Individuals, people in workplaces and community groups are encouraged to get active in October - beyondblue Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month - to raise awareness of anxiety and depression and help reduce the stigma associated with them.
Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month is a key activity of beyondblue: the national depression initiative, funded by the Australian Government and state and territory governments, and builds on the awareness raising of World Mental Health Day (10 October) and Mental Health Week (4 - 10 October).
The slogan for Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month is Put Anxiety and Depression Awareness on your radar.
One in five Australian adults experience mental illness in any one year (National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2007) with depression being one of the most common mental health problems.
Each person with depression has three to four days off work each month on average, resulting in more than six million working days lost each year in Australia. Overall, it is estimated that undiagnosed depression costs the Australian economy $4.3 billion in lost productivity each year.
The Rudd Government is making significant investments in mental health.
Funding for mental health specific programs will nearly double over the next four years: $923.6 million over four years from 2008-09, compared with $516.5 million from 2004-05 to 2007-08. This is on top of funding for mental health through the Medicare Benefits and Pharmaceutical Benefits Schemes.
Materials for raising awareness of anxiety and depression including flyers for individuals and workplaces promoting Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month are contained in the free beyondblue Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month kits.
The beyondblue website - http://www.beyondblue.org.au/ - also lists a number of activities as ways groups/individuals can have fun and participate in raising awareness of anxiety and depression.
For more information about anxiety and depression, including where to go for help, contact the beyondblue info line on 1300 224 636.