An extension of core funding will allow Beyond Blue to continue to support the mental health of Australians.
The Federal Government funding commitment of $16.9 million a year for two years will ensure the organisation can continue its valued work in the community, online and in workplaces across the country.
The announcement was made by Minister of Health Greg Hunt MP on Monday.
Chief Executive Officer of Beyond Blue Georgie Harman thanked Greg Hunt for supporting the organisation that has fielded 13 million visitors to its online site in the last financial year.
“This renewal means we can continue and strengthen the initiatives that lie at Beyond Blue’s heart,” she says.
“With enough petrol to keep the Beyond Blue engine running, we can develop new services and new workplaces.”
“And we can continue the 24/7 Beyond Blue Support Service, which is entirely funded by donations. Of the 170,000 people who contacted our mental health professionals last year, 95 percent were reaching out to the service for the first time.”
Chair of Beyond Blue and former Prime Minister Julia Gillard AC is thrilled at the announcement and says the support by the Commonwealth Government from day one has been terrific.
“It’s now more than 18 years since Jeff Kennett founded Beyond Blue. Everyday since then Beyond Blue has been working to improve the lives of millions affected by depression and more recently anxiety and to prevent suicide.
Ms Gillard says the two year funding extension means Beyond Blue can plan ahead with confidence and more room to innovate.
“We have moved past simply raising awareness to changing behaviour; from tackling stigma to addressing discrimination; from smaller programs to national initiatives in workplaces and schools; from policy advocacy to incubating innovative new services and helping roll them out at scale; from focusing solely on depression to addressing suicide and anxiety.”
“With many others, Beyond Blue is working to support all Australians to achieve their best possible mental health,” she says.
“Our hope is for a society in which people understand and protect their mental health, where those affected can feel safe disclosing their conditions and seek help, knowing they will be supported by their friends, family, workplace and community."