Beyond Blue does not fund Safe Schools program

31 May 2016

Today The Australian implied that Beyond Blue funds the Safe Schools program.

This is incorrect. Beyond Blue does not fund and never has funded the Safe Schools program.

Funding from Beyond Blue to Latrobe University’s Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society is completely independent from the Centre’s role in administering the Safe Schools Program in Victoria.

The Beyond Blue funding contribution referenced in The Australian article was funding for important research in keeping with Beyond Blue’s mission: to improve the lives of all Australians affected by depression and anxiety and to prevent suicide. This funding was provided to Latrobe University for research in several areas under Beyond Blue's national research program. Projects included Improving Online Therapy for Mood Disorders among Lesbians and Gay Men; From Blues to Rainbows: The mental health needs of young people with diverse gender identities; Improving mental health for older LGBTI Australians; and A closer look at Private Lives Two.

Beyond Blue stands by the need for and quality of this research. This research has been widely cited and published in academic publications. Importantly, the research findings and data have been and continue to be used by Beyond Blue and others to design LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention programs, services and activities that tackle the barriers that stop LGBTI people seeking help. This includes stigma and discrimination.

And let’s not forget the facts:

  • One in six young LGBTI people has attempted suicide
  • LGB Australians are three times more likely to experience depression, and twice as likely to experience an anxiety condition, than heterosexual Australians
  • People identifying as transgender have the highest levels of psychological distress within the LGBTI community.

We believe there’s no place for disrespect, bullying, discrimination, homophobia or transphobia in Australia. We know these increase the risk of mental distress, suicide, family breakdown and violence especially for vulnerable groups of people. An inclusive environment – in schools, workplaces, homes and community groups – where everyone is free from discrimination promotes good mental health and reduces the risk of depression, anxiety and suicide.

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