Following reports this morning that Ian Thorpe has sought treatment for depression and alcohol issues, Beyond Blue 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, Beyond Blue's mental health professionals are readily available to provide confidential support.
“To access the Beyond Blue 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 www.beyondblue.org.au 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.”