for the duration of the project, March to September 2017.  

    blueVoices Representative role and selection criteria

    Beyond Blue is seeking up to two blueVoices members to join the advisory group.

    The blueVoices representatives will participate alongside other advisory group members in the function and decision making of the group, including:

    • Attending up to two meetings (via teleconference) across the course of the project - the first will take place Wednesday 1 March 9:00am - 10:30am
    • Completing relevant reading and consideration of project issues at home
    • Participating in group email discussions and providing feedback on the project development as necessary 

    As an acknowledgement of the commitment required for this project, blueVoices members participating in the group will be offered reimbursement for their time.

  • Join our blueVoices advisory group

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 09, 2017

    Do you feel passionately about the purpose of blueVoices? Would you like to have input into how blueVoices works and what improvements we can make for all our members?

    We have an exciting opportunity for five blueVoices members to come together and form our very first blueVoices advisory group! 

    The blueVoices advisory group will assist the blueVoices team in making decisions relating to new features or processes for the blueVoices program and generating content of interest to other members. The group will run as a pilot until 31 June 2017 with a view to extending if it is successful. 

    The role of the blueVoices advisory group is to represent member interests and provide input into the development of the blueVoices program, by:

    • Assisting in decision making and design of features and projects relating to the function and future direction of blueVoices
    • Providing input on blueVoices processes and systems and any improvements needed
    • Guiding and generating member content in blueVoices Connect and the monthly newsletter (e.g. create and post community discussion topics in the online forums)
    • Acting as champions in the blueVoices Connect forums to foster a sense of community by responding to member posts and generating discussion of interest to members
    • Providing feedback into the future direction and function of the blueVoices advisory group after the end of the pilot term (31 June 2017)

    Members are asked to commit to the role from March until June 2017 by attending three meetings and participating in group discussions as necessary. Group members will be reimbursed for their time. 

  • Contribute to Beyond Blue's business planning

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 02, 2017

    Beyond Blue is currently developing our Business Plan for 2017 – 2020. This Plan will guide our activities for the next three years, and help us to achieve our vision that: ‘All people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health’.

    We want to gather blueVoices member perspectives as part of this process and will be hosting three virtual workshops for blueVoices members to contribute your ideas on Beyond Blue’s future. 

    This is an exciting opportunity for you to have your say on what you think Beyond Blue should be doing, and how we can best improve the lives of people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide.

    The three workshops are:

    • Monday 13 Feb, 4-5pm (AEDT) - Digital technology – this workshop will explore how we can better support you and your family’s wellbeing with digital technology
    • Tuesday 14 Feb, 12-1pm (AEDT) - Suicide prevention – this workshop will explore your ideas on what Beyond Blue’s role should be in preventing suicide. 
    • Tuesday 14 Feb, 4-5pm (AEDT) - Advocacy and engagement – this workshop will discuss your ideas about how Beyond Blue could improve our approach to advocacy, and what role you would like Beyond Blue to have within your community 

    The workshops are open to all blueVoices members, no matter your experience. If you have some ideas you'd like to contribute we would love to hear from you.

  • Tell us about your career change experience

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 24, 2017

    The media team at Beyond Blue are currently developing a media story about people who have made a career change to work in the mental health sector after having their own experiences with mental health issues.

    We're inviting blueVoices members with this experience to tell us a bit about making the transition to a new career. Hearing about your experience will help our media team to shape the story and understand more about why people decide to make this change and their career outcomes. 

    You can also tell us in your response if you would be interested in being featured in a future media story (this would involve being interviewed by a journalist). 


  • Government inquiry into the NDIS

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 12, 2017

    The Federal Government is currently running an inquiry to find out if the NDIS meets the needs of people with a mental health condition.

    In particular, the inquiry will consider:

    • the eligibility criteria for people with a mental health condition
    • transition from government services such as Personal Helpers and Mentors services and Partners in Recovery
    • access to outreach services for people outside metro and regional areas.

     You can read more about the inquiry on the Parliament of Australia website

    Beyond Blue is preparing a response to Government and it's important to us that the views of people who have experience of mental health issues are reflected in our submission. 

     

  • Help test a new feature for Heads Up website

    by Laura Prerau | Jan 12, 2017

    Beyond Blue's workplace resource Heads Up are looking to ensure people that visit the Heads Up website can find the information they are looking for quickly and easily. blueVoices members are invited to participate in an online survey to test the websites new menu.

    Beyond Blue launched the Heads Up website, www.headsup.org.au, in 2014 in partnership with the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance. The website encourages everyone in the workplace to play their part in creating a mentally healthy working environment, take care of their own mental health, and look out for their colleagues.

  • Help identify key messages for National Suicide Prevention Campaign

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 11, 2017

    blueVoices members with experience of suicidal thoughts or behaviour are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by the Centre for Mental Health at The University of Melbourne and funded by Beyond Blue. This project is part of a larger body of research to develop a suicide prevention campaign aimed at family members and friends of people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts.

    The aim of this study is for the researchers to gain an understanding of what family members, friends, colleagues, professionals and others said and did when they realised you were thinking about suicide.

    Specifically, we want to know:

    • Who knew you were thinking about suicide?
    • What was the most helpful and least helpful thing those people said or did?
    • What would you have liked someone to say or do that no one ever did?

    This research is a very important part of developing the campaign because, while raising community awareness about suicide and equipping individuals to reach out to those at risk may help to address suicide, there is not a strong evidence base to guide the messaging in such a campaign.  This project aims to assist in ensuring that any campaign has benefits and does not do harm.

    Please read the Plain Language Statement for more information on this research. 
  • Guide Beyond Blue's safety app BeyondNow

    by Laura Prerau | Dec 01, 2016

    Beyond Blue is looking to find out how well Beyond Blue's suicide safety planning app BeyondNow meets the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and we're asking blueVoices members with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background to tell us what they think.

    In particular, we want to know if the different parts of BeyondNow, like the suggested things a user can do, coping strategies and people that a user can contact for support, as well as how it looks and reads, is something that connects with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may be at risk of suicide. 

    What is BeyondNow?

    BeyondNow is a suicide safety planning app, designed to help people who experience a suicidal crisis. It is based on the best evidence currently available about suicide safety plan, and initial feedback from users suggests that it is a tool many people are finding helpful.

    Convenient and confidential, the BeyondNow app puts your safety plan in your pocket so you can access and edit it at any time. You can also email a copy to trusted friends, family or your health professional so they can support you when you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or heading towards a suicidal crisis. 


  • Reconciliation Action Plan Working Group

    by Laura Prerau | Nov 30, 2016

    We are looking for a blueVoices member of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent to join a working group developing a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) for Beyond Blue.

    The Beyond Blue RAP will be a practical plan of concrete and measurable actions which create opportunities for Beyond Blue to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, build relationships with key stakeholders, demonstrate respect and inclusion, reduce barriers, and create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    The role of the blueVoices representative is to provide insight and knowledge based on having a personal experience as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ‘consumer’ of mental health services.

  • Join our working group for new perinatal stigma reduction program

    by Laura Prerau | Nov 30, 2016

    Around 1 in 7 women experience postnatal depression in the first year after birth, yet self-stigma barriers such as ‘fear of judgement about one’s ability to cope as a parent’ may prevent women from seeking support at this time. 

    Beyond Blue is seeking up to four blueVoices members with experience of perinatal depression and/or anxiety to join a working group guiding a new stigma reduction program for mother's groups. 

    The working group will guide the development of a small feasibility (pilot) project to be conducted across three Maternal and Child Health (MCH) sites in Victoria.

    The program will involve an intervention session for mother's groups, which will include:

    • One face-to-face session where a trained Beyond Blue speaker shares their story and experiences of postnatal depression/anxiety with the mothers’ group participants
    • An education component for new mothers and health professionals using Beyond Blue’s written support resources and online training tools.
  • Share your story as part of our small business case studies

    by Laura Prerau | Nov 30, 2016

    Beyond Blue are seeking tradespeople who are small business owners or sole operators, who are willing to share, in a video or audio interview, their experiences in any of the following:

    • The importance of making their workplaces more mentally healthy, and how they have done this.
    • Looking after their own mental health, and how they have done this
    • Supporting an employee with a mental health condition at work, and how they have done this 

    The video/ audio interviews will be developed into case studies, and shared publicly on Beyond Blue’s websites. They may also be promoted through Beyond Blue’s social media platforms (eg. Facebook, Twitter), and video case studies will be uploaded to Beyond Blue’s YouTube channel. Aspects of the case studies may also be used in other Beyond Blue online and printed resources.

    Ideally, we would like to try to capture some of the unique stressors involved in running a small business, eg. long working hours in response to business demands; cash flow and financial issues; feeling isolated and alone (including not being able to share business struggles with employees);  poor work-life balance; stigma related to mental health, particularly in disclosing it, and the potential negative consequences for business; the pressure related to expectations from employees and family and the sense of responsibility that accompanies running a small business; the unrealistic portrayal of small business in the media that showcases the successful small business without acknowledging the challenges and struggles.

  • Tell us what you think of the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 17, 2016

    The Australian Government has recently released a draft of the Fifth National Mental Health Plan. The Plan sets a national approach for collaborative government action over the next five years with a focus on achieving a better integrated service system for people experiencing mental health issues. The Plan is intended to guide both Commonwealth government and State and Territory government initiatives in mental health over this period.

    The Australian Government is currently seeking feedback from all interested Australians and Beyond Blue will be making a submission to government in response to the draft Plan.

    It is important to us that the views and experiences of people with experience of depression, anxiety and suicide are reflected in our submission and we encourage you to share your feedback with us (or directly to the Department of Health if preferred). 

    We understand that is is a long document however your opinion is valuable and we would like to hear about the issues that are important to you so that we can represent these accurately.  

  • Review Beyond Blue's draft Workplace Mental Health Strategy Guide for Hospitals

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 16, 2016

    Beyond Blue is working with the healthcare industry to help make public hospitals mentally healthier workplaces. Based on feedback from national healthcare industry stakeholders and Victorian public hospitals, Beyond Blue is now in the process of developing a practical guide, specifically for hospitals, on how to implement a workplace mental health strategy for all their staff.

