Tom Ballard named as new ambassador for beyondblue
Out comedian and radio personality, Tom Ballard, has joined the ranks of beyondblue as a new Ambassador.
beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell has welcomed the addition of Ballard to the beyondblue team, citing the young comedian as a positive role mdel for young LGBTI people.
“Along with making people laugh with his razor sharp wit, Tom has been a powerful advocate for the wellbeing of LGBTI people, particularly LGTBI youth,” Carnell said.
“People like Tom are an important part of the push to end discrimination against people in these communities. Research shows such discrimination against LGBTI people contributes to higher rates of depression and anxiety than in the general population.”
Australian Bureau of Statistics data suggests that LGBTI Australians are three times more likely to expereince depression than their heterosexual counterparts.
Further data released earlier this month by the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre shows young LGBTI Australians are around six times more likely than their heterosexual peers to consider taking their own life.
Tom who was present at the launch of the Young and Well findings, knows all too well how bullying and depression can be a part of young LGBTI people's lieves.
“As an openly gay kid who grew up in a regional area, I’ve been through a tough time or two when it comes to mental health,” Tom said.
The comedian said he is excited to be joining the beyondblue team to help raise awareness of depression and anxiety, and help to change these shocking statistics.
“As a beyondblue Ambassador, I hope to let as many people as possible know that no matter who you are or what you’re going through, there are organisations out there like beyondblue who want to help you.”
If you or someone you know thinks they may have depression or anxiety, the beyondblue Support Service has trained mental health professionals to talk on 1300 22 46 36or visit the website www.beyondblue.org.au/take1step