batyr welcomes Orygen’s major report on the mental health of Australian university students which highlights the need for a coordinated and structured approach to preventative mental health education. The report Under the Radar acknowledges the distinctive batyr@uni peer to peer programs which are currently embedded in five university campuses – ANU (Canberra), UNE (Armidale), UniSA (Adelaide), UTS (Sydney) and the Faculty of Health Sciences USYD (Cumberland).
“It is possible this organisation (batyr) could be involved to provide the national remit and focus needed to support the development of the university student mental health peer workforce in Australia.”
It is a well-known fact that over 75% of all mental illness emerges before the age of 25 and 1 in 4 Australians aged 16-24 are living with a mental ill health issues. Universities play a significant role in developing our nation’s future leaders and so provide the perfect platform to develop the mental health literacy and resilience of young people as they face challenges like living away from home, academic pressures and the lack of key support networks.
‘I’ve had to deal with numerous mental health issues since an early age, and most of them I pulled through purely due to the unconditional support of my family and friends. Once I moved to Australia, I felt isolated and vulnerable, and fell into depression again. It was at university, surrounded by amazing individuals such as PNs, Big Lift and later batyr, that I was able to improve and seek the help that I so greatly needed. There should be no need for anyone to go through hard times alone, and none should (as I did) set up thresholds to ask for help. I want to help foster the environment that I was fortunate to have all around me at university.’ Daniel, Business Student. UTS
This is why programs that foster a supportive environment, make it ok to talk about mental ill health & make the connection between young people and support services are so important.
Although this report highlights a lot of the challenges that students are facing batyr’s CEO Sam Refshauge remains hopeful. “It is great to see that there are actually Universities out there that are committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of their students. batyr are currently partnered with 5 Universities and they deserve acknowledgement and praise for their leadership and dedication to addressing these issues.”