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NSW opens mental health month with virtual mentoring trial

The NSW Government has invested A$ 50,000 to support the trial of Being Herd Digital Peer Support Pilot, according to a recent report.

The trial will be running from October 2018 to January 2019, wherein the project will utilise digital storytelling as a support tool for youth during hospitalisation.

Mental health teams at Hornsby Hospital’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit will work with youth mental health organisation Batyr to deliver the Being Herd Digital Peer Support Pilot.

Young mental health patients will be able to watch carefully curated stories of personal experience on an iPad or computer.

The stories are shared firsthand by people who know what it is like to be cared for in a hospital for mental health reasons.

Hearing courageous stories of recovery while in care can have a profoundly positive impact on recovery.

The project aims to provide hope for these young individuals, improve their inpatient experience and speed of recovery.

Moreover, October is also NSW’s Mental Health Month.  The theme of this year is ‘Share the Journey’, which aims to encourage the community to talk about mental health and tackle the stigma.

There is a wide range of community events included in the Mental Health Month that are open to people with lived experience of mental health issues, families and carers, and the services that support them.

This is significant as nearly half of all Australians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime.

In any case, those who do not experience it will likely know someone who will.

With mental health illness, no one has to suffer alone. By sharing personal journeys, the barriers that surround everyone, the friends, the family, and the community will be broken down.

The amount of A$ 2.1 billion was committed by the NSW Government in the State Budget for mental health services and infrastructure for the period of 2018 – 2019.

While, funding amounting to A$ 700 million is allotted for a state-wide Mental Health Infrastructure Plan.

Some of the upcoming events for the Mental Health Month can be accessed here.

Batyr was launched in 2011 after its founder experienced the frustration and isolation of living silently with mental ill health while still at university.

The founder recognised that it was time to have open honest conversations about mental health with young people, and founded the organisation.

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