National depression initiative beyondblue will call on the GLBTI community to take part in online research to inform a GLBTI-specific mental health promotion campaign to start next year.

Beyondblue deputy CEO Nicole Highet said expressions of interest will open in August for the community to take part in the two-stage campaign.

“One of the areas the community was telling us it was interested in beyondblue taking a lead on was awareness-raising campaigns to raise awareness within the community of the increased risk of depression and anxiety so those people could recognise early warning signs and recognise the risks, that relate to discrimination, for depression and anxiety developing,” Highet told the Star Observer.

“The second part of the campaign would be to focus on the attitudes of the general community and getting people to stop and look at their discriminating attitudes and how that impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of the GLBTI community.”

Highet said beyondblue is looking for a wide range of GLBTI participation.

“We’ll absolutely try to make sure we get as diverse a sample of the GLBTI population as possible so we’re looking for a range of different experiences, different life stages, for people to contribute [to] get the in-depth people stories, people’s experiences, people’s ideas,” she said.

The awareness campaign is set to be launched in January or February 2012.

After considerable backlash from the community about the lack of GLBTI-specific research and campaigning, last year beyondblue sank $1 million into various GLBTI projects including the Private Lives survey, due for release this year, and research into an online early intervention model to tackle depression for those struggling with their sexuality.

Beyondblue is opening its national grants round in November with GLBTI research billed as a high priority area.

Highet said a recent beyondblue Victorian funding round saw a high number of “very high quality” applications for GLBTI research.

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