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Forums / Welcome and orientation / beyondblue statement on Ian Thorpe

Topic: beyondblue statement on Ian Thorpe

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email:
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    30 January 2014
    Following reports this morning that Ian Thorpe has sought treatment for depression and alcohol issues, beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO has made a short statement.

    “If these reports are correct, it is a very brave move from Ian and I commend him for it,” she said.

    “Far too many people, and particularly men, never take action to get appropriate treatment for depression and can spend their whole lives battling it alone.

    “Also, far too many people self-medicate with alcohol, which may provide temporary relief, but can do enormous damage to a person’s wellbeing in the long-run.

    “As one of the world’s greatest swimmers, Ian showed enormous strength, resilience and tenacity, and we all adored him for it.

    “Australians loved and supported him when he was winning and he needs our love and support again now.

    “Ian has shown enormous courage in the past by talking about his struggle with depression and this courage is again on display.

    “Seeking support for depression takes guts and the first step is often the hardest, but most people make a full recovery once they receive the appropriate treatment.

    “I know that in the past Ian’s story has inspired other people to take action to get treatment for their own battles and I hope this morning’s reports have the same effect.

    “If you or someone you care about may be depressed, beyondblue’s mental health professionals are readily available to provide confidential support.

    “To access the beyondblue Support Service, people can call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours a day seven days a week, they can use the online chat service between 4pm and 10pm each night at or they can send an email via the website.

    “I wish Ian all the best in his recovery and know that the bravery he has shown in seeking support will hold him in good stead as he tackles this latest challenge.”
  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    31 January 2014 in reply to Chris B
    dear Christopher, I wonder how many people would have believed, or those who haven't had any sort of depression, that there was nothing wrong with him as he walked into the hospital, why, because his fake face was put on, he smiled and signed autographs, and those who think they know everything possible would say 'well he doesn't look depressed to me, he's probably doing this for publicity'. Geoff.
  3. Stephen123
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Stephen123 avatar
    145 posts
    1 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    My mental health has been quite good lately and I have excellent support in place. There is 2 more things I must overcome for the sake of myself and my beautiful family. I have admitted to myself and my doctor that I use alcohol to self medicate. The other problem I must defeat is laziness and motivation to keep working. It,s so easy to just sit back and enjoy that relaxed numb feeling take over to make me feel better but I know that I have an illness and I must and will defeat it. There is so much positive stuff to do. I do not envy Ian having to defeat his illness with the press tracking him it must be very difficult for him. My heart and thoughts go out to him and I sincerely hope he comes out the other side a recovered person. Recovery begins with admission. I,m trying so hard to accept my past, i look forward to the future but I want to live in the now. I,m lucky, I,m surrounded by some amazing people, I must do the right thing for them and for myself.

  4. Neil_1
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Neil_1 avatar
    4232 posts
    3 February 2014

    I don't know if Ian is actually onto this site at all but even if he's not I would just like to just write this to express how I feel for his situation:

    "Dear Ian (Thorpey as most of Australia and indeed the world would know you)

    This site and all its so many wonderful members (all fellow sufferers) would just like to extend to you our strongest support and care to you.

    For you to initially come forward and announce that you have been battling this debilitating illness and other issues for so long now was a monumental feat of strength and courage - considering of your stature in the community.  To me, that is also the strength and courage that made you the world champion that you are ... oh that plus a hell of a lot of ability.

    I was so pleased to read that when you were discovered in the early hours the other morning, a lady was there to not only be by your side to comfort you at that time, but also was kind enough to arrange for appropriate help to come along.

    You've delivered so much pride and joy to so many millions of Australians during your phenomenal swimming career, both in and out of the pool - always displaying conduct of an absolute champion, professional and true role model to thousands upon thousands of people - and without doubt, the little tackers who would be doing lap after lap wanting to try to be like you.

    But now is your time for trying to deal with your demons that have been plaguing you for so long.  Right now (more than ever in your life - always dominated by media and the press, etc) I bet you wished that you were just someone like "Joe Citizen" who has presented with all the symptoms of someone struggling and dealing with awful effects that mental illness thrusts upon individuals. 

    I bet you wish that you could be anonymous to the public so you could deal with this the best way you can.  The way that we all do ourselves on a daily basis.  And with saying that Ian, I hope that the media, the press, TV, etc etc, you name it, all of them, please give you a wide berth over the next period of time to let you try and deal with all that you're facing.

    Surely with what you've done for Australia, surely those who have the appropriate power in the media circles can exercise some plain old common courtesy to let you deal with this and not be hounded.

    I know you have the absolute 100% backing and total support of all of the members of Beyond Blue behind you and I'll finish this off by just saying:

    "We're thinking of you Thorpey ... and we hope that can beat these demons like you beat all those world records that were put before you".

    Kind regards



  5. Jo3
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Jo3 avatar
    2269 posts
    4 February 2014 in reply to Neil_1


    That is a beautiful message to Thorpey.

    Ian, I hope you do come on here and see how much support there is for people like us suffering depression and other mental illnesses.

