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10 Years of Civic2Surf

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This year marks 10 years since six ANU students passionate about mental health took to the Hume Highway on foot to raise funds for Batyr in an event they called Civic2Surf.

Batyr is a preventative mental health organisation, created and driven by young people, for young people. Since then, Civic2Surf has grown a strong community presence in Canberra and the Southern Highlands, working closely with Batyr to smash the stigma surrounding mental health.

The student initiative is primarily focused on our annual fundraising run from Canberra to Sydney involving 60 runners in relay over 24 hours. Like with most things this year, we’ve had to adapt our training schedules and keep the community connected remotely.

With the ANU campus shutting down early in Semester 1, our community and training moved online, through Strava and our social media group. Making a change from past years, the relay will not in the surf in Sydney. The course has been changed to commence in Canberra, and proceed to the midpoint in the Bowral and return to Canberra.

Youth mental health has become an increasingly prevalent issue in recent years. This year, our community has faced large scale devastation. From bushfires to droughts, to a global pandemic… Now, more than ever before, Australia’s youth need to know that they aren’t alone; that the negative voices in their heads are not there to stay, and that it is okay not to be okay.

This year we have set our target high and aim to raise $20,000 for Batyr. Batyr runs programs for young people in schools and universities focused on sharing stories of mental health to engage in positive conversations about mental health and to empower students to reach out for support when needed.

The funds raised are intended to assist Batyr to implement a ‘Being Herd Program’ in a school located in Canberra, educating young people to talk about mental health and to take charge of their stories.

At the beginning of this year, I came to truly understand that mental ill-health is not just a statistic, losing a close family friend to suicide. As the second leading cause of death in young people aged 15-24, Australia’s youth need the education and empowerment to take control of their own stories, free from the stigma of mental ill-health. This is why we support Batyr.

Thankfully, our community has been able to return to the ANU campus for Semester 2. Training attendance has seen record numbers, and the team is counting down the days to the event on Friday 11 September–Saturday 12 2020.

How can people learn more, get in contact or donate money?




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