batyr partners with Brain and Mind Centre

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batyr partners with Brain and Mind Centre

September 12, 2020

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batyr has partnered with the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre for a 2-year research project to evaluate the effectiveness of our [email protected] programs in drought-affected communities.

This research was made possible thanks to funding received from the NSW Department of Education aimed at improving mental health outcomes for high school students and their communities in drought-affected regions.

Dr Alyssa Milton and her team will be exploring the impact of batyr’s programs in improving attitudes towards help-seeking and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.

“It is so vital that programs like the [email protected] program are fully-evaluated so that they can ensure they are not only effective, but meet the need of the NSW communities which have been through so much over the last few years, namely drought, fires, and now the fallout from COVID-19,” Dr Milton said.

“It is exciting to be leading the charge on this research evaluation – as both locally and globally there is a lack of evaluated anti-stigma help-seeking programs for young people.”

“It’s an honour to be working with batyr and the Department of Education on this project, as it shows that they are eager to look rigorously at what works and what they can do better – and ultimately, this places them at the forefront of their field.”

Both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected from students, teachers, principals and other individuals and organisations in drought-affected school communities from such regions as New England, Central West, Northern Tablelands, Far West, Western Plains and Central West. 

The research will also provide a preliminary evaluation of the impact of batyr’s digital stories (developed in response to COVID-19), our teacher professional development programs, and parent forums.

“We know that young people from regional and remote communities face unique challenges in accessing support, coupled with heightened levels of stigma surrounding mental health* that can act as a barrier to seeking help,” batyr CEO Nic Brown said.

“It’s important for batyr to continue to listen and learn from young people in different communities, to best understand how our programs can have the biggest impact.”

“Thanks to our partnership with the Brain and Mind Centre, we’re able to do just that.”

A final evaluation report is scheduled to be delivered by early 2022.

This partnership announcement comes after batyr programs were recognised by the Office of the NSW Advocate for Children & Young People (ACYP) for our work in both drought and bushfire-affected regions over the past few months.

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*Boyd C., Francis K. et al (2007). Australian rural adolescents’ experiences of accessing psychological help for a mental health problem. Aust J Rural Health. 2007 Jun; 15(3):196-200.