    Earlier this year we invited blueVoices members who are currently working in a public hospital or have previously worked in a public hospital within the last few years, in any capacity (as a doctor, nurse, allied health or in another role) to share some of the key issues that impact on their mental health at work. The insights that the blueVoices members provided helped to inform the content of the resource. It also gave the project team the unique opportunity to provide potential users of the guide with real-world examples that highlighted the importance of creating a mentally healthy workplace in hospitals, by including quotes from blueVoices members’ experiences throughout. 

    The project team have now completed the first draft of the resource and are inviting blueVoices members with the above experience to review the information and provide their feedback. 



  • Help test and review our new website search engine

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 15, 2016

    Recently Beyond Blue launched a new single search engine on the website to improve the way users can find information across the website and provide the ability to refine or filter search results.

    We're asking blueVoices members to spend a few minutes reviewing our new search function and letting us know if you find it easy to use or where we could improve. 

    The purpose of this survey is to make sure our technology is useful and easy to use for people seeking information.

  • Help guide Beyond Blue's brand

    by Laura Prerau | Nov 04, 2016

    We are looking for blueVoices members to take part in an online survey to test some ideas and opinions about Beyond Blue's brand. 

    As blueVoices members, your knowledge of our organisation and your interaction with us on a regular basis, means your input is extremely valuable.

  • Share your story for Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 27, 2016

    The 13-19 November 2016 is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week and we want to start a conversation about mental health in the perinatal period (pregnancy to 12 months of age).

    Beyond Blue will be supporting PNDA Awareness Week by promoting the resources and information on our new Healthy Families website. Specifically, the pregnancy and new parents section. We will be encouraging conversations about the challenges of pregnancy and early parenthood and encouraging new mums to take the maternal mental health quiz to check in on how they are going.

    Personal stories are an important part of the Healthy Families website and provide a way of supporting others to speak up, and send messages of hope, resilience and recovery to those who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health, or are supporting a loved one.  

    To support our activities during PNDA Awareness Week, we are looking for people to contribute to the website by sharing their story of:

    • The emotional challenges of being a new parent and how to maintain your wellbeing during this time of change
    • A personal experience of depression or anxiety during pregnancy or early parenthood
    • Experience supporting a loved one (partner, family member, friend) with depression or anxiety during pregnancy or early parenthood

    Why your story matters

    Many people still feel confused about what to expect during the perinatal period and when or how to seek support for ongoing emotional distress.

    By sharing your story of emotional challenges or mental health issues during pregnancy and/or early parenthood, you will help Beyond Blue to educate the community about how to better support new parents and when to seek help. 

    We acknowledge that this topic may bring up difficult emotions for many people. We encourage you to reflect on this and decide if this activity is something you feel able to take part in at the moment. 

    Important information about taking part

    Stories will appear on the Just Speak Up section of the Healthy Families website 

    Quotes from some stories may also be shared on Beyond Blue's social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram (you can choose not to have your story shared in this way if you wish). 

    Stories will be displayed with your first name and state/territory. You can choose an alternative name/nickname if you prefer not to use your real name. 

    What will happen to your story

    The stories we publish are designed to create a safe space to talk about depression and anxiety during the perinatal period.

    To do this, all stories will be carefully reviewed by Beyond Blue's Brand and Content team and may need to be edited. To respect the privacy of others who may be involved in your story, we will also remove information which may identify others.

    If we have concerns about a persons safety, we may contact you. If your story reflects current distress we will not be able to publish it. 

    You will be contacted after the closing date to let you know that your story has been published. If you have any questions about your story or this project, please get in touch on blueVoices@beyondblue.org.au 

    Taking care of yourself

    Writing about an experience with mental health issues can feel overwhelming at times. If you become distressed we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself. 

    You may choose to contact the Beyond Blue Support Service online or on 1300 22 46 36. 

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

  • Resilient Kids survey

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 19, 2016

    Resilience: we often hear this word when a child is doing well, but what does resilience mean? If you are a parent, you can help us find out by doing a short survey.

    The Parenting Research Centre and ARACY are conducting a project with funding from Beyond Blue on the topic of resilience and what helps build resilience in kids. The overall project aims to build a shared understanding about resilience and how to promote it in children.

    The information gathered through the survey will accompany and inform new research which aims to promote children’s mental health and positive development. 

  • Share your thoughts and experiences about gay men's mental health

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 13, 2016

    Beyond Blue, the National LGBTI Health Alliance and the Movember foundation, are developing a website to help Australian gay men support the mental health of their gay friends and partners.  
     
    To ensure the resource is the most helpful that it can be, we want to find out more about the types of online conversations and posts about the mental health of gay men that you are seeing on social media.

    You can participate in this survey even if you do not personally identify as a gay man. 

    Responses to this survey are anonymous. Beyond Blue will share the results of this survey with our project evaluation agency Whereto Research.

  • Melbourne focus groups to help guide Beyond Blue's brand future

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 06, 2016

    We are looking for 16 blueVoices members to attend a focus group in Richmond, Melbourne and share your ideas and opinions of Beyond Blue's brand to help guide our future. 

    As blueVoices members, your knowledge of our organisation and your interaction with us on a regular basis, means your input is extremely valuable. 


  • Representative sought for ACT Way Back Support Service Governance Group

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 06, 2016

    Beyond Blue is looking for a blueVoices member who has a personal experience of attempting suicide to join the Governance Group committee of the Way Back Support Service ACT. 

    The role of the blueVoices representative is to provide insight and knowledge based on having a personal experience as a user of hospital or community mental health services following a suicide attempt. The blueVoices representative will attend quarterly meetings and participate alongside other group members in the function and decision making of the group.

    The blueVoices representative will be reimbursed for their time attending meetings by service partner Woden Community Service in accordance with relevant policy.

  • Provide support to others by becoming an online Community Champion

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 04, 2016

    We are currently recruiting for a handful of Community Champion volunteer roles on Beyond Blue’s online forums.

    We are looking to appoint five Community Champions who will post between 6 – 10 times per week providing online peer support via the forums to people experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts. You must be aged 18 or over to apply for this role. 

    We’re looking for people who can:

    • Use their time, skills and empathy to support people online
    • Be a warm and welcoming voice for new members
    • Use their own experience of anxiety and depression to help set tone of the community as a place of hope and recovery. 

    What the role involves

    Having a space to ‘vent’ and let others know about the difficulties we’re experiencing in life is important.  Community Champions engage people in the forums, using their personal experiences to demonstrate hope, proactive wellbeing, new ways of problem-solving and help to show others the benefits in help-seeking and undertaking different forms of treatment (whatever may work).

    Please read more detail about what the role involves in the Community Champions Guide before deciding to apply.

  • Help build our new blueVoices feature

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 14, 2016

    This week we launched a new feature for blueVoices Connect which brings together mental-health related news, articles and images from a wide range of organisations across the internet and displays it in a visual feed. 

    You can view it by scrolling down to the bottom of the blueVoices Connect homepage.

    Content is updated daily and you can simply click on the images you find interesting to read more. 

    We'd love to know what blueVoices members think of this feature and help us build the content to include more of what you are interested in. 

  • Share your story on our new families website

    by Laura Prerau | Sep 07, 2016

    As part of our new Healthy Families website, we’re featuring stories that illustrate the diversity of families across Australia – what makes us unique, but also some of the common challenges we all face.

  • Police and Emergency Services research project

    by Laura Prerau | Aug 24, 2016

    Beyond Blue recognises that some people may be at higher risk of developing a mental health condition and of suicide, because of the job they do. 

    Beyond Blue's Police and Emergency Services Program (formerly the First Responders Program) is undertaking a major national research study on the mental health and wellbeing of police and emergency services personnel. 

    The first phase of the study will involve collecting the personal experiences of police and emergency services workers and their family members. We invite blueVoices members with this experience to take part and contribute their insights to this research.

    Beyond Blue has engaged Whereto Research, an independent social research company, to assist with this research project.

  • Share your story for World Suicide Prevention Day

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 24, 2016

    We want to start a conversation this World Suicide Prevention Day about how to help someone, or how to get help, during a suicidal crisis.

    Each year, World Suicide Prevention Day raises awareness about suicide and how we as a community can take steps to help prevent it. 

    We know that for the thousands of people who attempt or die by suicide each year, many more affected as they support someone who experiences suicidal thoughts and behaviours,or grieve following a suicide.

    In support of the 2016 World Suicide Prevention Day theme of 'Connect, Communicate, Care' Beyond Blue is giving voice to the often untold stories of those who have stepped-in (intervened) to help someone who is suicidal.  

    Why your story matters

    Many people still feel confused about how they can support someone who is feeling suicidal and needs help. 

    By sharing your story of offering your help, or getting help at a time or crisis, you will help Beyond Blue to educate the community about how to support someone who is suicidal. 

    We want the community to understand that they do not need to feel afraid of having a conversation about suicide, and that they can take steps to help someone keep safe. 

    We acknowledge that this topic may bring up difficult emotions for many people. We encourage you to reflect on this and decide if this activity is something you feel able to take part in at the moment. 

    Important information about taking part

    ** To get the most out of this activity. Please take time to read the important information below. We acknowledge that there is a lot! **

    Stories will appear on a special page of the Beyond Blue website during the week of World Suicide Prevention Day (10 September).  After this time they will be included in the Our Stories section of the Beyond Blue website. Some stories may also be shared on Beyond Blue's social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram (you can choose not to have your story shared in this way). 

    Stories will be displayed with your first name and age. You can choose an alternative name/nickname if you prefer not to use your real name. 

    We also ask that you submit an image that means something to you to be displayed with your story. This can be an image of artwork, a landscape or yourself (as long as your face is not shown). You must own or have permission to use this image. More details can be found in the form below. 

    Things to consider when writing your story

    We are looking for people to share a story about help given or received at a time of suicidal crisis. This could be a time that you stepped in to help another, or a time that someone helped you. 

    We are seeking stories about a specific time or situation rather than about ongoing support over a period of time. 

    We are asking people to reflect on past experiences.

