The Bulldogs inaugural Community Forum on mental health on Tuesday, July 2 at Canterbury League Club is kicking off a week of activities aimed at raising awareness of depression and anxiety in Mackay, culminating in the fourth annual beyondblue Cup between the Bulldogs and the Knights on Sunday, July 7.


beyondblue has been a much valued community partner of the Bulldogs since 2010 and Bulldogs CEO Todd Greenberg says he hopes the forums and activities will give people an opportunity to learn more about anxiety and depression and to help reduce stigma around mental health.


I think we all know someone who has confronted issues around mental health. We hope that these discussions will alert people to the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety and that it will also give us a better understanding of what we can do as a community to help those in need of assistance, Mr Greenberg said.


Weve had tremendous feedback from Members since alerting them to the inaugural Forum and it has been really inspiring to see how belonging to a football club is helping many people in managing their mental health.


beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell AO said this is a great opportunity for us to reach Rugby League fans and the wider Mackay community.


In Australia one in eight men are likely to experience depression in their lifetime, and one in five men are likely to experience anxiety. These rates are lower than women, but Australian men are more than three times more likely to die by suicide than women, with at least 1727 men dying from suicide in 2011.


beyondblue has enlisted the help of a newly-created, irreverent character Dr Brian Ironwood who we want to introduce to Bulldogs and Knights fans. Hes a mans man and as the face of the Man Therapy campaign, he hosts his own website www.mantherapy.org.au, Ms Carnell said:


With the NRL community being saddened by recent deaths of young players, Ms Carnell said checking out the website might give men of all ages the support theyve been looking for.


Dr Ironwood is not a registered practitioner, but his TV ads and his videos on the website are aimed at improving mens mental health and encouraging them to take action if they think they may have anxiety or depression.


And while youre on the internet checking out www.mantherapy.org.au, go www.facebook.com/beyondblue and like us for a chance to win a signed Bulldogs or Knights jersey, she said.



Activities to be held in the lead up to the beyondblue Cup on Sunday


6.30pm-8.30pm - Tuesday, July 2

Inaugural Community Forum - Canterbury League Club, Sydney.


Panel includes: Head Coach Des Hasler, CEO Todd Greenberg, Bulldogs Head Mind Manager John Novak, Bulldogs Councillor Athina Shelston, The Choir Boys front man Mark Gable and MC Dr Michael Bonning.



The Bulldogs and beyondblue will be taking part in a number of events in Mackay to address mental health, with ambassadors Steve Turner and Terry Lamb flying the Bulldogs flag.


11.00 am to 2:30 pm - Thursday, 4 July

Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.

Bulldogs NRL Legend OAM Terry Lamb and recently-retired Steve Turner will visit the terminal and chat to workers. beyondblue Workplace Training sessions will be conducted with staff on how to recognise depression and anxiety in a workmate and how to assist them to get help.



10:00 am to 1:00 pm - Friday, 5 July

Free School Holiday Rugby League Clinic for kids at Mackay Sports Ground -

2 Casey Avenue, South Mackay.


Bulldogs and Knights players will conduct the clinic and beyondblue will host an activity station where kids will be able to talk to players, join in a range of activities and find out why sport is good for their mental health.



4:00 to 5:00 pm - Friday, 5 July

Open Day at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service at 31 Gregory St. Mackay.


beyondblue will conduct an information session about its Indigenous resources and campaigns for staff and local community members.

Bulldogs NRL Legend OAM Terry Lamb and recently-retired Steve Turner will attend the Open Day and meet and greet community members



5.30 to 9.30pm - Friday, July 5

Free community forum to raise awareness about depression and anxiety at the Mackay Entertainment Centre - Alfred Street, Mackay followed by a viewing of Friday night football on the big screens.


Bulldogs NRL Legend OAM Terry Lamb and recently-retired Steve Turner, beyondblue Ambassador and Newcastle-based ABC sports commentator, Craig Hamilton, Mackay Cutters executive officer Glenn Ottaway. Local mental health services will have information stalls and beyondblue staff will distribute free information resources.


4:00pm - Saturday, July 6

Bulldogs Open training session at Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay


WIN A SIGNED BULLDOGS OR KNIGHTS JERSEY

Go to beyondblue's facebook page 'like' it and be in the running to win a signed 2013 Bulldogs or Knights jersey.