What’s this mentoring stuff all about? Support that’s not in your face…
It’s all about having your act together. And not everybody does. Including young blokes. That’s where Menslink comes in. We’re here to save the world. We’ve got volunteer mentors who jump into Ironman suits and fix problems overnight.
Well, that’s not quite true – saving the world might have to wait until next week. But for the time being Menslink has volunteer mentors – not heroes, just regular guys. Some of them are tradies, some professionals. Some of ’em like sport, others prefer the theatre. But what they all have in common is that they were all teenage blokes at one point in time, so they know it isn’t always smooth sailing. And that having someone outside the family who’s been there and done that is a really, really handy thing to have.
Life should be easy to cope with, but it still pisses us all off occasionally. Home stinks, school’s rubbish, no-one realises you already know all you need to know, stuff costs more than you’ve got, the idea of taking drugs worries you, but not taking them worries you even more because some of your mates are doing them, and you want to fit in.
Welcome to the real world. Which is where a mentor comes from. Except he’s already lived through the bits you’re just getting to. And he survived. Which means he’s smart, or lucky, or both. So he could be a good source of free information on getting you through.
Our mentors and their role
A mentor is simply a person who is a bit like an uncle or an older brother. They are not a counsellor or replacement father and are certainly not there to tell you how to live your life. Mentors are people who will stand up for you and stick with you, whether things are good or bad.
Menslink connects a young bloke to a mentor of his choosing. After that we encourage them to stay in regular touch, by meeting up together for the odd sporting event, movie, outdoor activity, etc. It also involves monthly group events. Different stuff like camping, rock climbing, surfing, kayaking, sailing or even just watching a good flick.
Menslink’s mentors are unpaid volunteers. Blokes who do it because they want to, and don’t want a dollar for it. We check them out, and so do the cops, because that’s how it works these days. And we spell out to them the commitment required to fulfil the role. Menslink prefers two years for a mentoring relationship, and during that time we get regular individual feedback from all involved: young bloke, mentor & the parents.
We introduce the young blokes to the potential mentors, in a group setting with games and activities designed to break the ice. At the end of that the young blokes are asked, in private, who they would prefer as their mentor. They’re in the driving seat, and the relationship from this point will only grow as fast or as slow as they make it. The mentor is expected to be a proactive partner, but not a pushy one, nor a figure of authority. Mentoring is a chance for a young bloke to view different horizons. It’s also a chance for the mentor to learn from the young bloke too. In this sense both of you are making meaningful contributions.
Interested in getting a mentor? Simply fill out an online referral form and we’ll get back to you within two business days.
Alternatively, call or email us for more info – oh, and in case you were wondering, we’re a free service too.
Thanks, but I don’t need a mentor right now…
Had a think about mentoring and decided it’s not right for you? That’s no problem. The final decision on mentoring is all yours. You might like to check out our counselling program or give us a call to see how else we might be able to help or if we can refer you onto another group that might be a better fit for what you are looking for.