The ANU is opening an exciting new chapter in charity partnership by pairing up with youth mental health organisation Batyr.

The Batyr@ANU chapter is planning to facilitate events and workshops throughout the year to engage and educate the broader ANU community.

“We’re very excited to see what can be achieved through this partnership” says Civic2Surf President Zach Mackey.

“Batyr was very successful in its chapter at the UTS and we expect that ANU students will benefit similarly from the programs that Batyr will run and the support network they will provide here”.

The role that Batyr plans to fulfill at ANU will be fundamental to tackling the prevalent issue of mental illness in university communities. According to Batyr, in a class of 30 students, seven will experience a significant mental health issue. Batyr aims to shift the focus from the stigma surrounding mental health issues and towards open and positive discussions about youth mental illness.

The Batyr@ANU chapter will add another dimension to the work that is already carried out through Batyr’s iconic charity run, Civic2Surf which is organised by ANU students annually and which sees students run in a relay from Canberra Civic to Bondi Junction in Sydney.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be bringing our programs and building our presence on campus” says Batyr CEO and Executive Director, Sam Refshauge. “The Civic2Surf event, which many ANU students past and present have been involved in has been one of the greatest fundraisers for Batyr and we’re incredibly happy to be able to now engage the students formally as a result.

Batyr was founded by ANU Alumnus Sebastian Robertson in 2010 as part of his belief that there was a need to eradicate the stigma regarding youth mental health by ‘giving a voice to the elephant in the room’.

Since its foundation, Batyr has engaged with a diverse range of university and high school students to educate and empower young people. Batyr particularly focuses on the concept of sharing people’s experiences with mental illness to encourage people to speak up and begin positive conversations about mental health.

Follow the chapter of Batyr@ANU and Civic2Surf on Facebook for more information about the movement to break down stigma surrounding mental health.

Image courtesy of Batyr’s Facebook page.