Will’s Legacy Grows

Filed in Recent News by August 26, 2016

THE Carrigan family want every child to know how to recognise and seek help for mental illnes.

Pauline Carrigan lost her son Will to depression on Christmas day last year and with the family has established the “Where There’s a Will” charity to educate and improve the mental health of youth in the area.

“A key goal for Where There’s a Will has been to ensure that every student in the Upper Hunter leaves school knowing about the signs and symptoms of mental illness and where they can go for help in their town,” Pauline Carrigan said.

The charity has raised tens of thousands of dollars and is now introducing programs from the national organisation batyr to students in the Upper Hunter.

batyr aims to quash the stigma around mental health and encourage young people to seek help when they need it, sharing messages of strength and recovery in schools, universities and the community.

Pauline said she is excited for local students to have the opportunity to experience batyr’s programmes.

“batyr does some excellent work in this regard and we expect they’ll have a significant impact on improving the wellbeing of our kids, during what can be a challenging period in their lives,” said Pauline Carrigan.

More than 330 year 11 and 12 students across five high schools in the Upper Hunter will hear batyr’s message of resilience and hope from Monday, August 29.

Young batyr speakers will tell students how they have successfully managed their own mental ill health, along with trained facilitators who deliver vital information in a fun, safe and engaging way.

Research indicates that the best approach to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health is through direct contact with peers who have experienced similar struggles.

Batyr plays an important role in breaking down this stigma and bridging the gap between young people and the array of services available to them, contributing to an increased likelihood they will seek help when they or a peer needs it.

Batyr programmes will be delivered at the following venues:

Monday, August 29:

  • 9:30am – 11am – Year 12, Scone High School
  • 1:15pm – 2:45pm – Year 11 and 12, Scone Grammar School

Tuesday, August 30:

  • 8:45am – 10:30am – Year 12, St Joseph’s Aberdeen
  • 11:30am – 1pm – Year 12, Muswellbrook High School

Wednesday, August 31:

  • 2pm-3:30pm – Year 11 and 12, Merriwa Central
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