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2018 First Quarter Update

May 18, 2018

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A note from CEO Jon Davies

I am a couple of months into the role of CEO and before diving into our first quarter update for the year, I wanted to share with you all just how wonderful my first month has been.

Recently we surveyed the staff at batyr, and found 100% of batyr staff felt supported by the people they worked with. I see this as a huge achievement, and a perfect example of how at batyr we’re leading from the inside out.

I have been telling everyone I meet about our positive and vibrant culture. I have worked in many organisations in several countries and have never seen such a supportive and wellbeing focussed place to work.

This culture was particularly evident to me the other day when a young man entered our Sydney office. He was leaving an appointment, three levels up and decided to take the stairs, stopping when he saw a familiar sign – ‘batyr’. Just the week before he and his team at PWC had made a contribution to batyr after winning a work wellness challenge. He walked in the door, introduced himself and was instantly welcomed. The team got up from their chairs, said hello and had a chat, thanking him and his team for their support, even jumping in a photo for the young man to share with his team.

Whilst these gestures may seem small, they are significant and reflective of a team that values authentic human connections and making everyone feel valued and supported. This is something that carries through in everything we do; from our programs, workshops, events, fundraisers and beyond.

So what did the team get up to in the first three months of 2018? See the full report below. And I look forward to getting around the country and meeting many more of our wonderful supporters in the coming months.

Impact to Date

Being Herd

The Being Herd team ran eight workshops; training 61 young people with a lived experience of mental ill health how to share their experiences in a safe and empowering way.

Workshops were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, ANU Canberra, Armidale and UniSA in Adelaide.

Below one of our speakers shares her insights into the benefits she has felt since participating in the workshop and openly telling her story.

“Being more open about my mental health has also allowed me to connect with others more wholesomely and genuinely, and although I am still working on it, it has encouraged me to be more authentically and unapologetically myself.”  Saria

The quarter saw the Being Herd team hit three important milestones:

  1. Supporting over 100 active speakers. That means of the 475 young people we have trained, 104 are actively sharing their stories in batyr programs across the country, and being supported by the Being Herd team in this process.
  2. The launch of the #youngfacesofmentalillness digital campaign. A collaboration with SANE Australia aiming to shed light on what it is like for a young person living with a complex mental illness. 14 young people who have participated in our Being Herd workshop were involved in the collaboration. Over 6 weeks SANE and batyr will share the participants stories and experiences to help reduce the stigma and create open and truthful dialogue around mental illness. Check it out here!
  3. The first ever Being Herd Advisory Group was established. The purpose of this group is to make sure we consider the views and voices from the young people we support.

[email protected]

46 [email protected] programs were run for 6660 students in years 9-12 across NSW, ACT, VIC, QLD and SA.

Post program data from the quarter shows that we are a little behind on our targets of 75% help seeking and 85% high engagement, but we will continue to work on improving this in Q2.

The start of the year saw the launch of a new promotional video focusing on our holistic [email protected] offering. Did you know batyr offers four programs tailored to each year group, as well as accredited Teacher Professional Development, and community and parent forums? All aimed to provide information, relatable and practical advice about how students, and the community can best support the mental health and wellbeing of young people. View the video here

If you know of a High School that would benefit from our programs, head to [email protected] to see a comprehensive overview of our programs and to get in touch with our schools team.

“Great presentation, much more involved than other talks. Made it interesting and encouraged others to speak. You guys understood my age group very well/how we operate.”  

Year 9 Student, St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace QLD

[email protected]

A total of 24 [email protected] programs were delivered across our four University partners reaching a total of 1044 students. An impressive amount considering most Universities don’t start back until late Feb/early March!

Our post program feedback from the quarter showed that we are smashing our targets of 85% high engagement and 75% help seeking, with:

  • 88% of students saying they were highly engaged with the program
  • 81% of students saying they were more likely to seek help after the program (over 3 times the national help-seeking average)

“I truly hope all people can understand Mental Health. I’d love if a session of this level of quality was taught to ALL students”

UTS Club and Society Executive members

Our volunteer exec teams at each University ran a total of 16 events focused on opening up the conversation around mental health and creating an inclusive, understanding and positive culture on campus. The events reached over 4200 students, largely boosted by O-week activations, welcoming students to Uni with a focus on mental health and wellbeing.

Fundraising & Events

The quarter saw many fantastic events and fundraisers taking place across the country. We had the inaugural ‘Light Ball Melbourne’, which raised $20k for batyr and in Orange NSW the ‘Orange Elephant Ball’ returned for it’s second year raising over $25k. These valuable funds will go back into the local community, supporting the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

In Sydney over 100 young professionals participated in a corporate Scavenger Hunt. Dentons Lawyers Network and Westpac Group’s Youth Network joined forces to run the event, aiming to create an informal and fun event for corporates, that would break down the stigma surrounding mental illness and promote open discussion among friends and colleagues.

And in Manly a group of young people passionate about mental health started Babewatch. An ocean swimming group who every Saturday and Sunday over Summer took to the ocean to raise awareness about mental health, and support our work here at batyr. In just one Summer they grew from two to ninety members – and that’s a community of young people from all over Sydney.

To all our supporters thank you. It’s events and fundraisers like these that allow us to continue our work, but also help to create mentally healthy communities.

The teams passion, dedication and adherence to living out batyr’s five key values (balance, positivity, boldness, empathy, and inclusiveness) is what drives us forward as a team. As you will have seen in this first quarter update, we are not slowing in progressing towards our goal of reaching and empowering one million young people by 2022.

I encourage you to join us in achieving our vision where ‘all young people are engaged in positive conversations around mental health and empowered to reach out for support.’ If it’s a High School that we are not currently operating in, a young person who you think could benefit from our Being Herd workshop, a potential new partner who aligns with our values and wants to improve the lives of young people, or an individual who is the perfect fit for our new NSW Regional Community Coordinator role, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Jon Davies,
batyr CEO