    When writing your story you may like to consider:

    • Who did you help/who stepped in to help you?
    • What did you/the person do? (e.g. emotional support, practical help, contacted health professionals, sitting with you at a time of distress)
    • How did it make you feel at the time?
    • How did you feel after you helped or were helped?
    • What was the outcome? (e.g. did the relationship with the person change, did you or the person get professional help, did you or the person have further periods of significant distress, did the person helping need further support themselves)    

    What will happen to your story

    The stories we publish are designed to create a safe space to talk about suicide and the impact on people's lives.

    To do this, all stories will be carefully reviewed by Beyond Blue's Suicide Prevention team and may need to be edited to removed any reference to methods of suicide. To respect the privacy of others who may be involved in your story, we will also remove information which may identify others.

    If we have concerns about a persons safety, we may contact you. If your story reflects current suicidal thoughts or behaviours we will not be able to publish it. 

    Taking care of yourself

    Writing about an experience with suicide can feel overwhelming at times. If you are distressed we encourage you to stop completing the activity, activate your support networks and look after yourself. 

    You may choose to call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact the Beyond Blue Support Service online or on 1300 22 46 36. 

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

  • Tell us what you think of Youth Beyond Blue's new character

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 15, 2016

    In 2014, Beyond Blue launched a redesigned and updated website for young people aged 12-25: Youth Beyond Blue

    The information on the website is portrayed with the help of a character – who we nicknamed Charlie – who features throughout the site as descriptive illustrations.

    Charlie’s purpose is to demonstrate the different thoughts, feelings and behaviours for young people who may be experiencing anxiety and depression, and to promote looking after yourself and your loved ones. 

    Now, we think it’s time to give Charlie (and friends) a new look, and we would like blueVoices members aged 12-25 to share their feedback. It's important to us that young people identify with Charlie and like the designs so your opinion is really valuable.

  • Tell us what you think of our new website for families

    by Laura Prerau | Aug 11, 2016

    We recently launched a new Beyond Blue resource; Healthy Families – a website to help parents and guardians take care of their own mental health and raise healthy, resilient kids.

    Last month we asked blueVoices members to review some information for new dads. This time round, we’re keen to get your feedback on the wider site.

    Because Healthy Families is for everyone – parents, guardians, grandparents, carers and friends – we’re keen to hear from all blueVoices members.

  • Review our new resource for dads

    by blueVoices Manager | Jul 14, 2016

    We're seeking the feedback of blueVoices members on a new Beyond Blue resource; Healthy Families – a website to help parents and guardians take care of their own mental health and raise healthy, resilient kids.

    At this stage of the project, the Beyond Blue families team is looking for feedback on the section for new and expectant dads.

    If you have a child under the age of 10, the team would love your input – especially if you are a first-time parent. Parents of any gender are welcome to take part.

  • Guide our suicide prevention Position Statement

    by blueVoices Manager | Jul 13, 2016

    We are inviting blueVoices members to review Beyond Blue's draft suicide prevention Position Statement and let us know if you feel that the document accurately reflects your views and experiences. 

    Why is your input important

    Position Statements help publicly outline Beyond Blue's views and beliefs relating to a particular topic. We use these to help influence community discussion and public policies relating to mental health. 

    It is really important that our position and key messages associated with suicide and suicide attempts accurately reflect your experiences, as this underpins all of our work which aims to prevent suicide. 

     

  • Workplace mental health strategy for hospitals

    by blueVoices Manager | Jun 28, 2016

    Healthcare professionals working in public hospitals experience a range of risk factors for anxiety and depression including heavy workloads, long working hours, shift work, work-effort imbalance, abuse/mistreatment from patients, bullying and harassment and home-work stress.

    In order to help address this, Beyond Blue is working with healthcare industry to help make public hospitals mentally healthier workplaces. Based on feedback from Victorian public hospitals, Beyond Blue is planning to develop a practical guide specifically for hospitals on how to implement a workplace mental health strategy for all their staff. 

    This resource will help to guide leaders in creating a mental health strategy specific to their hospital and clearly identify the steps and resources necessary to implement a mental health strategy that supports the mental health and wellbeing of their doctors, nurses and other health services employees.

    The development of this resource will be informed by representatives from Victorian hospitals, medical and healthcare industry groups and other hospital subject matter experts, as well as consultation with blueVoices members.

    Who we are looking for

    At this early stage of the project we would like to hear about the experiences of blueVoices members who are currently working or have previously worked (within the last few years) in a hospital, in any capacity (as a doctor, nurse, allied health or in another role).

    We would like to understand from blueVoices members with this industry experience, the key issues that impact on your mental health and what expectations you would have of your employer during the course of them developing and implementing a mental health strategy for your hospital. Your insights will help to guide the content of this resource and highlight the issues which are important to hospital staff.

    In addition to informing the content of the resource, experiences shared in this consultation may be included in the resource as short quotes, alongside a first name and state only. You can choose to use an alternative name if you wish, or opt out of this altogether by letting us know your preference in the response form.

  • Guide Our National Suicide Prevention Campaign

    by blueVoices Manager | Jun 17, 2016

    Research conducted by the Centre for Mental Health, The University of Melbourne

    blueVoices members with experience of suicidal thoughts or behaviour (including those supporting loved ones with this experience) are invited to participate in a research project being conducted by the Centre for Mental Health at The University of Melbourne and funded by Beyond Blue. This project aims to identify key messages for a national suicide prevention media campaign to be conducted by Beyond Blue.

    The aim of the media campaign would be to increase the likelihood that members of the general public, and in particular family members and friends, will:

    • talk to someone who might be at risk of suicide about their suicidal thoughts
    • help the suicidal person to stay safe
    • assist the suicidal person to get the help they need.
    This research is a very important part of developing the campaign because, while raising community awareness about suicide and equipping individuals to reach out to those at risk may help to address suicide, there is not a strong evidence base to guide the messaging in such a campaign.  This project aims to assist in ensuring that any campaign has benefits and does not do harm.

    Please read the Plain Language Statement for more information on this research.
  • Become a Rainbow Champion

    by blueVoices Manager | Jun 08, 2016

    The last year has been an incredible growth period for our online forums, and research shows the number of LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) members we have needing peer support is increasing.

    In a recent user survey, 11% of respondents identified as LGBTI (up from 7% last year), with a further 5% not sure, undecided or preferring not to say when asked about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

    Last year, to make our forums a more visibly welcoming place for LGBTI members, we expanded our successful Champions volunteer programme to include Rainbow Champions, and we are looking to recruit more.

    Rainbow Champions are LGBTI people who have the ability to;

    • Use their time, skills and empathy to support other LGBTI people online
    • Be a warm and welcoming voice for new forum visitors
    • Use their own experience of facing anxiety and depression as an LGBTI person to help set the tone of the community as a place of hope and recovery. 

    What is involved

    Rainbow Champions generate discussion in our dedicated forum space on the Beyond Blue website (not the forums in blueVoices Connect) by posting 6-10 times per week.

    They provide online peer support to members who identify as LGBTI, are questioning their gender identity or sexual orientation, or who are posting on behalf of LGBTI family members.

    You can read more detail about what this role involves in the Community Champions Guide.

    Our current Rainbow Champions

    'Gruffudd' - Rainbow Champion“The Rainbow Champion role gives an opportunity to support others so that they don't have to deal with what the world throws at them on their own, and that really matters.

    “I live in a regional community and some days it is like I am the only queer kid in existence. I look forward to checking back in with my people and their stories.”



    'Paul' - Rainbow Champion“A sense of belonging and purpose is important for my recovery and management of depression and anxiety. I decided to seek to help others and feel a sense of belonging at the same time.

    There are many of us in the GLBTIQ+ community who don't have an opportunity to really express ourselves by sharing our pain in a direct way in a safe place. I hope that we can change that by using our life experience and ability to listen and relate to others.”


  • blueVoices Member Survey 2016

    by blueVoices Manager | May 25, 2016

    blueVoices members are very important to Beyond Blue and we want you to enjoy being part of our work. We are interested in hearing your thoughts and honest feedback about being a blueVoices member, what you enjoy and where blueVoices could improve, so that we can keep making blueVoices better for all members.

    Who can take part?

    We are inviting ALL blueVoices members to take part. We would love to see as many members sharing their opinion as possible - whether you've been involved for many years or have just joined!

    Your participation is completely anonymous, so please feel comfortable in sharing your feedback honestly.

    We are always striving to improve your blueVoices experience. Those who completed this survey last year will find that there are additional questions we would love to hear your thoughts on so please do take part again. 

  • Seeking input from paramedics

    by blueVoices Manager | May 17, 2016

    Do you have experience working as a paramedic or in an organisation employing paramedics? 

    We are looking for blueVoices members with this occupation to assist in the development of a new project tackling mental health issues amongst paramedics and support staff. 

    Participation would involve reviewing materials and content and possibly providing case studies for inclusion in the materials (optional).

  • Review Beyond Blue's 'Find a Professional' webpage

    by blueVoices Manager | May 04, 2016

    Late last year, Beyond Blue made some changes to the ‘Find a professional’ section on our website, and we would like to seek blueVoices feedback on our ‘Find a professional’ webpage. 

    These changes were initiated in response to a previous survey of website users, who told us that the information was not meeting their needs and expectations, and that they were not able to find the information they were seeking. 

    Beyond Blue is committed to helping people across Australia find and engage with appropriate support and services. The 'Find a Professional' page has general information about options for accessing mental health services and health professionals. The webpage also provides links to national health professional/health service directories, assisting people to find a health professional in their local area. Each directory that we link to contains reliable information, maintained by reputable organisations.

  • blueVoices Connect forums review

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 21, 2016

    We are inviting blueVoices members to tell us what they would like to discuss in the blueVoices Connect forums. What topics are you interested in? Do you have an area of expertise you'd like to share with other members? 

    This survey is now closed.

     

  • Join the State & Territory Perinatal Depression Reference Group

    by Polly Swan | Mar 18, 2016

    The primary purpose of the State & Territory Perinatal Depression Reference Group is to share information on perinatal depression and anxiety screening, projects and activities. 

