Milly shaves her hair for batyr
One of our NSW speakers Milly has pledged to shave her hair with a goal of raising $1000 for batyr. She has already doubled her fundraising goals, which is incredible, you can support Milly here: https://www.mycause.com.au/page/220066/shave-for-batyr
We sat down with Milly ahead of her hair cut to find out why she’s so passionate about batyr and youth mental health.
Who are you and what do you do with your time when you aren’t speaking for batyr?
I’m currently working and studying part-time. I’m doing a diploma of mental health at TAFE, which I’m finding really interesting and I’m working as a pharmacy assistant which I really enjoy.
I also run Fluro Friday/OneWave sessions in Newcastle. Outside of all of that, I spend a lot of my time having downtime; to look after my physical and mental health, spending time with my family, my cat – Stella Gypsy – and my friends. I try and spend time at the ocean baths and beach too as that’s where I feel truly calm.
Why do you want to shave for batyr?
Shaving my head is something I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s always been really important to me that in shaving my head I would be raising money for a cause or organisation I feel really passionate about. I’ve been a speaker at batyr for two years and not only have they given me a platform to share the story of my journey, but they have also given me a community, one I didn’t know I needed.
Speaking for batyr has given me an experience that has allowed me to grow and fall more in love with my journey with mental health.
What does shaving your hair mean to you?
I’ve spent many years living with body dysmorphia and various stages of disordered eating, so body image has been a big part of my life. With shaving my head it’s given me the chance to grow and delve further into my journey with self-love.
I’ve spent the last few years working on building a more positive and balanced relationship with my perceived body image and my dietary habits, and I’m in a place where I’m ready to embrace shaving my head as an aspect of growth.
I’m also really lucky to have a support network of family, friends and professional supports around me to help me along this journey.
Why are you passionate about batyr?
I’ve lived most of my life with mental ill-health, so it’s fair to say it’s been one of the defining factors of my life, but, growing up, no one ever talked about mental ill-health.
I was diagnosed with my first mental illness (social anxiety) at 16 years old which meant I spent 16 years struggling with an internal battle.
batyr brings mental health to the forefront and brings knowledge and power to young people to not only recognise when they’re struggling but giving them the opportunity to take back their power by providing them with the key knowledge of where to reach out to.
For me, a big part of why I love batyr is because they’re bringing stories of real and relatable people with lived mental ill-health experiences to the core of their programs.
I felt so alone when I was going through the various stages of mental ill-health, and I know if I had known how many other people were battling with mental ill-health I wouldn’t have felt as alone as I did. Now, when I am going through a rough stage, I no longer feel as alone in it.
I really love that batyr also brings to light the spectrum of mental health because, at the end of the day, we all have mental health, and giving people the knowledge to take charge of that and look out for their health and their family and friends mental health is just so important.
What is one piece of advice you would give your 10-year-old self?
I’d probably tell my 10 year-old self that no matter how hard things get, it’s all worth it. I’d tell her that one day it will get easier and mental ill-health is really an opportunity to learn to love life. I’d tell her not to let others’ opinions weigh you down and don’t lose your quirks. I’d tell her to listen to her parents because my parents are full of wisdom that I couldn’t see when I was younger and I’d also tell her to eat her vegetables and drink more water because we could all use that advice.