On 3 November 2015, the Youth Media Team met with Martin from Menslink and asked him a few questions about the organisation and his experience of working in schools.
It is a well-known fact that boys aren’t good at talking about feelings. Often, they receive the ‘don’t be such a girl’ treatment, and as a result are forced into an environment in which mental health issues may arise.
Menslink is an organisation that supports young men in Canberra from ages 12-25 – because, as Martin told us, ‘guys find it harder to talk or seek help.’ They have three programs currently in use: ‘Silence is Deadly’, counselling services, and mentoring.
The ‘Silence is Deadly’ program works in conjunction with sporting teams – the Brumbies and the Raiders – to encourage young men to talk about their problems and ask for help, rather than containing their emotions. Their counselling service is run by counsellors (not psychologists), who provide support and someone to talk to, as well as potential solutions to any problems occurring in a young man’s life.
Finally, the mentoring program is for adolescents aged 13-18. It provides the young men with someone outside their family who is reliable and won’t judge them – someone to talk to, ask questions of, and spend some time with. The Menslink services are designed to be casual, personal, and supportive – ultimately, they are a group of people helping young men make the difficult transition into adulthood.