Depression in the bush: beyondblue presents roadmap

18 February 2011

Depression in the bush: beyondblue presents roadmap
More than three million Australians experience depression, anxiety or a related disorder at any given time –
with the majority impacted during their peak working years.
Sessions at the 11th biennial National Rural Health Conference sponsored by beyondblue - the national
depression initiative will describe some of the core issues relating to mental health in rural and remote areas.
Experienced presenters from the mental health sector, headed by Dr Nicole Highet, Deputy CEO of
beyondblue, will address topics such as perinatal mental health in rural and remote areas; mental health
awareness and capacity building; and building resilience in the schools sector.
Delegates will hear the results of a national survey of 1200 people which explored community awareness and
attitudes surrounding depression and anxiety in the perinatal period. They will also hear from beyondblue
program director Dr Brian Graetz, who oversees a range of national programs in education and early
childhood settings in which the focus is on mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention.
Nadine Bartholomeusz-Raymond, manager of beyondblue’s rural program, will deliver a paper titled Don’t
beat about the bush which seeks to increase awareness and reduce the stigma associated with depression,
anxiety and related disorders as a means of creating sustainable changes in rural communities.
Other presenters on this theme include Anna Petterson with evidence from bereavement programs for men,
Nick Tolhurst on consumer and community engagement in shaping mental health services and an address
The Roadmap for mental health reform by Simon Tatz, Director of Communications for the Mental Health
Council of Australia. Debra Petrys will speak about rural aspects of “beyond maturity blues”, a project run
jointly with Council of the Ageing to inform older people about depression and options for assistance.
beyondblue is also providing financial support for the Conference’s ‘Night At the Theatre’ at which Alan
Hopgood will be performing in My Dog Has Stripes – a play about depression written by Alan in association
with Tania Nahu. It will be followed by a panel discussion about the issues it raises.
The full Conference program is available on the conference website at

Media Enquiries: 

Conference Program --

Marshall Wilson, Media
0425 624 100