Quarter One Update - Batyr

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We are here to support youth mental health throughout COVID-19 and beyond. All our programs can be delivered online or face to face!

Quarter One Update

May 19, 2020

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When the batyr team came together at our start of year retreat to reflect on 2019 and plan and strategise for 2020, no-one could have predicted a world pandemic was on the cards. Now that we’ve adapted to the world of COVID-19 and the new norm we wanted to share with you an update on what was a jam packed start to the year.

Programs, workshops and impact

Total numbers for the quarter

Delivered close to 100 programs;
Reaching over 10,000 students
Ran 11 workshops;
Supporting 68 young people

Our post program data for the quarter showed that:

✅ 74% of school and uni students rated the program as highly engaging 
✅ 63% were more likely to seek help when needed after seeing a batyr program*

*The national help seeking rate for young people in Australia sits at around 25% (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2007)

Navigating new territories

As COVID-19 restriction hit Australia, we began adapting our model of delivery, to enable us to continue to provide mental health education and support to young people, when face to face was no longer an option.

We delivered our first digital Being Herd workshop in March in response to physical distancing requirements. And have since delivered another 5. The response to date has been overwhelmingly positive. As one participant said “I’m walking away from the Being Herd workshop standing taller and speaking more confidently”.

We put the call out for funding to support the creation of a new digital offering and Ethical Partners Funds Management came on board to back us, committing $25,000 in funding to kick off development of digital programs for High Schools and Universities. We have since developed a whole suite of online programs and events to continue to support students, parents and teachers over this period and beyond.

We want to thank our community for standing by us and supporting us, in particular our friends at Ethical Partners, and to all the partners who have got behind us since. If you are in a position to support our work, you can make a tax deductible donation here. 

Collaborations with ReachOut and Orygen

We teamed up with ReachOut Australia to provide follow up mental health resources for our school partners. Evidence-based classroom resources from ReachOut will be delivered to teachers, students and parents via email post seeing a batyr program. This collaboration ensures we can support the entire school community in having important conversations around mental health all year round.

We partnered with Orygen to run 8 focus groups with university students across Australia to help inform the National Mental Health Framework. Ninety-three university students from eighteen tertiary institutions participated in a total of 8 focus groups across 5 states and territories in Australia. Participants represented a diverse range of backgrounds, gender, ages, areas of study and mental health experiences in order to gather a perspective from current consumers of mental health interventions at Universities in Australia. The Framework will take a whole-of-university, community-based approach to support the mental health and wellbeing of university students, providing evidence informed strategies for universities to assist in meeting student needs. batyr has additionally been involved in the development of the framework through participating in the steering committee, expert working groups and Orygen’s Symposium on February 13th.

New Uni Partner: James Cook University

James Cook University, Townsville Campus have partnered with batyr to support student wellbeing throughout 2020. Under the partnership, batyr will run: mental health awareness and wellbeing events (driven by the student leadership team), batyr’s Being Herd speaker training workshop to find local speakers to safely share their experiences with mental ill-health and educational mental health programs that empower young people to reach out for support when they need it. We are so excited to be working with JCU students and staff to create positive conversations about mental health throughout the year. 

Supporting International Students

At the start of the year we began working on developing programs specifically tailored to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of international students in Melbourne, thanks to a grant from Study Melbourne, in partnership with MELD. During the quarter we ran consultation groups with international students, and delivered a tailored Being Herd speaker training program for 8 international students in Melbourne. In quarter two we will continue to run consultation workshops with students to gain insights that will help inform the development of these programs that will be trialled throughout 2020.

Thematic Analysis on Being Herd Stories

We published the report ‘Being Herd Stories: Thematic Insights, Analysis and Recommendations’. Funded by the National Mental Health Commission, and conducted with the support of ConNetica, the analysis represents a collective narrative of a self-selected group of younger Australians and their experiences of hardship, mental ill-health and recovery in the early 21st Century. The report and recommendations serve as a great foundation for batyr’s work plan going forward, and we are endeavouring to implement all the recommendations.

Productivity Commission

We submitted our official response to the productivity commission’s ‘The Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health’ draft report based on what we’ve seen in the space, what we’ve learned from speakers & students at programs and what feedback and evaluations on our programs and speaker stories tells us.  We look forward to seeing the final report in June this year. 

New grants

Success with new grants in Victoria will enable us to run school programs in new regions and schools in the state this year. Thanks to Ross Trust Charitable Foundation,  Ansvar Community and Peirce Armstrong Foundation for their support in this expansion. 

A special thank you

In February an incredible young man George raised a lot of money for batyr by asking for donations to batyr instead of presents for his 21st birthday. 

George inspired us to create ‘Party for a Purpose’ and we’d love for our community to get behind it. If you have a birthday coming up, an anniversary, or just want to replace that event that has been cancelled, why not Party for a Purpose and support batyr.