    The secondary purpose is to provide advice and assistance to Beyond Blue for the implementation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (Federal Government funded from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2017).

    blueVoices representative members will be asked to attend bi-monthly teleconference meetings until June 2017 and participate in discussions with other committee members to fulfil the group responsibilities of:

    • Share information about perinatal depression and anxiety based activities
    • Participate in community consultation as required
    • Participate in discussion about perinatal depression and anxiety based activities
    • Provide advice to Beyond Blue to support implementation of the NPDI. 

    Who can take part?

    We are looking for two blueVoices representatives to join this committee who;

    • Have personal experience of perinatal depression and/or anxiety
      or are a family member (partner, spouse, parent, sibling, etc.) of an individual who has had personal experience of perinatal depression and/or anxiety
    • Are interested in the mental health of new parents
    • Are available to dial-in to meetings on a bi-monthly basis and set aside one hour of preparation time (for any reading) prior to the meeting (meetings will be held during office hours)
    • Will act with confidentiality and integrity 

    Experience representing consumer/carer experiences on other committees/advisory groups is desirable. An element of the project relates to translation of information materials into languages other than English so we also encourage applications from individuals who identify as a Culturally and/or Linguistically Diverse.

    Reimbursement for time spent preparing for and participating in Committee meetings will be provided, as required by the Remuneration Tribunal at Determination 2015/20: Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Part-Time Public Office.

  • Online survey to guide Beyond Blue's content strategy

    by Polly Swan | Mar 04, 2016

    The aim of this research project is to understand what content on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention our different community audiences want to access, how they want to access or receive the content, and how often. This includes content across multiple channels such as print resources, web content (blogs, articles, stories etc.), email newsletters and social media channel (e.g. Facebook).

    The findings from the research will inform the development of Beyond Blue’s Content Development Strategy and will guide planning for 2016/17.

  • Contribute to our mental health initiative for secondary schools

    by Polly Swan | Feb 26, 2016

    Beyond Blue is currently developing new content for our MindMatters website, which is a mental health initiative for secondary schools that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

    This new content will focus on the important topic of building inclusive schools, including information about some specific school populations that we want to highlight. These populations are young people with a disability, LGBTI young people, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander young people, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse young people, and young people who live in rural and remote areas.


  • National inquiry into employment discrimination - Have your say

    by Polly Swan | Nov 26, 2015

    Beyond Blue believes that all discrimination experienced by people with depression and anxiety is unfair, and needs to stop. We believe that when we see it, we need to speak up against the discrimination experienced by people affected by depression, anxiety and suicide, so that it is no longer ignored, expected or accepted.

    The ‘Willing to Work’ inquiry is examining barriers to employment for people who experience mental health conditions and/or disabilities, and older people. The Commission will make recommendations about practices, attitudes, and Commonwealth laws that should be changed, and actions that should be taken, to reduce employment discrimination.

    Want to have your say on other areas of health reform? 

    The Department of Health are giving consumers the chance to share their views on private health insurance. The consultation encourages members of the public to express their views on how to make private health insurance better value for consumers. 

    To read more, or voice your opinions through the consultation please visit: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PHIconsultations2015-16

     

  • Supporting the mental health of First Responders

    by Polly Swan | Nov 19, 2015

    Beyond Blue recognises that some people may be at higher risk of developing a mental health condition and of suicide, because of the job they do.

    The Beyond Blue First Responders Program was established in 2014 to promote the mental health of first responders and reduce their risk of suicide. The Program focuses on police, ambulance, fire and rescue, and state emergency services, and includes current and former/retired workers, volunteers and their families. 

    Beyond Blue is currently developing a good practice framework that will offer practical guidance to first responder organisations to create mentally healthy workforces. 

    We are inviting blueVoices members who work, or have worked, in one of the following four sectors to share their experiences of mental health in this industry and provide suggestions on how first responder organisations may be able to better support their employees:.

    • Ambulance services
    • Police force
    • Fire and rescue services
    • State emergency services

    About your involvement 

    Some blueVoices members may remember us reaching out to our members with first responder experience last year when the program first began. Thank you to those who took part at that time, we hope that you will continue to share your input with us in this next stage of the program.

    The First Responders Program is managed by Beyond Blue’s Workplace and Workforce team and includes a number of projects.  Beyond Blue has also engaged an external consultant, FBG Group, to assist with this good practice framework project. The de-identified (anonymous) responses from this survey will be shared with two staff members from FBG Group who are working closely with the Beyond Blue Workplace and Workforce team. 

    Responses to this survey may also be used as quotes in future resources relating to the First Responders Program or on the Beyond Blue website. Any quotes used will be anonymous. You have the option in the survey to let us know if you do not wish your quotes to be used.

    If you would like further information about Beyond Blue’s First Responders Program, or to discuss any specific issues, please contact Muireann Heussaff at Muireann.heussaff@beyondblue.org.au



  • Mature age work and retirement - what are your thoughts?

    by Polly Swan | Nov 11, 2015

    We are inviting our blueVoices members over the age of 55 to share their experiences of retirement and/or being a mature age worker to assist in the development of a new Beyond Blue project. 

    Beyond Blue is currently developing a proposal to undertake work on a project relating to mature age workers and retirement, including:

    • age discrimination and the mental health impacts of this
    • the mental health impacts of a phased retirement (reducing work hours and having more leisure time pre-retirement)
    • the mental health impacts of retirement and if that changes over time.

    The insights of blueVoices members will help to inform the project and highlight the issues that mature age workers and retirees face. If you have experience in either of these areas, positive or negative, we welcome your input. 


  • Do you work in a secondary school? Help enhance the MindMatters program

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 06, 2015

    MindMatters is a mental health initiative for secondary schools that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people. MindMatters provides school staff with blended professional learning and provides structure, guidance and support to enable schools to build their own mental health strategy to suit their unique circumstances.

    More information on MindMatters can be accessed at: www.mindmatters.edu.au

    How you can help:

    Beyond Blue is developing new content to enhance the MindMatters framework, which is focused on the needs of priority populations and some specific topics.

    If you work in a secondary school, we would like to hear your thoughts on working with young people on issues around bullying, suicide, self-harm and mental health and what you find useful in your role to support students.

    Please take part in the online consultation via the link below by 5pm, Monday 16 November 2015:

    If you have any additional questions about MindMatters or your feedback, please contact Shaun Staunton, Beyond Blue Project Manager - LGBTI Communities, Education, Family and Gender on 03 9818 9239 or at Shaun.Staunton@beyondblue.org.au
  • Volunteers needed - CBRE Walk for a Wish (various locations)

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 05, 2015

    Beyond Blue is proud to be selected as a charity of choice for the second year running for the CBRE Walk for a Wish events.

    Now in its sixth year, the 2015 Walk For A Wish event will be held on Friday 16 October. On this day, close to 1000 CBRE employees across Australia will set out on a 10km walk through their home city in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation AustraliaBeyond Blue and UNICEF.

    This year there are 92 Team Beyond Blue members that have so far raised a total of $28,000.

    We are looking for blueVoices members who are interested in helping out with a range of different volunteering opportunities. 

    When: Friday 16 October 2015

    Where: Volunteers are needed in:

    • Adelaide
    • Melbourne
    • Brisbane
    • Canberra
    • Perth

    Time: The event takes place during the day, and there will be different times for each event/volunteering tasks 

    Contact: If you are interested in attending, please contact Charlotte Joblin via emailcharlotte.joblin@beyondblue.org.au or call 03 9810 6186.

     

  • Share your experience using a safety plan to cope with suicidal thoughts to inform our new App

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 25, 2015

    Research shows that a safety plan can help people stay safe and get through times of distress and crisis. A safety plan is a prioritised written list of coping strategies and sources of support that people can use during or preceding suicidal crises. However, many Australians do not know about safety planning and safety plans are not consistently used across Australian health services.

    Beyond Blue is working on a project to develop a Safety Planning App that people can use to help them cope with suicidal thoughts and crises. By engaging people who have had experience of using a safety plan to cope with suicidal thoughts, we are aiming to better understand how helpful or unhelpful they can be and use this knowledge to make sure our App supports people in their time of need.

    Who can take part? 

    We are inviting all blueVoices members over the age of 18, who have had a personal experience using a safety plan, longer than 6 months ago, or have assisted someone to use a safety plan.

    What is involved?

    We are looking for your opinions and thoughts about how you found the experience of using a safety plan to cope with suicidal thoughts. More importantly, we are interested in what you found useful and what you believe may have been more helpful to you when you were feeling distressed. Please remember that if you find it too distressing to recall your experiences, you do not have to continue with this activity.

  • Become a beyondblue speaker in Queensland

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 10, 2015

    Do you live in Queensland and are you interested in speaking publicly about your experiences with depression or anxiety to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues? 


    If so, you may be interested in joining beyondblue’s Speakers Bureau.

    Our speakers assist beyondblue by sharing their story to groups in the community. We receive requests from all types of groups and organisations and match them with appropriate speakers to share their story. By doing so, our speakers help raise awareness and reduce stigma of depression and anxiety in communities throughout Australia.

    Our beyondblue speakers share elements of their story that have a strong focus on hope and recovery. For this reason it is important to reflect on your current state of wellness before applying. We acknowledge that managing depression and anxiety isn't always an upward slope, however, the ability to effectivley manage stress and being able to commit to speaking events, are two important components of becoming a beyondblue speaker. 

    If this is something you think you might be interested in being part of, we’d love to hear from you!

    How to apply

    To express your interest, please download and complete the Speakers Expression of Interest Form (Word document) with further details of your experience and return it to Kate Mulhearn, our Ambassador and Speaker Coordinator at speaker@beyondblue.org.au

    Applications close at 5pm, Monday 21 September. 

    If you have any questions about the Speakers Bureau or your interest, please also feel free to contact Kate on 03 9818 9215.

    Our speakers team look forward to hearing from you!


  • Applications are now open for 2016 Young Carer Bursaries!

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 26, 2015

    The Young Carer Bursary Program is a national program and is administered by Carers Australia in Canberra. 

    What is the purpose of the Young Carer Bursary Program?

    The purpose of this program is to assist young carers in greatest need, to continue to study and to relieve the financial pressure for them to undertake part-time work, in addition to their educational and caring responsibilities.

    What is a young carer?

