More than 1000 Australians have so far heeded beyondblue’s call to become ‘Fundraising Legends’, by hosting a beyondblue Bash to support people affected by depression, anxiety or suicide.
For the first time since the organisation was established in 2000, beyondblue launched a major fundraising campaign in January - to help meet rising demand for its vital 24/7 Support Service.
In the past year alone, beyondblue’s free Support Service was contacted more than 160,000 times. Demand for it and other beyondblue resources grew 44 per cent last year and continues to rise.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said the organisation receives great support from all governments for its core work, but as demand for its direct services grows it is time to reach out for help from the community.
“It costs on average $48 dollars each time a mental health professional at our Support Service responds to a person in need,” she said. “By hosting a beyondblue Bash at work, at school or in their sports club, people can keep this free counselling service running. One call could save a life.”
People go to incredible lengths to support beyondblue – they have walked from Melbourne to Sydney and run backwards in a marathon – but a beyondblue Bash can be easier and less physically demanding than these endurance feats.
Some of the bashes held this year include workplace bake-offs, gym fitness challenges, school dress-up days, car rallies and restaurants selling blue burgers. People are encouraged to come up with their own original ideas and, often, the simplest are the most successful.
If you’re looking for inspiration visit the beyondblue Bash website (fundraise.beyondblue.org.au) for videos of our ‘Fundraising Legends’ sharing their experiences, including:
- Year 11 students Mel and Zoe, who ran a series of Milo mornings at school selling two cups for $2; one for each customer and one to share with a friend. They raised $14,000.
- Julie, who first experienced depression when she was 16, but kept it hidden. After trying to take her life when she was at university, Julie realised she needed help and contacted beyondblue. She raised $1200 ‘for the people who basically saved my life’ in fun run sponsorship.
Ms Harman said maintaining beyondblue’s many free services and information resources requires enormous, on-going commitment – and she’s grateful to everybody who supports this effort.
“Besides the Support Service, last year there were 8.2 million visits to our website, our Speakers and Ambassadors told their stories to break down stigma at hundreds of events and every month, 1500 people joined our online forums,” she said.
“On behalf of all the families in Australia who have been affected by depression and anxiety, or who have been bereaved by the suicide of a loved one, I offer my heartfelt thanks for the generous fundraising efforts. Our supporters, across the country, help keep these services, and many others, going strong.”
To become a beyondblue Fundraising Legend go to fundraise.beyondblue.org.au to register, see what other people are doing and be inspired.