batyr and It Gets Brighter announce international partnership to accelerate mental health support
for young people via digital innovation
Mental health organisation batyr of Australia and It Gets Brighter (IGB) of the UK are proud to announce their partnership to facilitate positive change and support young people’s mental health through digital storytelling app OurHerd.
IGB and batyr share an aligned vision to create accessible online communities where young people can create, watch and share their stories of hope and support, so no one living with mental health challenges feels alone in their experience.
On the partnership, batyr’s Head of Global Impact, Stephanie Vasiliou says, “Partnering with IGB is creating the ability to leverage the benefits of technology for human connection no matter where a young person is based. It allows us to pool expertise, and build off the work of each organisation whilst bringing to the table our complementary strengths. At batyr, we are thrilled to be forging such a partnership with the IGB team to get further ahead together. This is just the start and we hope it inspires future collaborations to strengthen impact and reach worldwide.”
Emma Lawrence, It Gets Brighter Co-Founder adds, “While mental illness and mental health issues are not uncommon, many people, especially when experiencing them for the first time, can feel completely alone and without relatable role models. With IGB we wanted to show the variety of people who have lived through or with a mental health challenge, and yet, through the ups and downs, live full and rich lives. This partnership with batyr and the OurHerd app will mean we are able to facilitate sharing these stories in a safe and engaging way allowing young people from around the world to form a community, share hope and live their best lives.”
Currently, digital spaces don’t meet youth mental health needs
According to a 2020 global report, the average time spent digesting digital content for young people aged 16-24 is 7h 44min per day. Young people today are digital natives and conversations that once were restricted to lunchtimes and after school are now happening 24 hours a day in a digital landscape.
A 2018 study found that for 81% of young people, social media makes them feel more connected to their friends. Additionally, 69% of young people in a study on the role friends play helping each other indicated that they received the most support during tough times from friends, rather than parents or professionals. Online spaces were identified as avenues for providing support.
Despite these realities, a challenge exists around the lack of evidence-based, youth-focused digital platforms to facilitate positive change and support mental health and wellbeing.
Over the last 3 years, batyr has embarked on a journey to translate their reach and impact through face-to-face programs into a digital setting. Developing OurHerd – an evidence-based digital storytelling app, batyr created a fully moderated, safe, social media platform with young people and mental health experts. Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, OurHerd captures qualitative and quantitative data in real time to draw insights from the experiences of its users.
Amplifying Impact Together
batyr and IGB have come together to amplify their impact by leveraging IGB’s network and work to date, directing young people in the UK to the OurHerd platform and creating a centralised approach. The alignment of mission and vision means that It Gets Brighter and OurHerd video messages are hopeful and supportive.
What this looks like in practice:
Stories from the IGB video library are also now available on OurHerd for young people anywhere in the world to view.
OurHerd users gain new stories and relatable experiences from across the globe. Users can search for stories by specific mental health experiences, or by background to find a story that they personally resonate with.
Young people join a safe, digital community that promotes real stories of hope, resilience and ways of reaching out for support.
Youth advocates searching for a platform to share their perspectives to influence change around them can do so through moderated support and retain control over their data.
OurHerd is gaining awareness through IGB to start an international conversation and global movement harnessing the power of storytelling.
Research and Advocacy Opportunities for the Future
This partnership will unlock the opportunity for global research and advocacy. The technology behind OurHerd allows for the ability to track trends, perform thematic analyses and respond appropriately to real time challenges by young people at a population and individual level, based on stories shared.
Through the ability to safely share their lived experience to help others, young people will have a moderated platform with full control over their stories that will be able to influence systems change around them. This information is vital in educating service providers, funders, policy makers and educators on how best to support the needs of young people, wherever they are.
It Gets Brighter Founders Dr Emma Lawrance and Dr Joshua Chauvin are both key representatives in batyr’s Global Advisory Group, providing their extensive experience to help guide batyr in strengthening impact.
batyr is a preventative mental health charity created and driven by young people, for young people. Since 2011, batyr has been training young people across Australia to share their lived experience stories of mental ill-health and hope in a safe and engaging way. Through evidence-based programs, batyr has reached over 355,000 young people to reduce stigma, improve help-seeking and strengthen mental health literacy across communities.
batyr launched the storytelling OurHerd app to amplify the voices of young people and influence systemic change. OurHerd has been recognised by Australia’s International Good Design Awards as a Gold Award recipient for both Digital Design and Social Impact.
About It Gets Brighter
IGB was founded in 2014 when students at the University of Oxford realised the power of video messages in helping young people experiencing mental health issues feel less alone and see genuine reasons for hope. The IGB website allows anyone to create, watch and share video messages of hope and support for young people experiencing mental health challenges. The video library quickly grew to a searchable library of tagged content from around the globe.
It Gets Brighter has received global recognition, with a launch tweet from Stephen Fry, a mention in The Economist, an invited poster presentation to the World Health Organisation Innovation Summit, and a TEDx talk.
With digital solutions such as OurHerd showing us just how connected the world really is, we welcome you to reach out and discuss partnership opportunities.
Head of Data and Insights Josh Wiseman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Head of Global Impact, Stephanie Vasiliou at email@example.com
It Gets Brighter