Most referrals to Menslink come from parents of teenage sons or young men (aged to 25) – the majority of them single mums. We also get referrals from grandparents, older brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts. They are looking for Menslink to help the young man in their lives overcome some of the following issues:
- Isolation or loneliness
- Conflict with family, friends or school
- Lack of self confidence
- Difficulties coping with life events, experiences or challenges
- Anger, frustration or fear
- Challenges with school rules or the law
- Difficulties in engaging with people or activities.
If you are a parent, relative or carer of a young men, we provide free mentoring and counselling for guys aged 12-25 (counselling) or 13-18 (mentoring).
Which program or service is right for my son?
Mentoring is really useful where a young guy is socially isolated and/or just needs an adult male role model in his life to steer him on the right path. Mentoring also involves monthly group activities that can be fun, challenging or help the young guy grow. These range from movie and pizza nights, camping, sailing, indoor rock climbing through to footy games and even the theatre.
Counselling provides additional help for a young guy to get through tough times. A counsellor is a trained professional who can provide the young man with tips on how to deal with relationship difficulties, anger management, bullying, impulse control or mild depression and anxiety.
Some of our young guys just need one program. Others might start in one program and eventually be supported by both. Others move from one to the other depending on their circumstances and how they feel at the time. If you’re unsure about what is right for your son, have a look through our counselling and mentoring pages on this web site. Get your son to have a look through and discuss it together. You can always give us a call and we can talk it through.
Think mentoring and/or counselling would benefit your son? To get the ball rolling, simply complete the online referral form and we’ll be in touch within two business days. We recommend talking it over with your son first, just to make sure he’s willing to at least hear a bit more about what we do.
We can’t help everyone…
While we make every attempt to help young men and their families, we are also conscious of our own capabilities in supporting young men in their journey to adulthood. Menslink is not capable of supporting all young men in all aspects of their lives – particularly those with challenges that require trained specialist or professional services that Menslink does not have. Examples may include sexual abuse trauma, serious mental illness or impairment, chronic alcohol or drug addiction, crisis support (including homelessness or domestic violence).
This page from Youthbeyondblue may also provide useful information if you’re not sure whether your son needs counselling, a psychologist or a psychiatrist
Menslink is also unable to provide direct financial or other support to young men outside of our main programs, regardless of the adversity in their lives. Regardless of this, Menslink will always attempt to assist any young man in need, even if that assistance is simply referring him or his family to the best agency or specialist service provider able to help him.
Other places that can help:
- EveryMan Australia (formerly Canberrra Men’s Centre) provides counselling for older men aged 18 and over (02 6230 6999)
- Headspace provides a range of counselling and other services for all young people (02 6201 5343)
- Lifeline provides 24 hour crisis counselling to anyone in need (13 11 14)
- Reach Out provides a great online information service for young people and their parents
- Kids Helpline provides online info and 24 hour crisis counselling (phone, web and email) for young people to age 25 (1800 551 800)
Have we helped you or your son?
If you feel that we’ve been able to help or make a difference to your family or someone you know, then you might like to contribute to helping us support other young men. You could do that in a few ways:
- Send us some feedback. Letting us know that we’ve made a difference is what gets us out of bed each morning and makes us all feel inspired to keep doing what we do
- Write us a letter or testimonial that we can use publicly (you can ask that we hide your name if you would like). These letters are really useful to show other parents, young guys, sponsors and funding bodies and help us help others
- Donate some money to help us fund our valuable work.
- Get involved as a volunteer
- Come along to one of our events and help spread the word about the work we do