It’s been another big quarter for the whole batyr community. From four thousand people waking at the crack of dawn to show their support for each other and shine a light on suicide prevention, speakers sharing their stories on National TV and online to help others, to a bunch of amazing high school students raising money and running a marathon in memory of their teacher. All of this, as well as reaching 11 000 people through the batyr programs and a visit from the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison!
It has reminded me of the size of the batyr community and the amount of people that are willing to step up and show their mates that whatever they are going through, they want to be there to support them. There are now thousands more people better equipped to reach out for support when they need it, thanks to the impact that everyone in the batyr herd has on the community. It has been great to see the Federal Government prioritise youth mental health and provide funding to batyr to help reach more people online. But it doesn’t stop there. As we continue to roll out hundreds of programs each year, your support of these programs and the batyr message is crucial and valued.
Enjoy reading through the incredible work that has been happening, I can’t wait to continue it alongside you all into the back half of the year!
119 programs delivered to high schools, universities and workplaces.
Across the quarter our programs team delivered:
- 96 high school programs, reaching over 10,000 students across NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and ACT.
- 3 Teacher Professional Development programs, providing tips and resources for teachers to support the mental health of their students.
- 17 uni programs, reaching 883 students at our University Partners: ANU, UTS, USyd Faculty of Health and UniSA.
- 3 batyr@work programs to NGEN Sydney, Macquarie Group Foundation and Yarra Trams
Behind the numbers are some incredible stories from the young people we engage with. Here is a handful of feedback from our programs:
“Hearing from batyr last year actually encouraged me to get help after the session. I’m glad you came back this year to remind me to keep going, that it’s not linear, and that I need to be honest with myself as well as checking in with others.”
St Ursula’s College Kingsgrove, Year 10 Student.
“As a silent sufferer, it gave me the courage to speak to someone other than family”, UniSA Student
““It makes me realise it’s real. Even though I haven’t seen it in people close to me it makes me more aware to look out. I am becoming more aware as I get older and experience more.” Clayfield College, Year 12 Student”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Health Greg Hunt back batyr.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a guest appearance at a batyr@school program in Burwood in Sydney’s Inner West and reiterated the $2.8 million over three years to fund our new digital storytelling platform.
Prime Minister Morrison was joined by Minister for Health Greg Hunt and Liberal candidate for Reid Fiona Martin.
“We had the great privilege of seeing batyr, a young group, led by young people, talking about the experiences and challenges that they had faced, give a sense of hope, inspiration and support to these young women, that their lives could be something special, but they had to recognise that there is hope, there is the ability to reach out and we could see the transformation on that day.” – Minister Hunt addressing Parliament, reflecting on his experience.
Thank you to Burwood Girls High for being so accommodating and working with us to ensure that the focus remained on the program amid the media storm.
Below is one note we received on social media after the program.
“Hello, I attend Burwood Girls High School and I’d like to say a massive thank you for visiting our school and talking about mental health today….what I saw and heard from Liv, it really hit a part of my heart as I have been affected by mental illness. I’ve started my journey of recovery, and although it’s going to be long and bumpy, groups like batyr make it easier.”
Grant enables us to work directly with International Students.
Thanks to Study Melbourne – The Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts, and Projects, batyr was successful in winning a $75,000 International Student Welfare Program grant to support the mental health and wellbeing of International Students living in Victoria.
The grant will provide funding for a pilot program, including the development and implementation of a specific Being Herd workshop which will give 10 International students the opportunity and training to safely share their experiences with mental ill-health.
The funding will also enable batyr to run five international student programs aimed at reducing stigma and increasing help-seeking behaviour. The International Student Welfare Program is supported by the Victorian Government.
We welcomed 64 young mental health advocates to our herd and saw great success with our new Being Herd Pathways Program.
We ran a total of 8 Being Herd workshops in the following locations: Sydney, Armidale, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane.
These workshops are aimed at empowering young people to share their experiences in a safe and confident way, knowing that their story matters and deserves to be “herd.”
“Being Herd changed my perception entirely of my experiences with mental health and anxiety. I feel so much more comfortable sharing my story now, and the workshop allowed us to all open up in a safe, supportive and caring environment.” wrote one participant.
We ran 4 Being Herd Pathways workshop on the Central Coast and in Western Sydney, supporting 38 young people 16-24 who are not currently in education, employment or training. The Pathways workshop is a new program funded by the NSW State Government which aims to support unemployed youth in finding meaningful and sustainable work.
“Being Herd Pathways boosted my confidence so much! Before I went I wasn’t sure how I’d go working again but it helped me realise that it was ok for me to have bad days and it was ok for me to feel nervous. After the course I was able to tell my (at the time) future employer that I struggle with mental health.” Central Coast Participant
Bella and Darcy shared their experiences on SBS Insight’s ‘Preventing Teen Suicide’ episode.
