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Greater Charitable Foundation partnership to support mental health

Greater Charitable Foundation has launched a two-year partnership with preventative mental health organisation, batyr, that aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people in tertiary education.

The $220,000 partnership will enable batyr to deliver its batyr@uni program at the University of Newcastle, equipping the respective communities with the education, mental health literacy and skills to create stigma-free and supportive environments.

A study undertaken by Orygen’s National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health highlighted that at least one in four of Australia’s 1.4 million university students will experience mental ill-health in any one year[1].

It showed that a range of factors around health and wellbeing, as well as lifestyle pressure combine to create or exacerbate students’ mental ill-health.

These statistics show the enormous challenge facing students across the country and why the Greater Charitable Foundation has entered this partnership to support young people based in the Hunter and Central Coast.

Dr Hannah Brown, the batyr Program Coordinator for the University of Newcastle, said that batyr@uni aims to build a supportive community around mental health by taking a holistic approach to stigma reduction and improving help-seeking behaviour.

“batyr@uni educates and empowers students through our mental health and wellbeing initiatives and increases their knowledge of the diverse avenues of support available to them in the university community,” Dr Brown said.

“Through sharing lived experience stories and peer-to-peer education, batyr is keeping young people from reaching the point of crisis and changing lives.

“We want to make sure young people know they can get help and support to deal with the issues they are facing before those critical moments.

“No matter what you’re going through, help is available.”

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said the mental health of young Australians is a serious societal issue.

“The prevalence of mental health disorders among young Australians remains a significant issue that needs greater attention and support,” Ms Long said.

“The batyr program prioritises improving the mental health of students, which is an area of real concern, so we are pleased to be helping them deliver their batyr@uni program for the next two years.”

Dr Jacqueline Olley, Senior Manager, Counselling and Psychological Services at the University of Newcastle, said the batyr@uni program aims to bridge the gap between students with mental health issues and the services they need.

“Continuing the batyr@UoN partnership for two years will further support students in feeling comfortable talking about their mental health and seeking support when they need it."

"We provide a range of student wellbeing services at the University, and through our partnership with batyr, we are empowering students to become more aware of these services and to seek out our support."

batyr is one of four new partnerships recently announced by Greater Charitable Foundation, that will collectively receive more than $800,000. This takes the Foundation’s overall contribution to more than $13 million since its establishment in 2011.

The new partners are:

University of Newcastle – Greater Charitable Foundation Equity Scholarship: the two-year partnership will assist students facing educational disadvantage due to financial hardship, providing the opportunity to study at the University, focus on their education and excel in their chosen field.

The Smith Family – Learning for Life and Digital Inclusion programs: rolled out over the next three years and provide students with a proven combination of financial, personal and practical support, empowering them to harness education and build skills to unlock their true potential, as well as additional digital support

Dress For Success: this partnership will support Dress For Success’ move to a larger showroom to meet the growing demand for its services in the Hunter Region, including the delivery of Career Support Program workshops.

These partnerships reflect the Foundation’s commitment to local community groups and better life outcomes, with a particular focus on improving the financial wellbeing of participants and their families.

[1] Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (2017). Under the radar: The mental health of Australian university students.

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