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What, Why, How


Greater Charitable Foundation funding will enable batyr to deliver their batyr@uni program at the University of Newcastle (UoN) over a two year period. The batyr@uni partnership 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 batyr’s mental health and wellbeing initiatives, and increases their knowledge of the diverse avenues of support available to them in the university community. Through sharing lived experience stories and peer-to-peer education, batyr are keeping young people from reaching the point of crisis, and changing lives.


Sadly, suicide remains the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 in Australia(1). The Australian Bureau of Statistics (2022) National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that 39.6% of young people aged 16-24 had a mental health disorder in the last 12 months. That's almost two in five(2). Orygen’s National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health have identified that, of Australia’s 1.4 million university students at least one in four of them will experience mental ill-health in any one year. Risk factors such as “financial stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, balancing work and study responsibilities, living away from family and pressure to excel in the context of an increasingly competitive job market" combine to create or exacerbate mental ill health for students(3).
(1) Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2020). Causes of Death, Australia.
(2) Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2022). National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
(3) Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. (2017). Under the radar: The mental health of Australian university students. Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.


The batyr@uni model has three unique elements: a peer-to-peer model, stigma reduction through the sharing of lived experience, and early intervention. The batyr team were amongst the expert contributors in developing the Australian University Mental Health Framework, published by Orygen (2020). The framework identifies six principles guiding mentally healthy university settings that support students to thrive educationally and personally. batyr is among the key providers supporting universities with two of the six principles: -
● The student experience is enhanced through mental health and wellbeing approaches that are informed by students’ needs, perspectives and experiences.
● Mentally healthy university communities encourage participation; foster a diverse, inclusive environment; promote connectedness; and support academic and personal achievement.

The batyr@uni approach is to work alongside the university counselling, equity and financial services in collaboration with administration, students and faculties.

batyr@uni Program Impact

batyr has a strong reputation for engaging young people to have safe and impactful conversations about mental health, delivering 3,000+ programs across Australia and educating 360,000+ young people, since their establishment in 2011. batyr want communities to be equipped with the education, mental health literacy and skills to lead their own change, creating stigma free communities that support one another.    

In 2022, researchers from The University of Sydney conducted research on the impact of the batyr@uni model. The results suggest that the batyr@uni programs led to an increase in help-seeking behaviour and a decrease in self-stigmatising attitudes.

Jane, batyr Speaker

“It's extraordinarily difficult to sum up in the space of a few sentences the impact that partaking in the batyr's Being Herd program, and moving onwards to working with them in the capacity of a lived experience speaker, has had on my wellbeing. Every time I share, I speak the words I wrote in my first workshop with greater conviction and gain pride in myself and everything I’ve been through. I’ve gained confidence and hopefulness in my voice when I talk about something that I thought could only ever be heavy and traumatic. I can say unequivocally, even though I’m still in the early stages of my journey with batyr, that my outlook has been transformed.”

Improving Life Outcomes

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