Quarter One Update

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Quarter One Impact Update

April 28, 2021

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CEO Update: batyr makes some HUGE flexes to amplify young people’s voices

What a ripper first quarter! batyr has taken some massive steps over the last three months to make a difference in the youth mental health space in a meaningful way. Thanks to you, we’re on the ground everyday with young people, empowering and educating them to take charge of their wellbeing. This comes in a quarter that saw the release of the final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. The report highlighted that Australia still has a long way to go, but also recognised some key areas of improvement for our mental health system. This included how early intervention and prevention needs to play a bigger role, which, as you know, is exactly what batyr is all about. This acknowledgement is just more fuel to our fire, and we’re working hard on projects to build on this focus and continue to change the story of mental health for young people.

Highlights include:

Announcing our Data and Insights, and Global Impact teams

batyr has launched two new dedicated teams in a significant move to further amplify the voices of young people and create an effective and long-lasting impact. The Data and Insights team will be headed up by Josh Wiseman, who will be leading the charge to ensure what we hear from young people is shared with those that can make significant change.

Complementing and working closely alongside Data and Insights will be Stephanie Vasiliou and the Global Impact team. They will be focussed on building off our unique learnings around lived experience storytelling, translating them into action and sharing best practice, not just in Australia, but worldwide. Read more.

App update including NEW Western Sydney University partnership

*Drumroll*…We’re super stoked that our digital storytelling platform officially has a name: OurHerd! 🎉🎉  So much has happened since our last quarterly update, including going live  on the Google Play Store so the app is now available for Android users! On top of that, OurHerd Product Manager, Andrew Woodhead went live with Instagrammer @mdmotivator (who has a modest 282,000 followers on Tik Tok) to help broaden our beta testing pool. 

If all that wasn’t enough, we also launched a partnership with Western Sydney University’s Young and Resilient Research Centre, who will be conducting an outcome evaluation of the OurHerd platform at its current stage of development. The work will determine the app’s effectiveness as a platform in tackling some of the factors preventing young people from taking steps to take charge of their mental health. The launch event included a panel of youth engagement experts as well as The Hon David Coleman MP. Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. This new partnership takes the OurHerd app a step closer to its official launch later this year.

Reaching 11,492 young people!

Through the programs and workshops delivered this quarter, we have reached a total of 11,492 young people, visiting over 11 different regions! A particular highlight was the Youth Wellbeing Leadership Forum we delivered in partnership with headspace Dubbo, which saw more than 70 students from 18 schools across the Central West region of New South Wales come together to learn how they could become mental health champions in their school. Our Being Herd Pathways program has also launched in the Southern Highlands Region and our International student program is ready for roll out in the university space.

It’s a priority focus for us to gain more understanding of the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the uncertainty that remains. As always we’re listening up and adapting to ensure our programs can kick start positive conversations despite these unique challenges. It’s been heartwarming to see the amount of students who hang around after a batyr program, both in schools and universities, to chat to the batyr team about their experience and where they can access support.

Splash the Stigma 2021 was a SPLASHING success!

Hundreds of legends from across Australia slapped on their swimmers for Splash the Stigma in February, raising more than $87,000 and absolutely smashing our target. It was incredible to see so many people, from different locations and backgrounds, get behind this virtual event after the challenges of 2020. Special shout out to Flourish Arbonne Foundation for racking up a staggering $11,000 as our top fundraising team, budgy smuggler for partnering with us again so we could kit everyone out with official batyr budgy smugglers and Cowra High School who made it onto Prime7 News Central West for their efforts!

New partnerships with Count Charitable Foundation and the Medich Foundation

We welcomed a new funding partner in Count Charitable Foundation (CCF) who have generously backed the work of batyr, funding the rollout of 12 [email protected] programs in a number of locåations across Australia. We also welcomed the Medich Foundation who connected with us through Australian Philanthropic Services, who have provided funding to support the delivery of Being Herd Pathways in the Southern Highlands and South West Sydney region due to the high youth unemployment rate in these areas. We would not be able to reach the number of young people we do without the generous support of our corporate and philanthropic partners so thank you so much.

Making waves in the research and policy space 

We recently had our FIRST EVER peer-reviewed journal article published in the Community Mental Health Journal. Led by researcher and batyr speaker Genesis Lindstrom, the article explores the impact of being a batyr speaker and found amazing positive outcomes. These included self-acceptance, better wellbeing, decreased self-stigma and changing concepts of recovery, not just for themselves, but throughout their social networks. This research gives us even more evidence for the difference our Being Herd program is making in young people’s lives and their communities, and lays exciting foundations for an even bigger evaluation of the Being Herd program.

Independent research through Macquarie University also began on the digital speaker stories that were produced for our batyr Online programs. This will seek to understand the impact of the videos on stigma and help-seeking, with a particular focus on young people with a lived-experience of mental ill-health. 

And finally, the development of a Global Advisory Group is well under way. We’re bringing together experts from around the world to provide advice on innovative projects, create connections to networks and to be a part of bridging expertise internationally. Please get in touch with [email protected] to hear more and express your interest in getting involved.

batyr in the media

batyr’s total media exposure increased by a whopping 168% (quarter on quarter). We’ve continued to build strong relationships with a handful of media outlets and have largely been able to spread messages of hope and resilience this quarter despite some sobering reminders of the continued impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people. 

These stories have been carried largely by our incredible lived experience speakers.

As well as the coverage we got with Cowra High School students and their Splash the Stigma fundraising effort, ACT speaker Grace Stanhope (above) bravely shared some of her story with The Canberra Times and celebrated the impact her teacher had on her mental health journey. 

As always, it’s you that inspires us to do our best for the mental health of young Aussies. Thank you for your continued support and generosity. We could not do what we do without you. 

Take care of yourselves,

Nic Brown

CEO 

To keep up-to-date on all things batyr, check out Our Stories, the Newsroom for media coverage or join our newsletter.