batyr is a preventative mental health charity, created and driven by young people, for young people. Through sharing lived experience stories and peer-to-peer education, batyr are keeping young people from reaching the point of crisis and changing lives. As leaders in prevention and stigma reduction, batyr have reached over 400,000 young people to date, empowering them with the confidence and skills to get through tough times and look out for each other.batyr’s work is grounded in a number of best practice approaches to preventative education, while bringing their own unique style. batyr’s vision is a world where all young people lead mentally healthy and fulfilling lives.

Commencing in 2024, The Balnaves Foundation is supporting batyr with a 5-year longitudinal research project which aims to evaluate batyr’s suite of programs, demonstrating the effectiveness of the programs in the long-term and lending weight to the importance of prevention and early intervention in tackling the mental health crisis affecting young people in Australia.

Research indicates that 75% of mental health conditions arise before the age of 24. Per the Australian Bureau of statistics, young people have the highest levels of mental ill-health of any age group, with 2 in 5 young Australians experiencing a diagnosable mental health condition. Psychological distress among young people has been increasing including prior to COVID-19, and suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44. Young people have shared that stigma, shame and embarrassment often prevents them from seeking help before they are in crisis, and they are also often unaware that what they feel can be attributed to mental ill-health and dismiss their symptoms.

batyr’s programs emphasise mental health literacy education, early intervention and stigma reduction to address these issues.

Preventative mental health programs are severely underfunded. Whilst there has been continued investment in mental health crisis response services and resources; there is a significant funding gap in prevention and early intervention.

The longitudinal research undertaken by this project aims to provide clear evidence that investing in school based social and emotional wellbeing programs will deliver long-term impacts for young people’s mental health. The data collected will form reports, be presented at conferences, and included in policy submissions to the government.

The project will also result in wide ranging, significant outcomes for batyr, including a better understanding of the impact of their work, and strong unbiased evidence for the long-term outcomes associated with batyr programs.

Find out more about batyr here.