Last week mental health organisation Batyr were in Nyngan as part of their Get Talkin’ tour across the region.
The Get Talkin’ tour is a project run in conjunction with the NSW Waratahs and NSW Positive Rugby Foundation which aims to start positive conversations around mental health and wellbeing across country NSW.
“It’s been a huge week and such an exciting project to do,” Batyr Regional Community Coordinator Amy Devrell said.
The tour stopped at Nyngan High School to run two mental health programs and two training skills workshops with students, to promote discussing mental health in a light-hearted and engaging way.
“We know that it’s harder to access services in these areas, and that there’s greater stigma and barriers associated with accessing well being and health services,” Ms Devrell said.
“[This tour] it’s been a really good chance to get out into these communities and create and awareness and knowledge of what is out here and what’s available to these communities.”
The Batyr program run in the school helps to address ‘the elephant in the room’ and start conversations around mental health and help seeking, giving young people the tools and resources to take charge of their mental health.
“Research shows that peer-to-peer story sharing is one of the most effective ways of breaking down those sigmas and barriers,” Ms Ms Devrell said.
“We bring along lived experience speakers, they’re young people who have had a mental health journey on their own, and we train them to share that journey in a safe and effective way and we bring that along to share those stories with the students,” she said.
Ms Devrell said engaging with classrooms helps to open students up to the idea of resilience, and help seeking support, and said it’s always incredible to see students open up by the end of the session.
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“We definitely received a lot of comments from the students pointing out they didn’t realise what services are available, and didn’t realise it was ok to talk about [mental health]. So the reaction seems really positive,” Ms Devrell said.
She said Batyr offer students tips on how they can start conversations and look out for their own mental health.
“We talk about online services and accessing GP mental health care plans to help address those service access barriers,” Ms Devrell said.
The team at Batyr said they are “super keen” to get back out to Nyngan in the future.
“It’s definitely an area that we’ve been able to build a relationship, especially with the Blue Sky Ball, so coming back is something we’re very keen to do,” Ms Devrell said.