    Young carers are children or young people 12 - 25 years of age, who help care in families where someone has an illness, a disability, a mental health issue, is aged or who has an alcohol or other drug problem.  

    Who is eligible to apply?

    Those eligible to apply for the Young Carer Bursary in 2016 are:

    • a young carer aged 12 - 25 years and under 
    • at least in secondary school
    • studying or training an approved course, either full-time or part-time in 2016
    • not in receipt of another bursary or scholarship
    • not already qualified with a Degree or Advanced Diploma
    • an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident.

    Applications close 28 September 2015

  • Have you ever received assistance from our Support Service?

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 11, 2015
    Last year, the beyondblue Support Service assisted 190,000 people with information and advice around depression, anxiety and suicide prevention. 
     
    beyondblue is now seeking to document a series of Support Service stories to use online and in our annual report. We are also looking at using one or more of the stories in our first ever Christmas appeal, aimed at raising funds to help keep up with the increasing demand for the Support Service.

    Sharing stories of why people contact the beyondblue Support Service, and how it helps, will create awareness about the impact this service has had on hundreds of thousands of people's lives right across Australia.

    Who can take part?

    We are inviting blueVoices members who have contacted and been assisted by our Support Service,  either by making a call or chatting online (via webchat). This may have been to get support for yourself or seek advice about how to help someone you were concerned about.  
     
    How do I get involved?

    If you would like to share your experiences using the Support Service, please complete the short questionnaire via the link below by 9 am, Monday 17 August.  You may then later be contacted for a follow-up interview and photo shoot. 
     
     
    If you have any questions or concerns about sharing your experience, please do not hesitate to contact Kimberley Nichols, beyondblue Senior Brand and Content Advisor, on 03 9810 6149.
    Thank you for your support!
  • Sharing your story with the media

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 03, 2015

    We are inviting all blueVoices members who are interested in hearing about opportunities to share their story with the media to complete the following short survey. In order to find the right person for the requests we receive, we need to gather some additional information about your unique journey with depression, anxiety or suicide.

    As with all blueVoices activities, the details you share will not be provided to any third parties (including media outlets and journalists) without your consent. If we receive a request from our media team that fits the details you have shared about your experience, we will first contact you to discuss the opportunity before proceeding. 


  • The Way Back Support Service- Design Review

    by blueVoices Manager | Jun 02, 2015
    A suicide attempt is the most significant risk factor for further suicidal behaviour. The Way Back Support Service aims to prevent deaths by suicide by reducing the likelihood of an further suicide attempt through coaching and support, for people who have made a suicide attempt.

  • Video Review- Suicide saftey plans

    by blueVoices Manager | May 21, 2015
    Beyond Blue, in partnership with Swinburne University, are in the process of making a short educational video about a specific suicide prevention strategy, as part of a broader suicide prevention project.

    The aim of this video is to provide both the general public and mental health professionals, with easily accessible information about keeping someone who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide safe. 
  • Favourite AFL Club

    by blueVoices Manager | May 07, 2015

    We have extended the opportunity to let us know what football club you support

    Beyond Blue partnership with a number of football clubs around Australia sometimes gives us the opportunity to invite a few of our valued supporters to get involved in special events throughout the Football season. So please let us know which football club you support

     

  • blueVoices annual membership survey

    by blueVoices Manager | May 05, 2015

    blueVoices members are very important to Beyond Blue and we want you to enjoy being part of our work. We are interested in hearing your thoughts and honest feedback about what we do well and where we could improve, so that we can keep making blueVoices better for all members.

    Your participation is completely anonymous, so please feel comfortable in sharing your thoughts honestly.

  • Vote now

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 20, 2015

    Beyond Blue and Monash University are working together to develop a suicide prevention smartphone application (App).  The aim of the smartphone App is to allow people to easily create their own personal Safety Plan. A Safety Plan is a list of steps people can take before or during a suicidal crisis to keep them safe and help them access the support they need.

    Beyond Blue's Suicide Prevention and Support Services Team have created nine engaging names for the App and would love blueVoices’ members help to select the name which is most relevant and appeals to people who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide. 

     

     

  • Become a Beyond Blue speaker

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 18, 2015
    Are you interested in speaking publicly about your experiences with depression or anxiety to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues? 

    If so, you may be interested in joining Beyond Blue’s Speakers Bureau.

    Our speakers assist Beyond Blue by sharing their story to groups in the community. We receive requests from all types of groups and organisations and match them with appropriate speakers to share their story. By doing so, our speakers help raise awareness and reduce stigma of depression and anxiety in communities throughout Australia.

    If this is something you think you might be interested in being part of, we’d love to hear from you!
  • Use your experience working in Aged Care to inform our new e-learning program

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 17, 2015

    We are inviting blueVoices members who have an experience working in either residential or community aged care environments (past and present) and wish to share their experience of  managing their own depression and anxiety in this workplace.

    Your input will help informour Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) workshops since 2012. This program aims to help aged care employees detect and manage depression and anxiety in older people in residential or community aged care settings.

     

  • Speaking to a health professional about your mental health

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 17, 2015
    Beyond Blue has developed a new promotional video that centres around having a conversation with a health professional. We would greatly appreciate your feedback before it is released to the public to understand the way different people interpret the video's key message.
  • Renaming the blueVoices portal

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 02, 2015
    In late January, we invited blueVoices members to provide their suggestions for a new blueVoices portal name.

    Thank you to everyone who suggested a name. We had a great response with more than 150 suggestions! The names were creative, innovative and witty.
  • Youth Suicide Prevention content review

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 17, 2015

    Beyond Blue is inviting you to review our new web content and short video aimed at helping families identify and support a young person who is thinking about suicide. The new resources aim to provide practical information to parents and guardians about how they can support a young person to talk through how they are feeling and seek help.

    Young blueVoices members and their parents/guardians have provided their personal experiences to guide the material you will be reviewing.

     

     

  • Youth advice on talking to parents about mental health

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 04, 2015
    Beyond Blue is in the process of adding more great new content to the Youth Beyond Blue website and are looking for advice from young people who have an experience speaking to their parents about mental their own mental health.

    The new content on the website will make available some handy hints and tips to help give young people who may be having a hard time, the confidence and skills to reach out and have helpful conversations with their parent, guardian or a trusted adult.
  • blueVoices portal name change

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 29, 2015

    The blueVoices portal is a members-only online space where members can take part in blueVoices activities, share personal experiences and connect with others.

    In October, some blueVoices members took part in an innovation workshop that aimed to better understand how the blueVoices portal is used and how it can be improved. The blueVoices members who took part came up with a number of fantastic suggestions, some of which are now in the process of being implementing.

    The first improvement we are making is to change the name from ‘blueVoices portal’ to something that better represents the warmth and engagement of the blueVoices community.

     

  • Become a Beyond Blue Speaker

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 13, 2015
    Are you interested in speaking publicly about your experiences with depression or anxiety to help reduce stigma and raise awareness of mental health issues?

    If so, you may be interested in joining Beyond Blue’s Speakers Bureau.

    Our speakers assist Beyond Blue by sharing their story to groups in the community. We receive requests from all types of groups and organisations and match them with appropriate speakers to share their story. By doing so, our speakers help raise awareness and reduce stigma of depression and anxiety in communities throughout Australia
  • Sydney North Shore blueVoices meet-up event

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 13, 2015
    In order to thank our wonderful blueVoices members for all you do, we will be holding a fun, relaxing outdoor blueVoices meet-up event to give members the opportunity to meet each other, chat with Beyond Blue staff and listen to a special presentation from a Beyond Blue speaker.

     

    Event details

    The event will be held from 11:30am on Saturday the 24th of January at Freshwater Reserve on Kooloora ave, a short walk from Sydney's Freshwater Beach and will be open to all blueVoices members family and friends. 

  • Innovation workshop for workplace mental health

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 13, 2015

     

    Beyond Blue has engaged research and design specialists Symplicit, to run an innovation workshop about mental health in the workplace. The purpose of this workshop is to find new ways to positively impact poor mental health in the workplace and develop solutions to common issues facing workplaces and their employees.

    This is a unique opportunity for blueVoices members with personal experience of mental health in the workplace to provide their perspectives in a solution- focused forum.

    Who can take part?

    We are inviting all Victorian blueVoices members who have personal experience or a keen interest in workplace mental health, who are able to travel to Melbourne Docklands and are available for the full duration of the workshop on Tuesday February 10 from 2pm until 5pm. We are looking for a minimum of three blueVoices participants.

    What is involved?

    The workshop will see participants work in small teams to generate innovative concepts and ideas. Around 30 participants from business and mental health communities will also be involved.

    Participants will be divided into six groups, with each group focusing on a different area of workplace mental health. Topics to be discussed include 

    • De-stigmatising mental heath in the workplace,
    • Mental health of small to medium business operators,
    • Shared responsibility of addressing mental health in the workplace
    • Improving the experience of returning to work.   
    • Managing risks associated with mental health in the workplace, and
    • Facilitating conversations about mental health issues in the workplace.
  • Do you have experience working in emergency services?

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 26, 2014
    null Beyond Blue is planning to engage with a range of emergency services providers and emergency service workers to better understand the supports that are in place (and perhaps are not in place) to support the mental health and wellbeing of this workforce.

    As Beyond Blue is in the very initial stages of work in this area, we would like to first find out if any of our blueVoices members have experience working in the emergency services sector. We will then contact you and may invite you to provide your input as the project progresses.

    Are you an emergency services worker?


    In the early stages of this project we would like to hear from any blueVoices members who currently are, or who have previously worked in
    • Ambulance services
    • Police force
    • Fire and rescue services
    • or State emergency services 
    Beyond Blue may expand the scope of this project at a later stage in order to engage with other emergency services that may face many similar challenges, but at this point we are only interested in hearing from blueVoices members with experience in the four service areas mentioned above.

     

  • Review Beyond Blue's new video on insurance discrimination

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 16, 2014

    Beyond Blue would like to invite you to review a short video (3 minutes) aimed at raising awareness of the discrimination that may occur for people experiencing mental health issues, when accessing or claiming against insurance products (e.g. life insurance, travel insurance, income protection insurance).  



