batyr releases 2016 Impact Report

Since inception in 2011, batyr as an organisation has realised the importance of collecting data and information to inform us on the impact and outcomes of our programs. We are in an incredibly lucky position in which we get the opportunity to deliver programs to thousands of young people every month. It is vital we ensure that what we are delivering is not only engaging and educational, but also achieving the objectives relating to stigma reduction and increasing help seeking rates.

Over the last 4 years we have surveyed well over 20,000 young people through our internal processes and have been receiving very positive feedback, which has kept us motivated to get pushing further and further to reach more and more young people. In that process we have also recognised the need to deepen our understanding of the program outcomes.

And so at the beginning of 2016 we engaged with an external researcher, Dr Alyssa Milton to develop an impact report. Over 3 months Alyssa undertook an extensive literature review to uncover the most relevant measures to include in our questionnaire, looking at stigma and help seeking   in a way that aligns with the batyr feel and is appropriate for our high school & uni students. Across 4 schools and 2 university campuses, 768 students completed this questionnaire both before, immediately after and 3 months following their [email protected] or [email protected] program. Within our [email protected] and [email protected] programs, students are guided through the content by our trained facilitators. They hear from two inspiring young people with lived experiences of mental ill health, who have completed our Being Herd workshop and are trained to share their story in a safe, impactful and positive way. It is these stories and personal experiences of living with and through mental ill health that we believe can make a difference in the lives of young people. By giving a voice to the elephant in the room, we believe others will realise that it’s OK not to be OK, that they’re not alone and that help is out there.

This is just the first step towards building a solid evidence base behind the positive impact of our programs. We are proud of the team who have placed such a high priority on gathering this data and grateful for all the young people who have openly and honestly engaged in this research. Lots more from us to come in this space. I hope you enjoy this impact report executive summary and continue on the journey with us.

Sam Refshauge 
CEO batyr

Download the full report here: batyr-Impact-Report-2016

Young people to access more targeted and streamlined mental health support thanks to ReachOut and batyr partnership

Young people will be able to access more targeted and streamlined mental health support, thanks to a partnership between youth mental health organisations ReachOut and batyr.

batyr provide programs that train young people to speak about their personal experience with mental ill health and start a conversation in schools, universities and workplaces; while ReachOut provides digital mental health self-help services including apps, digital factsheets, games and peer support forums for young people.

The partnership will see ReachOut and batyr work together to so that young people are receiving clear and consistent messages – both in the form of batyr’s face to face programs and ReachOut’s digital programs- that empower them to look after their mental health.

The partnership will mean:

  • batyr facilitators will direct school and uni students through batyr programs to ReachOut digital tools so that they can receive continued support
  • ReachOut digital content will be integrated into to [email protected] and [email protected] modules
  • batyr speakers and facilitators will be able to inform and trial new ReachOut resources
  • ReachOut will be able to connect ReachOut Schools who are interested in mental health modules to batyr

ReachOut CEO Jono Nicholas said, “We are really excited about this partnership. We love the work that batyr do and to us it makes sense to work together to provide more targeted and streamlined support to young people.

“We both have the same goals and we both take a youth-led, interactive and practical approach, we just deliver our help to young people in different ways – ReachOut focuses on digital self-help, while batyr focuses on face-to-face delivery and reducing mental health stigma.”

batyr CEO Sam Refshauge said, “ReachOut have been providing fantastic services to young people for 18 years, and we have being promoting their services since batyr was established in 2011. It is great to now do it officially through this partnership. One of the biggest challenges in supporting young people is providing consistent messages and support and if organisations like us can work together to over come this, ultimately young people will benefit in the end.”

Read more about Reach Out here

Hockey NSW partners with batyr

Hockey NSW are proud to announce our partnership with batyr, which will see our Athlete Acceleration Program athletes wearing batyr’s brightly coloured ‘one sock one goal’ socks during their training program and in their home environment.

batyr is a for-purpose organisation that aims to engage, educate and empower young people to have positive conversations about mental health, “giving a voice to the elephant in the room”.

“Of every class of 30 students in Australia, 7 young people are will be dealing with a mental health issues and yet only 2 will seek reach out for help, leaving 5 suffering in silence,” said David Thompson, CEO of Hockey NSW.

