Beyondblue says it is committed to targeting depression and anxiety in the GLBTI community but said other sectors need to be involved in tackling the issues.
Following a recent beyondblue GLBTI roundtable involving representatives from national mental health, drug and alcohol, and suicide prevention strategies, beyondblue CEO Leonie Young told the Star beyondblue will put a focus on GLBTI depression and anxiety but an ‘all in’ approach is required.
“It’s not just beyondblue and I really want to stress that while we put the roundtable on to hear more and work in collaboration with the GLBT sector… it isn’t a one-agency response that’s required,” Young said.
“While we’re good to step up and provide the opportunity for the discussion, we’ll be expecting to work with all the other agencies as we go forward, so while I’m good to commit beyondblue to ‘x’ dollars over ‘x’ period of time… it really will take others.”
Young confirmed a figure of $2 million over 18 months as a “potential” amount the national depression initiative could throw into the area.
“We’re collaborating, we’re reviewing beyondblue’s own material, we’re identifying research priorities for 2010 and we’ll put funding to that,” she said.
Young said beyondblue has committed in the short term to meet with the LGBT Health Alliance in January to thrash out a more detailed strategy.
An awareness campaign for GLBTI health — and, later, a GLBTI mental health ambassador — has also been foreshadowed.
“[We’ll] look at the research again. From that research we need a multipronged, early intervention prevention model, particularly focused on young people living in rural communities. That was one of the priority areas that came out,” Young said.
LGBT Health Alliance CEO Gabi Rosenstreich told the Star she was “cautiously positive” the roundtable secured a way forward for GLBT mental health in Australia.
“I would say it’s a really positive sign that beyondblue does seem to be taking on the critiques that have been made from the LGBT community seriously and is responding,” Rosenstreich said.
“It will remain to be seen what develops out of that.
“We’ll be working together with our members and other community organisations to turn beyondblue’s commitments into reality.”

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