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Prime Minister attends first batyr program, reiterates $2.8m funding promise

June 11, 2019

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a surprise appearance at a [email protected] program in Burwood in Sydney’s Inner West today.

This is the second program batyr has run at Burwood Girls High School and the first program the PM has attended since committing $2.8 million over three years to fund our digital storytelling platform.

The digital platform will enable batyr to amplify young voices and take education, lived experience stories and support to young people anywhere, anytime.

The sharing of lived experience is at the core of batyr’s programs and batyr acknowledge the value young people with lived experience can contribute to smashing stigma.

“[Batyr] is an amazing organisation and the funding will enable them to continue what they’re doing here today and reach out to young people all across the country,” Morrison said.

The program today saw ‘Being Herd’ lived experience speakers Livvi and Malaika share their incredible stories of hope and resilience.

In between, the Prime Minister got amongst the action with a game of Scissors, Paper, Rock with the Year 11 students, one of our favourite ice-breakers.

ScoMo gets some selfies

Prime Minister Morrison was joined by Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Liberal candidate for Reid Fiona Martin.

“Today we are saying to each of these magnificent young people that your lives matter, that you can seek help [and] that what you’re going through is normal,” Minister Hunt said.

The funding commitment by the Morrison Government forms part of a larger national mental health and suicide prevention plan, with $5.3 billion expected to be spent next financial year alone.

batyr’s digital platform aims to ensure that young people are educated on how to access the support they need.

The Prime Minister with Year 11 student leaders, batyr founder Sebastian Robertson (far left) and batyr general manager Nic Brown (far right)

batyr general manager Nic Brown said that storytelling is at the heart of everything batyr does.

However, with only 23% of Australians accessing support for mental health issues, the digital platform will allow us to build on the peer-to-peer model, which is still the most effective way to smash the stigma around mental health.

Brown added that young people need to be at the heart of policy addressing suicidality and mental ill-health in Australia.

“We support the Government’s ambition of ‘zero suicides’ and acknowledge the need for young people and their lived experience with mental ill-health to be involved in these conversations,” he said.

“batyr can help facilitate making that happen.”