  • What do you think of the blueVoices portal?

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 25, 2014

    Thanks for visiting the blueVoices online portal.

    We've got plans to improve this area over the coming year and are interested in hearing your feedback and ideas on what you like about the space and what we can improve. 


  • Help encourage others to access the Beyond Blue Support Service

    by blueVoices Manager | Apr 24, 2014
    Did you know that the Beyond Blue Support Service is free to access and available to to provide support for all Australians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where they live?

    Did you know that Support Service staff are trained mental health professionals and are available to talk to callers about any issue, no matter how big or small someone might think their concerns are?

    Many people in the community don't realise that the Beyond Blue Support Service is there for them, when and how they need it.

    We want everyone to know that if they would like to talk to someone about their worries, want information about depression and anxiety or are looking for a mental health professional in their area, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available to them.

    Can you help?


    We are currently developing some video resources which explain how the support service can help and how to access it, to hopefully encourage more people to reach out for support when they need it.

    To help develop the content for these videos and other promotions, we'd like to hear how blueVoices members think that calling the Support Service might help in times of need.

    We're inviting you to share your personal experience with calling the Beyond Blue Support Service and/or your thoughts on how the support service might be helpful.

    All the information provided by blueVoices members will help inform the content of the promotional video. We may also select a quote from your feedback to include in the video or other resources (displaying your first name and age only).

    There is also the potential for a few blueVoices members to participate in a filmed interview about the support service. You can tell us if you would like to be considered for that when you complete the survey questions.


    How to take part


    To share your thoughts on the Beyond Blue Support Service, please tell us about yourself and complete the questions below before Monday 5 May.
  • Help evaluate the Beyond Blue Support Service

    by blueVoices Manager | Mar 27, 2014
    Beyond Blue is evaluating its Support Service to review how it has been delivered and the impact it has on people who use the service.

    It’s important to us to hear what you think about this service and your input will help Beyond Blue to understand how people view the service, how well the service is being delivered and how it can be improved.

    We would like to invite you to share your views by taking part in a short online survey. This survey will take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

    The evaluation is being conducted by Sweeney Research and all the information you provide us will be confidential and used only for the purpose of the evaluation. Survey data will not be identified by name, and you will not be identified in the report.

    To take part, or read more information, please enter the survey via the link below:

    Complete the survey
     
    Your feedback is a valuable part of this evaluation and will help us to improve the Beyond Blue Support Service for those who need it. 

  • How do you talk to health professionals about mental health?

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 13, 2014
    Beyond Blue is developing a brand new resource for smartphones which will support people with depression and anxiety to have meaningful conversations with health professionals (e.g. General Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Counsellor, Social Worker).

    To assist with the development of this resource and guide the content that we include, Beyond Blue is seeking input from blueVoices members on your experiences of talking to health professionals.

    We would like to hear about your experiences of having conversations with health professionals, both when you first sought support for a mental health issue and in your ongoing care.

    We're also interested in your suggestions to others for questions and tips that may help have effective and meaningful conversations with health professionals.

    If you'd like to take part, please complete the question below. The survey will close at 9am on Monday 24 February 2014.

  • Review our booklet on staying well

    by blueVoices Manager | Feb 03, 2014
    Beyond Blue is currently developing a new information resource; Staying Well, a guide to recovering from anxiety and depression and we would love to hear what you think of the draft booklet. 

    The booklet is designed for people who have or are at risk of developing anxiety or depression and has been written to provide readers with tips and strategies to encourage healthy behaviours around nutrition, sleep, stress and exercise. 

    It aims to provide useful tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle to assist recovery and reduce the risk of relapse as well as helping to identify possible triggers that may negatively affect mental and physical health.

    Let us know what you think


    As a new resource for Beyond Blue, we'd love to hear what you think of the draft booklet and how it could be improved. We're also interested to know what lifestyle changes have helped you manage or recover from depression/anxiety.

    To take part, follow the link to download the draft booklet and complete the questions below to provide your feedback:

    Your responses will be provided to the team developing the booklet but no identifying information will be shared; we ask your name and email in the survey so that we can get in touch if we have further questions of updates for you.

     

    Thank you. We look forward to hearing your feedback!


    Please Note: as a security measure, users are logged out of the Beyond Blue website after 90 minutes of inactivity. If you are taking some time to review the booklet and draft your responses, please consider making notes of your answers in a separate document to prevent loss of information in case of time-out. Thank you

  • Have your say on blueVoices

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 28, 2014
    It's time to have your say on what you think of being part of blueVoices in the first annual blueVoices membership survey!

    blueVoices members are important to Beyond Blue and we want you to enjoy being part of our work. 

    So that we can keep making blueVoices better for all members, we're interested in your feedback on what we do well and what we can improve.

    The survey is mainly multiple choice and should take 10-15 minutes to complete.  Your participation is anonymous, so please feel comfortable in sharing your thoughts.

    This is a chance for you to tell us what you want as a blueVoices member and we would love to see as many members sharing their opinion as possible - whether you've been involved for many years or just joined recently, we want to hear from you!

    You can take part by completing the survey below. The survey closes on Sunday 9 February.

    Thank you. We really look forward to your feedback.



  • Tell us about your experience with Beyond Blue

    by blueVoices Manager | Jan 16, 2014

    blueVoices members are invited to complete a short survey on your experience with Beyond Blue.

    The survey is part of an independent evaluation of Beyond Blue which is being conducted by the Nous Group, a leading national consulting firm.

    The evaluation will help Beyond Blue to further improve its work to reduce the impact of depression and anxiety in the community.

    The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Individual responses are anonymous and remain confidential.

    Complete the survey here
    The survey will be open until Friday 31 January 2014

    To complete the survey please follow this link: 

    Thank you for your support.
  • Parents and guardians - how do you talk to young people about mental health?

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 29, 2013

    Beyond Blue is beginning a new project to help people talk about mental health issues across a range of situations – including how parents and guardians can talk to young people they are worried about.

    We’re calling this the ‘Having the conversation’ project and for this stage we're looking for parents and guardians of young people who have experienced depression or anxiety to assist with its development (we’re also doing a separate survey with young people themselves).

    We know that these are not always easy conversations to have. So hearing about your experiences will guide the development of this practical resource. We want you to tell us what’s been difficult, and what’s been helpful, when you've talked to a young person about their experience of depression and/or anxiety.

    How to help

    If you’d like to help, please take the time to complete a quick survey telling us about your experiences of talking to a young person about their mental health.

    We’ll also ask about your thoughts on what information we should provide to help other parents and guardians have effective and helpful conversations with young people.

    This is a brief survey and should take about 15-20 minutes to complete.

    Although your responses to this survey will be provided to the project team, no identifying information will be shared. We collect your name in the survey so that we can contact you if we have further questions for you. 


     

  • Young people - How do you talk to your mates about mental health?

    by blueVoices Manager | Nov 28, 2013
    Youth Beyond Blue are developing website content and an app to help young people have conversations with friends who are struggling and we're looking for blueVoices members aged 17-25 to tell us about their experiences of talking about mental health.

    The content developed will support young people to develop skills in how to ask, how to listen and how to help. We are also developing a resource for parents (or trusted adults) on how best to talk to a young person about anxiety and depression.

    We know that these are not always easy conversations to have. So hearing about your experiences will guide the development of this practical resource. We want you to tell us what’s been difficult, and what’s been helpful, when you’ve talked to a friend or trusted adult about mental health issues.

    How to help

    Your personal experience is an essential part of this project and will help us develop content that is appropriate for young people. 

    If you’d like to be involved, please take the time to complete the quick survey below by telling us about your experiences and ideas. There are no right or wrong answers, please just tell us honestly what you think.

    This is a brief survey and should take about 15 minutes to complete.

    Although your responses to this survey will be provided to the project team, no identifying information will be shared. We collect your name in the survey so that we can contact you if we have further questions for you. 

    Thanks! We look forward to hearing about your ideas and experiences.


  • Over 65? Tell us how you have the conversation about mental health

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 21, 2013
    You probably know that at Beyond Blue, we think talking about mental health is important. As such, we are now beginning a new project to help people talk to others about their mental health issues, and teach skills to others about how they can respond in helpful and supportive ways.

    We’re calling this the ‘Having the conversation’ project and we're looking for older adults (65 and over) who have experienced depression or anxiety to assist it's development.

    We know that these are not always easy conversations to have. So hearing about your experiences will guide the development of this practical resource. We want you to tell us what’s been difficult, and what’s been helpful when you have talked to someone about your experience of depression and/or anxiety.

    How to help


    If you’d like to help, please take the time to complete the quick survey below telling us about your experiences of talking to others about your mental health and your ideas for what information we should provide to help others have effective and helpful conversations.

    This is a brief survey and should take about 10 minutes to complete.

    It will be open until Monday 4 November

    Thanks for your support. We look forward to hearing your ideas and experiences.
  • Tell us what you think of the new Youth Beyond Blue website designs

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 04, 2013
    As you may be aware, Beyond Blue is currently redeveloping the Youth Beyond Blue website to contain new content as well as a brand new design. 

    We are very excited to be able to show you the draft designs of the website and are interested to hear what you think.
     
    The designs have incorporated all the feedback and ideas we have received from consultations, workshops and surveys conducted earlier this year. The design aims to use illustrations mixed with small amounts of text and videos to present the information in an easy to read way, making it easy for young people to find the information they need. We really want the content to be engaging, for young people to be able to relate to the content and to understand that there are others out there who have similar experiences.  

    View the designs and give us your feedback via the form below


     We have a short timeframe for this stage of the review so the survey will close at 9.00am on Monday 7 October.

    You do not need any specific skills or experience to give your feedback, you just need to honestly tell us what you think.

     
    All feedback will be collated and passed onto our design team to review and incorporate into the final designs this month.


  • Provide feedback on Suicide Prevention Australia's draft Lived Experience Strategy

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 01, 2013
    Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) have recently completed their draft Lived Experience Strategy, which will guide the way lived experiences of suicide are valued and respected in Australian suicide prevention activities. The draft strategy is now open for public feedback and, in support of SPA, we are inviting you to provide your perspectives.

