STARTING in July, mental health organisation Beyondblue will embark on a two-year project designed to assist the mental health of gay men living with HIV, as well as that of same-sex attracted men in heterosexual relationships.

Titled ‘Out of the Blue’, the initiative will launch two separate websites that will allow each respective audience to seek assistance in an anonymous, “opt-in” digital forum.

As well as information about dealing with the stigma associated with anxiety and depression, the websites will offer online spaces for connecting with like-minded men.

Funded by donations made by The Movember Foundation to Beyondblue, the initiative is a part of the organisation’s online-based strategy to reduce the stigma associated with mental health.

ACON director for HIV and sexual health Karen Price noted that anxiety and depression are the two disorders experienced with the highest prevalence in the gay community.

They are also experienced at a much higher rate than the general population.

“When you consider also the stigma and discrimination that has been, and still is experienced by our community, the value of this project becomes very clear,” said Price.

Out of the Blue is to be led by the Victorian AIDS Council (VAC), UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health, Liquorice, GAMMA NSW and Living Positive Victoria.

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