FEDERATION University Australia will join the campaign to fight depression and anxiety when it holds its fourth annual Blue Tie Ball in October.
The charity event, which was launched in Ballarat on Thursday, coincides with the release of a new report showing rural Australians aged 18 to 30 are more likely to suffer from depression than their city counterparts.
The report, by Federation University psychology senior lecturer Liz Temple, is based on data collected in Victorian metro, rural and regional areas over 2014-2015.
The research revealed 54 per cent of people suffer from depression and 74 per cent experience anxiety in rural areas. This is higher than in regional areas where 31 per cent suffer from depression and 51 per cent anxiety.
In cities, 27 per cent of people experience depression and 55 per cent suffer from anxiety.
Dr Temple said isolation was one reason why rural areas were reporting higher levels of depression than in regional cities.
“The more rural you are, your social network disintegrates because young people have to move for job opportunites,” Dr Temple said.
“The people who stay, their friends all leave. These young people don’t neccessarily have jobs because there are no jobs there to get.”
Dr Temple said the next step was to find out what was being done to help those in need.
Federation University campus life director Colin Marshall said the university was committed to helping raise funds and awareness for beyondblue’s ongoing campaign to fight depression and anxiety
“This is an illness that affects people of all ages and all walks of life, and it is important that we work as a community alongside agencies like beyondblue to offer support,” Mr Marshall said.
At the charity event, Beyondblue ambassador and former NSW Police detective senior constable Allan Sparkes will share his story of recovery from debilitating mental illness that tested his resolve for more than a decade.
Allan is one of the five recipients of the Cross of Valour, Australia's highest bravery decoration.
The ball will be held at the university’s Albert Coates Complex on October 24 and will raise funds for beyondblue.
For tickets, contact Chelsea Annear via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 5327 6590.