    The draft Lived Experience Strategy has been informed by representatives of national organisations who work directly with those touched by suicide along with members of SPA’s Lived Experience Committee. It aims to provide a framework to ensure that people with lived experience of suicide have a voice when developing policy, strategy, services and programs as well as research and evaluation. The core of this goal for SPA is to enrich the understanding of suicide and its prevention.

     

  • Tell us about your experience with suicide and/or self-injury

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 01, 2013
    You may be aware that Beyond Blue is currently undertaking a number of suicide prevention projects and these will be increasing over the years; as with all our work, we  feel it is important to have these projects informed by real life experience. 

    We know that many blueVoices members have experiences in this area, however in the past we have not explicitly asked you about this topic. We are keen to understand the breadth and depth of experiences which exists within the blueVoices membership to help us to involve you in our projects which have the most relevance to your experiences.

    Beyond Blue wants to make a real impact in suicide prevention and considers the voices of those with experience in this area as imperative to shaping our future work. 


    There will be the opportunity to share your story in more detail in the future if you wish to, however at present we are just looking to get an overview of the experiences which exist within the blueVoices membership.

     

  • Review Beyond Blue's new youth-related resources

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 01, 2013
    As you may be aware, Beyond Blue is currently developing two new booklets on depression and anxiety relevant to young people; one for young people themselves and another for adults who care for young people. 

    The youth booklet will replace many of the existing Beyond Blue youth fact sheets, condensing the information into one handy resource covering a range of topics in relation to depression and anxiety. The adults’ booklet will be a brand new resource for Beyond Blue and will assist adults who are concerned about a young person or care for a young person with depression and anxiety.

    Thank you to all those who took part in the first stages of the resource development and helped us gather stories and review the tone and language used. We think the resource is looking great and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the final draft.


  • Are you a carer aged over 65? Tell us your story.

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 01, 2013
    Beyond Blue is undertaking an update and refresh of some of its materials specifically for older people (over 65). The ‘Depression in older people’ booklet is being updated to incorporate anxiety, as well as provide more information about symptoms, where to seek help and how to stay well.

    We are keen to ensure that the experiences of carers are included in this resource and are inviting you to assist by telling us your story via the form on this page. Some of what you tell us may be included in the booklet as a quote alongside your first name, age, state and the relationship to the person you care for.

    At Beyond Blue, we know that adding personal experiences to information resources is incredibly powerful, and helps to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking (as well as add to the overall quality of the resource). 

    Although the experiences you tell us about will be provided to the team developing the resource, no identifying information will be shared. We collect your name in the questionnaire so that we can contact you if we want to ask any further questions about your experience.
  • Are you over 65? Tell us your story

    by blueVoices Manager | Oct 01, 2013
    Beyond Blue is undertaking an update and refresh of some of its materials specifically for older people (over 65). The ‘Depression in older people’ booklet is being updated to incorporate anxiety, as well as provide more information about symptoms, where to seek help and how to stay well.

    We are inviting blueVoices members who are over 65 and have personal experience of depression and/or anxiety to assist in the development of the resource by telling us your story via the form on this page. Some of what you tell us may be included in the booklet as a quote alongside your first name, age and state.

    At Beyond Blue, we know that adding personal experiences to information resources is incredibly powerful, and helps to reduce stigma and encourage help-seeking (as well as add to the overall quality of the resource). 

    Although the experiences you tell us about will be provided to the team developing the resource, no identifying information will be shared. We collect your name in the questionnaire so that we can contact you if we want to ask any further questions about your experience or if you have indicated that you are interested in taking part in the campaign.

    Older Adults Campaign

    Beyond Blue is also seeking expressions of interest from people over 65 to be involved in a refresh of campaign materials. This involvement would include:

    • sharing your experience of depression or anxiety in a filmed interview, with a focus on your help-seeking experience and how you stay well. (This interview would appear on the Beyond Blue website and YouTube channel, and may be used by Beyond Blue partners to promote our message of Hope. Recovery. Resilience.)

    • being photographed, with your image to appear on marketing collateral (such as a poster, postcard or for use in print advertisements)

    • possible interviews with media

    • audio recordings for use in a radio advertisement

    If you would like to know more about being involved in the campaign materials, please tick the box at the end of the survey and we will be in touch.
  • Share your workplace story

    by blueVoices Manager | Sep 19, 2013
    Beyond Blue is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of depression and anxiety in Australian workplaces and reducing the associated stigma. A key part of Beyond Blue's work involves promoting the real experiences of people who have experienced depression and/or anxiety.

    Beyond Blue's Workplace and Workforce (W&W) program is now developing a number of new videos to provide workplaces and workers with real stories of people with depression and/or anxiety in the workplace.  These personal experiences provide a first-hand look into the challenges which people may face managing and recovering from depression and anxiety.

    Personal stories of workers with depression and anxiety can:
    • raise awareness of depression and anxiety, and their impact in the workplace
    • reduce stigma
    • highlight the benefits of appropriate supports in the workplace
    • assist others to understand effective ways to approach a colleague/workmate who is showing signs of depression or anxiety
    • demonstrate that workers can successfully manage their mental health condition, reduce its impact on their work, recover and stay well.

    The six filmed stories will be uploaded to the Beyond Blue website, and Beyond Blue's YouTube site. Extracts will also be used in future online workplace learning resources accessible via the Beyond Blue website. Aspects of the personal experiences may also be used in other Beyond Blue online and printed resources, at the discretion of Beyond Blue.

    Other examples of existing Beyond Blue personal story videos focusing on the workplace can be found here:
    • Building strong foundations – The stories of Scott, Tom, Rhett and Nick

    Share your story


    Beyond Blue is inviting people with a personal experience of depression and/or anxiety relating to the workplace to express interest in taking part in a filmed interview telling their story. 

    We want to hear about your experiences, both good and bad. We are particularly interested in the lessons you have learned so that your story will assist others facing similar situations and educate employers on how they can better support staff who are experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

    We would like to hear from people who:
    • have a personal experience of depression or anxiety relating to the workplace
    • work in a range of industries, particularly:
     -  retail/sales
     -  telecommunications
     -  transport or warehousing
     -  emergency services (e.g. police, ambulance, SES)
     -  mining
    • have disclosed their depression or anxiety in their current workplace (i.e. have told managers and/or workmates about their diagnosis)
    • are willing to share their story on film.

    If you are selected to be filmed sharing your personal experience, Beyond Blue will provide you with support prior to, during and after the interview. You may choose not to have your real name used alongside the video if you wish.

    What does participation involve?


    The personal experience video will follow a structured interview process conducted by Beyond Blue staff with expertise interviewing people with a mental health condition. Filming of the videos will take place in October-November 2013 (dates and times to be confirmed).

    If you feel comfortable, your story will be filmed in your workplace (the name of the workplace does not have to be shown). Otherwise, filming will take place in a neutral location. Beyond Blue will cover any related travel expenses.

    We acknowledge that sharing a personal story publicly can be confronting. It is possible that you may experience unexpected feelings or reactions, both personally and from others who see your filmed story. We encourage you to reflect on this, and consider any implications of sharing your name, circumstances or story as part of this project.

    The W&W team at Beyond Blue are happy to answer questions or discuss any concerns you may have at any time prior, during or after taking part in filming.

    How to take part


    If you are interested in taking part in this project please complete the Expression of Interest form below. 

    Please submit your Expression of Interest by 2 October 2013.

    We are also looking for stories from different perspectives, so if you think someone in your current or a past workplace may also be interested in sharing their experience, please talk to them about their willingness to do so and pass on this email.

    After the closing date the W&W team at Beyond Blue will review all Expressions of Interest received and may then contact you to have a conversation about your story.

    If you have any questions please contact Rene Hahn, Beyond Blue E-learning Project Manager, by phoning (03) 9810 6100 or emailing rene.hahn@beyondblue.org.au


  • Speak up against discrimination in the insurance industry

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 22, 2013

    As you may be aware, for the past ten years Beyond Blue and the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA) have been working to influence the insurance industry to make changes to their policies and practices. The aim of this work is to improve access for people currently living with a mental health condition or those with a previous experience. We are now building our advocacy campaign to further this work and to do this we need your support! 

    On Wednesday 21st August, Beyond Blue and MHCA, at The Mental Health Services Conference in Melbourne, made a formal call out encouraging people with a current or previous mental health condition, who have experienced potential discrimination, to come forward and tell their stories about negative experiences with insurance companies. 

    By doing this, we hope that the community will better understand:
      - our recent efforts to build a fairer insurance market for people with mental illness
      - the importance of those with a lived experience of mental illness coming forward with their stories of potential discrimination 
      - and how both individuals and organisations can support the push for fairer treatment for people with mental illness by insurance companies. 

    Beyond Blue and the MHCA have also developed an information sheet that you may like to read to find out more about how insurance companies potentially discriminate against people with mental illness and what we believe needs to be done to ensure that people with a mental illness can enjoy fair access to the insurance market.

    For further information, or to share your story of a negative experience relating to insurance, please email theinsuranceproject@beyondblue.org.au or tell us your story via the form below. 

     

  • Give feedback on our new resources for young people

    by blueVoices Manager | Aug 07, 2013
    As you may be aware, Beyond Blue is currently developing two new booklets on depression and anxiety relevant to young people; one for young people themselves and another for adults who care for young people. 

    The youth booklet will replace many of the existing Beyond Blue youth fact sheets, condensing the information into one handy resource covering a range of topics in relation to depression and anxiety. The adults’ booklet will be a brand new resource for Beyond Blue and will assist adults who are concerned about a young person or care for a young person with depression and anxiety.

    If you are a young person (aged 12-25) with experience of depression and/or anxiety, or are an adult who supports a young person with this experience, we are inviting you to help inform these new resources and ensure that the information is relevant to real experiences.

    We had a fantastic response to the first part of the consultation, with a large number of both young people and adults sharing their personal experiences to help inform the content of the resources. Thank you to all those who took part!

