Getting behind beyondblue

One of the most highly anticipated matches on the Australian football calendar will take place this weekend when bitter foes Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory play for the A-League beyondblue Cup.

One of the most highly anticipated matches on the Australian football calendar will take place this weekend when bitter foes Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory play for the A-League beyondblue Cup.

Beyondblue: the national depression and anxiety initiative, is proud to partner with Sydney FC for the clash, which is fuelled by almost 200 years of rivalry between the two cities.

It is the second season in a row that the clubs will fight for the cup following its launch in March, with Sydney-s 1-0 victory back then crushing Melbourne-s play-off hopes.

While Melbourne seek revenge this Saturday and Sydney try to cement their top six place with a win, there is an important message behind the match: that depression and anxiety can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time.

The beyondblue Cup is an opportunity to promote awareness of depression and anxiety across the country and to urge footballers at all levels of the game to keep an eye out for their team-mates.

One in eight Australian men will experience depression in their lifetime while one in five will experience some type of anxiety disorder.

But men remain far less likely to seek help than women, with stigma around mental illness being a major factor in preventing them from getting the treatment they need to improve their lives.

This is reflected in the shocking fact that of the six suicides every day in Australia, five of them are male.

The truth is anxiety or depression can affect even the toughest of us and taking charge of it may not be as hard as people think.

So if you see a team-mate or friend who you think needs support, ask them if they are ok. Suggest they can find out the first steps to taking charge by calling the beyondblue info line on 1300 224 636 or visiting beyondblue-men.org.au. Both are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And if you want to join the beyondblue team in its fight to give stigma the boot, ‘like- beyondblue on Facebook and help us reach a team of 1 million. In the meantime, make sure you help raise awareness about depression and anxiety by watching the beyondblue Cup on Saturday.