Quarter Three Update
CEO update: Always a community, no matter what
batyr is all about positive conversations, so following another tough three months, I wanted to bring you some good news that’s all been possible thanks to you! Firstly, our annual report is now available and looking back at 2019 makes me even more proud of the impact we’re having in 2020. The stories below resonated with me because despite everything, we have still managed to achieve that incredible sense of community which is so important for batyr. They’re only a snapshot of the impact we’ve made but they’re testimony to how we’ve managed to navigate these extraordinary circumstances, together. Thank you for coming together and supporting us to make sure we’re still able to connect with young Aussies and empower them to live mentally healthy lives.
Free programs for partner schools in VIC
With extended home learning and lockdown in Victoria, students have been facing extra challenges and increased pressure. We realised it was vital to keep reaching these students, and thanks to some funding from a VIC based supporter we were able to offer our programs to our school partners in VIC for free. We have booked an additional 30 programs since rolling out the fee-free programs and will deliver at least 47 more by the end of the year, reaching over 5,500 young people!
International students wellbeing project
Through the support of the VIC Government through Study Melbourne, we partnered with Meld Community to develop a tailored program for international students. Through a peer to peer development process, we facilitated international student working groups which enabled consultation and co-creation of the design and content. This program will play a key role in increasing awareness in the community about the needs of international students, and enable tertiary institutions to strengthen their capacity to support international students living in Australia.
There has been a clear acknowledgement from within the university sector that the mental health of international students is a huge challenge and important area of focus. Not only can international students be incredibly isolated as they’re away from home, in some cultures there is a desire to ‘save face’ or concerns around confidentiality if they were to speak up. These can all be barriers to starting life-changing conversations and improving attitudes towards seeking help. To help tackle this issue our ISWP project involved the redesign of our Being Herd workshop and our [email protected] into two new programs tailored specifically for international students studying in Victoria. The new programs aim to smash these cultural stigmas surrounding mental health and show international students the power of diversity and sharing lived experience.
Extra support in drought-affected areas
To ensure we continue to understand how we can best support disaster-affected communities, we partnered with the University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre for a two-year research project. This was made possible thanks to funding received from the NSW Department of Education aimed at improving mental health outcomes for high school students and their communities in regions impacted by drought.
Making strides for youth mental health
When we first decided to run a Virtual Running Festival we set an ambitious fundraising target of $50,000. It turns out we were right to have faith in our supporters and keen runners. We had 551 people join us and an outstanding $70,807.17 was raised! The funds will go towards supporting young people through our programs and helping 2,832 young people and their communities know that mental health matters.
Our first ever app launches in November
In the last update we told you about the development of our first ever digital storytelling platform. We’re delighted to share that the ‘Amplified Voices’ project has come on leaps and bounds and we will be launching to a small group of 50 young people so we can road test it before making it public! Our mobile phone app (name to be revealed soon) will guide users to create and share safe, relatable and engaging content about how they have navigated tough times. They’ll be able to express themselves through art, music, video or writing and publish to their peers!
Designed in collaboration with over 500 young people, almost 100 service providers and industry experts, our app will give young people a voice and a chance to be heard. Through this offering we hope to reduce self-stigma, increase self-confidence, empower young people to manage their wellbeing and to reach out for help when they need it.
This work has been running since the start of the year and we’re excited by the opportunities this tool will present. We believe we can achieve a step-change improvement in the understanding of and insight into the causes, contexts, challenges, consequences of distress amongst Australia’s youth. Using these powerful insights, we hope to inform service providers, government departments, policy makers and the mental health sector and drive a positive impact and change affecting the lives of our young people.
Program and workshops delivered in Q3
THANK YOU AGAIN! We would like to acknowledge all of our supporters for their continued support, we could not achieve all of this impact without you.
Take care and keep looking out for each other,