Beyond Blue has launched the second season of its podcast series, Not Alone, sharing remarkable stories from everyday Australians about their mental health, to help everyone with theirs.
Throughout last year and into this year, Beyond Blue saw many Australians seeking peer support through its online forums, with 700,000 unique visitors and over 2 million page views. Forum members made 72,000 posts which shared their experiences of anxiety, depression and suicide and provided support and encouragement to others in a safe and welcoming online environment that is moderated by mental health professionals. Up 25 per cent compared to the year prior, the increase in posts on Beyond Blue’s forum demonstrates the importance of sharing experiences and helping Australians feel connected to one another, ensuring they are truly not alone.
Hosted by Walkley-winning journalist, interviewer, author and documentarian Marc Fennell, Not Alone aims to make mental health relatable and in doing so, reduce the stigma that stops people speaking up when they need support.
Season two of Not Alone explores the experiences of mental health from diverse communities across indigenous, LGBTQI+ and multicultural. In addition, this season discusses poignant mental health topics including suicide, the changing culture of men and mental health, postnatal depression, physical and emotional pain, self-acceptance, numbness and disconnection.
Beyond Blue Lead Clinical Adviser Dr Grant Blashki said: “The symptoms of mental ill-health are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop slowly over time. We find that when people share their personal story, others can relate to it. In doing so, the individual listening might recognise the symptoms that can lead to them seeking support early.
“Most importantly, for people dealing with a mental health condition, or supporting someone with a mental health condition, the podcast reinforces that they are not alone.”
In its first year of launching in 2020, Not Alone won Silver at the Australian Podcast Awards for the Best Branded Podcast.
Not Alone podcast host Marc Fennell said, "This series has become so important to me. Every episode features courageous Australians getting very open and raw with me about their lives.
“But the really powerful part, for me at least, is how listeners have engaged with the series. Podcasting is still at its best when it’s intimate. I’ve had so many messages from people saying that they couldn’t help but hear their own challenges reflected in our guests. Ultimately, that’s what this project is really about: to remind you that no matter who you are or what you’re facing, you are not alone.”
The first episode, titled “Shifting male attitudes: My depression doesn’t make me weak” features national TV personality Brad McEwan. In the space of two years, Brad lost his brother and father to suicide. He didn’t see either coming. For too long, talking about mental health has been a no-go zone between mates. It’s an attitude that Brad has long dedicated himself to changing.
To listen to Not Alone go to your favourite podcast app or https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/not-alone.
 Data used is between May 2020 – April 2021