New figures have revealed one in five Australians believe people experiencing anxiety ‘put it on’ to avoid difficult or uncomfortable situations and around half of Australians don’t know basic facts about the condition.


David Wood talks with Steve Carbone head of policy at  beyondblue he explained beyondblue’s revamped Get To Know Anxiety campaign will launch on TV, radio and online featuring Australia’s own Aussie actor Guy Pearce, who provided the voice over for the campaign.

A snapshot survey of 1200 Australians by research agency TNS Australia revealed that most people were aware of anxiety as a mental health condition, but damaging attitudes and discrimination still remain, with almost half agreeing that people with anxiety are judged or discriminated against.


A quarter of people will experience anxiety at some point, so it is concerning that roughly half of people asked still have either misconceptions or are unaware of the condition, its symptoms and treatment
Anxiety is not just feeling stressed or worried, it is when these feelings don’t subside and are ongoing without any particular reason or cause. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings can’t be easily controlled.
“This is the third year of the campaign and it seems like some parts of the message are getting through but we need to keep the effort up. While it is great to see improvements in public awareness, what is of great concern is the number of people who have no knowledge about anxiety. Large numbers of people said they don’t know facts about the condition, which shows there is a lot of confusion and we are working to reduce that.

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The survey results revealed:
Half of those surveyed either didn’t know (33%) or incorrectly believed (14%) that anxiety was part of someone’s personality
More than a third (37 per cent) didn’t know if anxiety could be successfully treated
40 per cent of the population said they don’t know how prevalent anxiety is, or incorrectly thought only a small proportion were affected (14%).

For further information about anxiety, visit
Mental health professionals are available at the beyondblue Support Service via phone 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via