“What doesn’t help, is when people say the classic, ‘It’s all in your head’. Of course it’s all in my head, that’s the problem.
What really helps is when a mate asks, ‘Hey, how are you?’ and, after the small talk, they ask, ‘Hey, how are you really going?’ – that really helps me. When people persist with the ‘How are you?’” – batyr speaker Darcy.
We are extremely proud of our speakers Darcy and Bella who shared their story on SBS Insight as part of their episode on preventing youth suicide. If you missed the episode, you can watch it here.
With suicide being the leading cause of death in 15 – 24 year olds, Insight focused on talking to teens who’ve attempted to take their own lives, finding out what they needed at the time, what went unnoticed, and what we can all do to help.
Thanks to SBS Insight for providing a forum for this discussion and, in doing so, giving our young people permission and the opportunity to speak up and make their voices heard. We’re so inspired by the hope and resilience of both Darcy and Bella, and all the young people who took part in the program.
Bella also shared her story with mamamia – you can read it here.
If you need support, please reach out to someone you trust 💙🐘 There’s always someone to speak to at Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800.
‘Be kind to your mind’ collaboration with SANE Australia.
In partnership with Sane Australia and supported by Future Generation Australia, we shared stories from young people living with a complex mental illness specifically looking at help: how you ask for it, what it means to get it, how it can go right and wrong, and how you can help yourself.
Named the ‘Be Kind To Your Mind’ series, the content was produced in collaboration with the 18 young Ambassadors. You can check out the content here.
This is the third year of the project for SANE Australia, and batyr’s second year being involved.
The project aim is to increase the access of young adults to evidence-based services, resources and referral pathways that will encourage help-seeking behaviours, address barriers to care, promote early treatment and reduce stigma.
Communities rallying together to create change.
The Annual Darkness into Light took place in Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne, with over 4,000 people braving the cold May morning and joining in the global movement of walking to shine a light on suicide prevention and raise much needed funds. Over $200,000 was raised, an incredible effort from a passionate community. Thank you to everyone involved.
In Orange, NSW a sold out Orange Black Tie Scrum event took place with 350 locals coming together to raise funds to allow us to continue to run workshops and program in the local area. Tom Goolagong, a Wiradjuri man from the Orange Emus Rugby Union Football Club and an Orange Black Tie Scrum committee member, shared his story about a tough time in the hopes to smash the stigma surrounding mental health in his community.
Students and teachers from Moriah College banded together and ‘ran for the herd’ in honour of their former colleague and teacher. The passionate team raised an incredible $30,000 for batyr. Their efforts mean 1,700 more young people will see a batyr@school program.
18 media and marketing professionals took the Sydney Opera House by storm, performing stand-up comedy in front of more than 300 industry peers and raising funds for batyr. Aptly named Pitch2Punchline the event raised $10k.
We want to extend an enormous thank you to everyone involved in organising and coordinating these events. Your support for batyr is amazing and we’re so grateful to have you as part of our herd. The vital funds raised enable us to continue to run our programs in high schools across the country and keep our Being Herd workshops free for young people to attend.
Coca-Cola Foundation grant to fund programs in Parkes, the Central West and New England regions.
The CCAF is dedicated to supporting programs that will build capability and opportunity for young Australians, inspiring them to grow their happiness and feel empowered for a more positive life.
In 2019, the CCAF selected batyr as Employee Connected Grant Partners, together donating $25k to help us make a difference where it counts. The funds will allow us to run our batyr@school programs in Parkes, the Central West and New England.
The Employee Connected Grants support local causes and charities connected to Coca-Cola Australia employees.
What’s coming up?
- In Sydney on the weekend over 200 people took charge of their mental health and wellbeing and ‘Ran for the herd’ in the City 2 Surf. Brisbane’s ‘Bridge to Brisbane’ is coming up in two weeks if you want to get involved with the team. Or if you have a fun run in your local area and would like to support batyr send us an email at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you.
- This weekend over 60 uni students from Australian National University will run from Civic in Canberra to Bondi Beach in Sydney within 24 hours, to raise funds and awareness for batyr. Named Civic2Surf this is an incredible event driven by young students passionate about mental health and wellbeing. The team are aiming to raise $20k, you can get behind their efforts here.
- batyr’s annual Blue Tie Ball is coming up in September and is officially SOLD OUT! The theme this year is Myths, Stories and Legends! We want to dispel the many MYTHS surrounding mental health, hear STORIES from inspiring speakers and celebrate batyr’s work with all of you LEGENDS who support us. Speaking of legends can we extend a huge thank you to our Platinum sponsor; ClayMatter, our Gold Sponsors; GPT, Macquarie and The Happiness Institute, and Silver Sponsors; blis and Dentons. If you know any businesses who would be interested in supporting batyr and gifting prizes for our raffle and silent auction please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are so grateful to businesses who have already donated prizes, thank you for our support.