    We are currently in stage two of the consultation and invite you to provide your input (we want to hear from you whether you took part in the first consultation or if this is your first time getting involved):
    • Closed - July - Stage 1 – Share your personal story to guide the resource content
    • [OPEN NOW] Stage 2 – Provide feedback on the tone and language used
    • September - Stage 3 – Provide feedback on the final draft

    We look forward to hearing your perspectives and ensuring that these resources are useful to young people and the adults who provide support to them. 

    Stage 2 - Provide feedback on the tone and language


    Drafts of the new resources have been written and we'd love you to let us know if we are on the right track. At this stage, we're keen to hear whether you think that the content is easy to read and sets the right tone as well as whether the information provided is relevant.

    If you participated in the previous consultation and shared some of your experiences, you may notice a quote from your story included in the draft resource, along with your first name and age. Please be aware that these quotes are to give an example for the purposes of this review and are not final. The draft document is not available publicly. We will contact you for permission to use a quote from your story in the final review stage, before the resource becomes available publicly. At that stage, you will be given the choice to use a different name/age in the final document, change the wording or withdraw your quote entirely.

    How to take part

    If you are a young person and would like to contribute to the review of the youth resource please enter the survey below:

           •  Youth survey

    If you are an adult who has supported a young person and would like to contribute to the review of the adult resource please enter the survey below:

           •  Adult survey

    Both surveys will close on Monday 12th August 2013.

    Although your feedback will be provided to the team developing the resource, no identifying information will be shared. We collect your name in the survey so that we can contact you if we have further questions for you.

    Thank you! We look forward to hearing what you think of the resource so far.

  • Help grow Beyond Blue's online community

    by blueVoices Manager | Jul 17, 2013
    The launch of the Beyond Blue website in April this year saw a new focus on our online forums:  a place where anyone across Australia can share their experiences of depression, anxiety or a related disorder.

    By connecting with others in the online community we hope people will find encouragement and support, wherever they may be on their personal journey.  This support comes from other members of the forum who take the time to read and reply, assuring the author of the post that they are being listened to and there is hope. Beyond Blue’s moderators play an important role behind the scenes, ensuring that members get the necessary help they need – but the support of other members who have lived through depression and anxiety is invaluable.

    We are inviting all blueVoices members to play a vital role in growing the online community and providing support and encouragement to those who share their experiences or reach out to others for advice.

    If you can spare some time to share your own experiences and respond to others we encourage you to join Beyond Blue’s online community and participate in the forum discussions.

    Who can take part?


    Anyone, of any age or background and with any experience can take part and has a valuable role to play in growing the community and providing support to others by sharing their own story.

    You can choose the space or spaces you are most interested in:

          • The Beyond Blue Online Forums are for everyone and there are a range 
            of different discussion topics which you can participate in

          • Joining the online community will also give blueVoices members access to 
            the blueVoices Forum where you can share your experiences of
            speaking publicly about your story, taking part in mental health advocacy,
            tackling stigma and other topics.

          • If you are a man aged 55 or over, you may also like to take part in
            The Shed Online community. The Shed Online recreates the atmosphere
            of a physical men’s shed – a safe and supportive space where men come
            together to discuss and exchange information on a range of topics (not just
            health information, but anything you may find interesting!).

    ......feel free to visit and take a look around! 


    We hope that many blueVoices members will choose to also become members of our online community and, through your experiences, provide support and encouragement to others. 

    Thank you!

  • Help inform Beyond Blue's new resources on attempted suicide

    by blueVoices Manager | Jul 10, 2013
    Beyond Blue and The Hunter Institute of Mental Health are working together to develop information and support resources for people who have attempted suicide and their family, friends and carers.  The resources will be produced by the end of the year and will include specific versions for Aboriginal people who have attempted suicide and their family, friends and carers.

    To inform the development of the resources the research team are keen to hear the views of blueVoices members who have attempted suicide and their family, friends and carers. It is important that we hear from people with this experience to ensure that the resources reflect real experiences and are valuable to individuals and their families. 

    Who can participate in the research?

    The Hunter Institute of Mental Health are calling for expressions of interest from;
        a) People who have attempted suicide more than 12 months ago, or
        b) People who have a family member or close friend or dependent 
           child/person that has attempted suicide more than 12 months ago.  

    To be eligible to participate in the discussion you must be: 
        •  Over 18 years of age, and
        •  Not currently experiencing any acute symptoms associated with mental 
            illness, and
        •  Not currently feeling suicidal.

    Participation in this project is entirely by choice.  Only those people who give their informed consent will be included in the project. You may withdraw from the project at any time. 


    Please note:

    Thinking about difficult past experiences can be distressing. If the content of this activity makes you feel upset and you would like to talk to someone, please contact the Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or online at www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support

     

  • Share your story for our new youth resources

    by blueVoices Manager | Jul 03, 2013

    We are excited to announce that we are developing two new booklets on depression and anxiety relevant to young people; one for young people themselves and another for adults who care for young people.

    The youth booklet will replace many of the existing Beyond Blue youth fact sheets, condensing the information into one handy resource covering a range of topics in relation to depression and anxiety. The adults’ booklet will be a brand new resource for Beyond Blue and will assist adults who are concerned about a young person or who care for a young person with depression and anxiety.

    If you are a young person who has experienced depression and/or anxiety, or are an adult who cares for a young person with this experience, we invite you to inform the development of Beyond Blue's new resources. 

    Over the next few weeks there will be three opportunities to provide your input and you can participate in as many stages as you like:

    • July - Stage 1 – Share your personal story to guide the resource content
    • August - Stage 2 – Provide feedback on the tone and language of the resource
    • September - Stage 3 – Provide feedback on the final draft

    We look forward to hearing your perspectives and ensuring that these resources are useful to young people and the adults in their lives. 

  • Tell your story for our new e-resource

    by blueVoices Manager | Jun 26, 2013

    Beyond Blue is developing a new multimedia resource which aims to support families in providing an inclusive family environment for their gay, lesbian, more than one gender attracted, trans and intersex (GLBTI) family members. We are inviting blueVoices members who have relevant experience to participate in the resource by sharing their story on film.

    Research shows that the environment within families, both attitudes and behaviour, has a dramatic impact on shaping each of us as individuals. Inclusion within families promotes well-being and helps protect young people against risk.

    The aim of this new resource will be to provide families with:

    • Support in understanding and embracing diversity in gender, sex and sexuality
    • Information to de-stigmatise same and more than one gender attraction, intersex, trans and gender diversity
    • Tangible advice about how to support people exploring their sexuality and gender identity to build their personal identity in an inclusive environment
    • Links to further support

    This initiative will build on the Beyond Blue commitment to work with others to address the high prevalence of depression and anxiety in GLBTI communities. The booklet will be housed on the Beyond Blue website as an e-resource, with links to filmed personal stories.

    Sharing your story


    We are looking for people to share their story in a three to five minute video to underpin the messages and information in the Family Support e-resource. Aspects of the stories will also be used throughout the e-booklet as quotes and case studies, to further strengthen the information in the e-resource.

    Video stories will be uploaded to the Beyond Blue website and Beyond Blue’s YouTube site.

    To underpin the messages of the resource, we want to include real stories of both:

    (a)     parents and family members talking about their experience leading to and following their child/sibling coming out, not only the immediate situation, but how that relationship has changed over time

    (b)     community members’ experiences leading to and following their coming out to their family

    We want to include both positive and negative experiences, and also what was learned from these experiences. We are interested in hearing from people from a range of backgrounds and geographic locations across Australia. 

    Further information on the project and how you can get involved is available in the Expression of Interest (EOI) document via the link below:

  • Assist in the development of a new GLBTI community resource

    by Tiffany Fox | Jun 03, 2013

    We are inviting blueVoices members who identify as same or both sex attracted, intersex, trans or gender diverse to participate in the development of a new resource for families.

    An Advisory Group is being established by Beyond Blue to assist with the development of a new national resource. This resource will provide families with support in understanding and embracing diversity in gender, sex and sexuality, information to de-stigmatise same and both sex attraction, intersex, trans and gender diversity and links to further support. The resource will also provide families with tangible advice about how to support young GLBTI people through building resilience and providing an inclusive environment.

    The role of the Advisory Group is to provide guidance and advice to Beyond Blue concerning the development and dissemination of the resource. The Advisory Group consists of representatives from Beyond Blue, community organisations, and blueVoices members.

  • Calling all Men! Share your story in Beyond Blue's new campaign

    by Tiffany Fox | May 13, 2013

    Male blueVoices members aged between 18 and 54 are invited to register their interest in featuring in Beyond Blue's new men's campaign. 

    The Campaign

    In June, Beyond Blue will be launching a significant new campaign to encourage men to take action against depression and anxiety through reducing stigma and other barriers to seeking support. The campaign will be promoted through a variety of means including television, radio, outdoor advertising and digital advertising.

    The campaign centres around a fictional ‘Doctor’ character who is irreverent, humorous and dedicated to men talking to men about man things, including mental health.  The character is a combination of your best mate, the best Uncle you never had and the down to earth, no nonsense medical professional most of us would love to find.  It is an exciting campaign, with nothing like it previously seen in Australia!

    Stories from real people who have taken action on depression and anxiety (or helped a loved one to do so) will be a vital part of the campaign website (they will not feature in other campaign promotions).  Real experiences break down stigma by showing that others face similar challenges and how much better life can be after taking action and taking charge.

  • Take part in Beyond Blue's anxiety campaign

    by Tiffany Fox | Mar 15, 2013

    In April of this year Beyond Blue will be launching a new campaign featuring a well-known Australian actor, titled ‘My name is Anxiety’, to raise awareness of anxiety and its symptoms, and to encourage people to learn more and seek help by visiting the new Beyond Blue website (also to be launched in April).

    The campaign primarily target Australian’s aged 25 to 45, however it will still have broader appeal. It is a ground-breaking campaign and we look forward to the involvement of blueVoices members.

    The campaign will involve real stories of people who have experienced anxiety and sought support towards recovery.  Real stories are powerful in breaking down stigma, helping others to identify symptoms and encouraging help-seeking.

    Beyond Blue values personal story telling in its campaigns and real stories of Australian’s experiences with anxiety will be an important part of the campaign

    We would like to know your story about your experiences with anxiety and your journey through your recovery, particularly in relation to the symptoms that will be highlighted in the campaign.

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