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Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Thanks guys
===========================
Trying to make my misery
just a piece of my history
A little less victim a little more victory
-Icon for Hire

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Thanks everyone that was epic! We'll chuck up our answers to the anonymous questions now.

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Thanks so much for such a great evening! Loved chatting with you all and hearing your insight. Hope to chat with you again another time!

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Why do you think that some people are never given the space or chance to share their story despite being willing and more than capable to do so?

 

Even though some people are willing and more than capable to share their story, it doesn’t always mean they will find the right place to share it. We believe one of the biggest barriers that prevent people from finding a positive space to share is stigma. Stigma doesn’t just impact the opportunities a young person is given to open up, but it can also affect people wanting to share in the first place.

 

It’s important to recognise that there might not always be spaces to share in a structured environment, but we can create chances for ourselves to share safely in our every day lives. These environments can be different for each person; for some, it might be sharing at home with family.  For others, it might be sharing with their friends. It could also be learning how to share in their community through platforms like Batyr’s school & uni programs. Each platform is equally as valuable as one another. No matter who your audience is, a key area to remember is to make sure the space you share in is safe and supportive. Likewise, it’s important to learn how to share your story in a safe and positive way for your own wellbeing and for whoever is listening. It’s also a good idea to be connected to your support network if you choose to share your story. Debriefing your experience is a great way to check in and see how talking about what you shared feels for you and to make sure it’s only ever a positive experience.

 

Obviously sharing stories is really important to us at Batyr. Learning to share safely and effectively is something we do at Batyr through our speaker training program called Being Herd. This workshop provides a supportive environment for young people to smash the stigma by building the skills and confidence to learn how to share their stories in front of different audiences. Despite stigma being a barrier, the more we share, the more value people will place on sharing, which means more and more opportunities will pop up for people to continue to give a voice to their stories.

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

I would like to know how to get one of those awesome T-shirts. And also how one would go about joining or helping the cause.

 

We love hearing about people wanting to get involved! There is a bunch of different ways people can go about joining the herd. One thing you can check out is our speaker training program called Being Herd. This is where young people learn how to share their story of a lived experience in a safe way, focussing on how they were able to reach out for support. It’s also for people who want to learn how to share from the perspective of a carer. The Being Herd workshop is for people between 18-30 years old, and is a great way to meet other young people wanting to give a voice to their stories.

 

Another way to help the cause is to let us know if your school might be interested in having a Batyr@School program! A highlight of the program is having a young trained person who went through Being Herd share their story to empower others to seek help if they need it.

You can even check out our One Sock One Goal campaign where we use spiffy looking Batyr socks to start the conversation around mental health. Get your school or sport club involved to be a part of the 1S1G movement.  

 

Make sure you follow us on social media to hear about events and other ways to get involved. You can find out more info on the above areas at our website: www.batyr.com.au or you can email us at hello@batyr.com.au to find out more. Getting involved is the best way to get yourself a Batyr shirt! We don’t sell them online, but what you can grab online is a pair of our 1S1G socks!

 

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Thank you so much for joining us @N1ghtW1ng @redhead @Bay52VU @j95 @FootyFan26 @safari93 and your super amazing input talking about the elephant in the room.

 

Massive thanks to @Nic - Batyr and @Steph - Batyr for joining us on RO with their wisdom 

 

I had fun splashing through this topic with you all Smiley Very Happy

 

elephant.gif

 

A summary will be up in the next few days

|| Life runs in cycles, the wheel never stops turning, no matter how dark the night morning comes, no matter how cold the winter, spring comes. When you feel despair know that the wheel is turning, joy will come. ||
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Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Smiley Very HappySmiley Very Happy Baby elephant! Smiley Very HappySmiley Very HappySmiley Very Happy
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Guess what day it was!!! It was Wear It Purple Day!! Come on over and learn all about what it is and what you can still do!

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

We are all baby elephants who need a hand out of the water when we get in too deep sometimes...
|| Life runs in cycles, the wheel never stops turning, no matter how dark the night morning comes, no matter how cold the winter, spring comes. When you feel despair know that the wheel is turning, joy will come. ||

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Hahaha!

 

Now go to bed everyone! Smiley Tongue

Re: [Special guest] The elephant in the room

Before getting into any discussion its important to know what “elephant in the room” means (or else it will become an elephant in the room!). It is a bit like that massive thing we all know exists and is right there, but no one ever acknowledges it.

 

Most of us didn’t know who Batyr [bat-ear] are or what they do. We found out they are an organisation for young people to share their personal stories about struggles with mental health to other young people. A young man who had gone through tough times alone at uni and wanted to prevent anyone else from doing the same started the organisation. He named it after a cool elephant from Kazakstan who could speak some Russian! Any time that elephant was in the room he would have made sure people were talking about him!

 

BatyrStamp.jpg 

 

Some of the reasons we suggested we don’t talk about the elephant in the room included:

  • Not wanting to appear weak
  • Feeling like we should already know how to handle it, alone
  • Because we don’t know how to speak about it or are worried about offending someone
  • We don’t want to admit it to ourselves
  • Stigma

 

We went into stigma a bit further by looking at how mental health is viewed differently from physical health because we cannot see it and it is harder to describe. The way we can joke about the cause of a physical injury is not so easily applied to mental health injuries.

 

Some times of stigma we have seen include:

  • Terminology (‘crazy’, ‘psycho’)
  • Viewing people as weak
  • Making people feel bad for speaking up
  • Brushing off the issue (‘toughen up’)
  • Rejection

We then went on to talk about storytelling and whether it can help reduce stigma.

Overall we thought storytelling can:

  • Normalise talking about mental health
  • Diversity of stories and that mental health problems don’t discriminate
  • Understand better what people have been through
  • Draw parallels and relate to others
  • Look at the human rather than the illness
  • Help us to remember symptoms and help seeking options

Given the benefits of storytelling to communicate personal experiences around mental health, we thought it was important to approach the writing process carefully to look after ourselves. Some ways of doing this were:

 

  • Being in a safe place (physically, emotionally, mentally)
  • Stopping when needed
  • Making use of support systems like friends, family, online and over-the-phone counselling services
  • Practice self-care
  • Consider who you want to tell your story to, ensure they will be understanding and supportive

To ensure our stories about mental health remain positive we thought we could include:

 

  • Types of self-care
  • Ways you coped with tough times
  • Not using stigmatised language (like crazy)
  • Show that it is a journey that takes time
  • Talk about the skills you have learned
  • Talk about what has worked rather than what hasn’t
  • Do not go into details about which could trigger yourself or someone else

Finally, we talked about how to support someone who opens up to us by telling us their story. The most simple and important suggestion was to thank them for it. Smiley Very Happy

We also thought we should:

 

  • Give them time and space to tell their story how they want to
  • Help them find and access resources for help if needed
  • Listen non-judgementally
  • Not try to give them answers or fix their problems
  • Keep things confidential (don’t go telling others!)

Remember if reading through this discussion brought up anything for you which you would like to discuss with someone Lifeline and KHL [ooh they have a new pretty site! - check it out!!] are always available. Or, if it something you would like to discuss further here on RO start a new thread!

 

If you would like to know more about Batyr head over to their website: http://www.batyr.com.au/

If you have seen mental health being stigmatised in the media you can report it here through SANE's media watch.

|| Life runs in cycles, the wheel never stops turning, no matter how dark the night morning comes, no matter how cold the winter, spring comes. When you feel despair know that the wheel is turning, joy will come. ||