1 July 2020, Central West, Australia – Youth mental health organisation batyr will be delivering its free mental health workshop digitally to Central West youth on 8-9 August in response to physical distancing requirements amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Being Herd is a two-day workshop that brings together a small group of young people (aged 18-30) and teaches them how to safely share their lived experience with mental ill-health. By sharing their story with their peers, they are able to build their confidence and recognise that their experience is worthy of sharing.. Some of the participants even go on to become lived experience speakers with batyr, sharing their stories with other young people in batyr’s peer-to-peer programs. .
Since March, batyr has delivered 8 digital Being Herd workshops nationally. Pre and post program evaluation has seen participants build their confidence in sharing their story, and grow in their belief that their story is valid and can have a positive impact on others after the workshop. These scores are consistent with face-to-face workshops that batyr had been delivering prior to physical distancing requirements.
Lauren (Bathurst), who has been an active batyr speaker for the past year, said attending the workshop really helped me put together a timeline of my mental health journey.
“It helped me recognise that my experiences are not just “things that happened” but a story – a story that I own now. My lived experiences are now something I can use in productive, helpful ways to help other young people.”
“The workshops are something that young people – especially young people in regional Australia – need to hear. Being Herd digital gives me the chance to connect with others, no matter the distance between us.”
Along with Being Herd digital, batyr has also recently developed its Regional Speaker Training program. The free half-day training is delivered in a private and confidential 1-1 format where young people can share their story at their own pace at a time that suits them. It is specifically designed for young people from Regional NSW who feel they are ready to take the next step of sharing their story of strength, hope, and resilience at schools in their community.
“I’ve never had such an empowering experience as the Regional Speaker Training. The training showed me the potential for impact that my story had whilst reminding me about all of the positive experiences within a really challenging time of my mental health journey,” Regional Speaker Training participant and batyr speaker Fi said.
batyr CEO Nic Brown said that it’s incredible to see the positive impact of the workshops and how batyr facilitators have been able to connect so strongly to a group of young people despite the physical distancing requirements.
“Being Herd at the heart of batyr’s work and we’re thankful that technology has allowed us to continue running these important workshops.,” he said.
“This is a tough time for so many and the team has worked hard to provide innovative solutions in the face of adversity to ensure that young people are still front and centre of our work.”
“We want to ensure that these workshops remain accessible and free to all young people.”
To register your interest to attend the Central West workshop on 8-9 August, or to find upcoming Being Herd dates, visit batyr.com.au/being-herd/.