Belle Brock­hoff an­nounced as be­yond­blue am­bas­sador

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

BE­YOND­BLUE act­ing CEO Dr Brian Graetz an­nounced the ap­point­ment last week that Olympic snow­boarder

(pic­tured right) has joined be­yond­blue as an am­bas­sador.

At the Sochi Win­ter Olympics this year, Belle fin­ished in eighth po­si­tion in the snow­board cross, the most suc­cess­ful snow­board cross re­sult for Aus­tralia at the Games.

She was also the only openly gay mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Olympic team in Sochi, and spoke out against Rus­sia’s anti-gay laws.

Dr Graetz said Belle has shown she shares be­yond­blue’s pas­sion for tak­ing a stand against dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“Ho­mo­pho­bia, like any form of dis­crim­i­na­tion, can cause long-term stress, which can lead to de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety,” Dr Graetz said.

“Ho­mo­pho­bia is never ac­cept­able, and Belle has shown courage in speak­ing out in dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances.

“Not only is Belle proud to be gay, the 21-year-old has also shared her story of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, and of seek­ing sup­port, in the hope of in­spir­ing oth­ers to reach out when they are strug­gling.

“Belle’s story sends a pow­er­ful mes­sage, par­tic­u­larly to young LGBTI people, that de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety are com­mon con­di­tions and hav­ing a men­tal health is­sue is not a sign of weak­ness.

“It takes courage to ac­cept that you need help when you are strug­gling,” he said.

Belle en­cour­ages any­one who may be hav­ing a tough time to speak up and reach out for sup­port.

“There is a lot of sup­port out there from the people who care about you and or­gan­i­sa­tions like be­yond­blue,” she said.

“You are worth­while and there is hope.”

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on be­yond­blue Sup­port Ser­vice phone on 1300 224636 or via www.be­yond­blue.org.au/get­sup­port for on­line chat or email re­sponses.

GI­ANT SIZE: This huge pumpkin was grown by Ajax Lodge man­agers, Michele and Stephen Mor­rice, us­ing Mt Buller com­post on their vegie patch.

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