    Please rest assured that we are all thinking of you and hope you get well soon.  It is a hard and long journey but a worthy one.

    I really feel for you and wish I could just give you a big warm hug and say it's okay, we're here for you.

    Sending you a big hug, pls take care, thinking of you

    Jo xx

  6. Suzbj
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Suzbj avatar
    300 posts
    4 February 2014 in reply to Chris B
    Hi Christopher, Watching the news regarding Ian Thorpe, whether it is accurate or not, tells me one thing! What a brave man and great ambassador! Ian, as a champion of swimming and the hard fight it takes to become a champion in the Olympic arena, is after all a human being like the rest of us. So what he needs now is our (the public and media support) to just let him be and do what he needs to do without the spotlight on him. What I have always admired most about Ian Thorpe is he has always been real and caring and down-to-earth. I wish him all the best and look forward to his recovery. My heart goes out to him for this tough time. He is and always will be a great ambassador for all Australians and particularly the up and coming young people - especially those suffering from depression that think that nothing good can come from their lives. Ian Thorpe is even more of a role model than ever - simply by being human. However, right now, it is important he just thinks of himself and his family and friends and gets well. And that he knows the majority of Australia has his back without judgement but with all our support!!! Take care Ian. You are much loved and very much respected - be kind to yourself xx
  7. Suzbj
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Suzbj avatar
    300 posts
    4 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    PS: I would also like to give my best to his family, friends and loved ones. We have your back too - best wishes Susan

  8. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15310 posts
    4 February 2014 in reply to Suzbj

    dear Susan, Neil, Stephen and Christopher, we all know the struggle that now begins for himself and the road ahead will be a long one, and I say this because ever move he makes the media will be watching with batting eagerness to have it splashed all over the the front pages on newspapers, major highlights the TV news, and this only increases his chance of being to heal, it doesn't give him any relief at all.

    If only those media businessmen would start to begin to know what the devastation this all means to our great 'fish', and just to leave him alone, would they like being in a similar situation where everybody is looking out for him and then reporting it on the media, no, because it's no different to any of us with depression, so bugger off, and let him try and regain his life, because now he has a difficult job ahead.

    If they still persist and annoy the hell out of him, I wonder if they realise what damage this will do for him.

    Thorpey, all of us here on Beyond Blue understand this most difficult time for you, we know the 'ins and outs' of what will meet you along your journey, and I wish so much for the knowledge you learn along this awful path that one day you will be able to help other people, certainly not now, so please we wish you the very best, and maybe you might visit this site, as there are so many people who have had different types of depression, but it's a group that we have gathered together and formed a close relationship with each other.

    Take the greatest care. Geoff.

  9. Chris B
    Community Manager
    • Works for beyondblue managing these forums. Not a mental health professional, but here to help. Email:
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Chris B avatar
    1757 posts
    6 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Thank you all for your really great responses, there has been a wave of positive reaction on our Facebook page as well with people sharing their own stories. I wanted to repost this one here, from Irene, who sounds like a really great mum:

    "Today my son just couldn't go to work and I knew no amount of trying to talk him around would help. His father was taken to hospital unexpectedly yesterday. It was meant to be a family celebration for my son's 40th birthday and his dad was missing it. My son was in that dark place, emotionally wiped out so I just said his work would understand. I believe if I had nagged on and insisted he went to work, if one thing had gone wrong then all his work mates would have seen the side he tries so hard to live with, depression and low self esteem. Instead he's resting peacefully and work will be his normal routine tomorrow. He still lives at home and perhaps many think he shouldn't but you know I'm glad he always knows he can kick back when he needs to and we'll always be their for him but will never tell him how he should be living his life. As a retiree, I don't mind sitting up watching sports shows if he can't sleep and wants to talk late into the night. I can make up the sleep. It's a part of our life but it doesn't take over our life. I hope Ian Thorpe and many other not so public persons find their own special place where they can be at peace to just give them a chance to recouperate and look forward to their next day. One step at a time."

  10. HighwayToHell
    HighwayToHell avatar
    22 posts
    6 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    That is so beautiful.  Irene, can I come over to your house?

  11. Closed Down
    Closed Down avatar
    10 posts
    12 February 2014 in reply to Chris B

    Thanks Chris for posting that great story about the "hero" Mum, I would call her.

    I lost my job due to a "downturn" in the industry I was working in. I was a competent supervisor at that time, and believe that I was chosen as one of the redundant recipients because of my loss of motivation and whatever else the reasons may have been? I knew I was struggling.........PEOPLE IN SOCIETY THAT ARE DOING OK AND DON'T RECOGNISE DEPRESSION/ANXIETY, NEED TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES IN THIS AREA! DON'T JUST ASSUME SOMEONE IS LAZY, WEIRD OR WHATEVER! 

  12. Tracey
    Tracey avatar
    9 posts
    22 February 2014 in reply to Neil_1

    Great post Neil - I've missed the site a lot 




    tracey xx

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