“We have wonderful role models in our AAP and if we can help open a dialogue about mental health in their local environment, that’s excellent.”

“At batyr we’re are all about starting positive conversations around mental health and empowering young people to reach out for help,” said batyr CEO Sam Refshauge. “This partnership will enable these important conversations to continue both on and off the field and we are excited to work closely with Hockey NSW in 2017.”

For more information on Hockey NSW click here

Lawyers Weekly Podcast: Tackling the elephant in the room Read more

On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, the chief executive officer of batyr addresses the “elephant in the room” when it comes to mental health.

Lawyers Weekly publisher and host Will Magee is joined by batyr CEO Sam Refshauge to discuss the importance of promoting mental health from a young age.

Mr Refshauge highlights how the legal profession can build a culture where mental health is less stigmatised to give young lawyers the confidence to open up about how they’re feeling, both in law school and in the workplace.

Listen to the Podcast below:

Audio Player

For more information on the Lawyers Weekly, check out their website here

Young Australians believe mental health is one of the top three issues facing the country, survey finds

ABC News article
Monday 5th December
By Mazoe Ford and Raveen Hunjan
Young people have put the spotlight on mental health in a new survey, naming it as one of the top three issues facing Australia.
Mission Australia’s Youth Survey this year found concerns about mental health across the country have doubled since 2011.
Read the full article and see batyr’s coverage at

batyr CEO Sam Refshauge chats to Tom Tilley on Triple J’s Hack

“People like Michael who are 20, aren’t f’d. There is hope”

Listen to batyr CEO Sam Refshauge chatting to Tom Tilley on Hack on triple j on Monday 5th in regards to Mission Australia’s Youth Survey which revealed young Australians believe mental health is one of the top three issues facing the country.

Check it out below. We’re on from 07.08.

It’s time to give a voice to young people with a lived experience

Sam Refshauge, batyr CEO

In the last week there have been 2 separate reports which both point towards the fact that mental health and suicide are amongst the top issues facing young Australians.

Mike one of our batyr speakers can attest to this. Two and a half years ago, in his darkest of moments Mike attempted to take his own life.

“I felt like I let everyone down, like I did that all the time, but this time it was real and it was bad….I was determined to make my family proud of me again.”

And that is what Mike did. Mike participated in a Being Herd workshop and learnt how to safely share his story with mental ill health to provide hope to so many young Australians who may be facing similar challenges.

“When I found out about batyr, I thought ‘well this is a start’ but I never knew how far it could go, or how much an impact my story could have.”

Positive impact that is clearly needed.

Last Wednesday Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health released a major report showing that despite 20 years of suicide prevention strategies and investment by all levels of government, suicide rates among Australian young people are increasing. And not just increasing but in-fact are at a 10 year high!

Today Mission Australia released the latest edition (2016) of their Youth Survey (the biggest survey of young people in the country), which showed that for the record number of 22,000 15 to 19 year olds who took part, mental health has entered their top three concerns for the first time in the 15 year history of reporting.

This results are alarming and cannot be ignored, but it’s when reports & statistics like this are released we’ve got 2 options: We can choose to focus on the doom & gloom, the problems & issues and what’s not working OR we can recognise the reality of the situations and then focus on what we can actually do to change it.

And that’s what we’re trying to do each and every day through sharing stories of resilience, recovery & hope from young people, just like Mike, who live with mental ill health and lead positive & successful lives. Since that day (2 and a half years ago) Mike has shared his story with thousands of young Australians. He is now ending his journey with batyr to focus on his career, feeling it’s finally time his story progressed.

“It doesn’t end – just moves forward – and with that I’m hoping I can finally put my past to rest. I’m not ashamed of my past but I’m not so cliche to say that I wouldn’t change a thing – because i would. In a heartbeat. But i like to believe that I made the most of it – I certainly take a deep comfort every time i think of the students that have come up to me after the programs and have told me how much my story has inspired them”

Both of the reports released this week uncover some confronting truths about the world in which young people are living in.  However they also highlight the fact that if we’re really going to make a change then we’ve got to start doing things differently and earlier. Through these reports young people are telling us loud and clear that we should be less afraid to talk openly about mental health & suicide and that they want to be involved in the development of policy, service and program responses. So lets get young people to be a part of the solution and continue to share these stories far and wide.