Menslink in Schools

Encouraging young men to seek help and support their mates

Menslink visits schools across Canberra, Queanbeyan and Yass and talks to young guys of all ages about the hassles of life.

We want to ensure that they:

  • Talk to their mates about stuff going on in their life
  • Help mates out if they’re going through tough times
  • Get professional help if they need it

The Silence is Deadly campaign was started in 2013, and reaches over 8000 students in 30-40 schools every year.

Results from the campaign have been impressive, with schools reporting an initial 133% increase in male students seeking help for themselves or a friend in need. In 2015, schools reported an additional 43% increase, showing the important cumulative effect the campaign has achieved.

Here’s what some schools say about the program:

“A big number of boys have come forward since your session to report mental health concerns about themselves or others; it has created great opportunities for us to put some good strategies and interventions in place to assist their recovery. At least 5 issues have come out that I think would not have come out if it wasn’t for your visit. So, in short, thank you.”

“Menslink has become an integral and welcome support for the young men at our school and the community. We are most grateful for their generous involvement in working with us and our parents to build fine boys into fine men and citizens. Menslink’s work is invaluable to our communities.”

“The Menslink Silence is Deadly program…provided a clear and simple message to our students and one that is crucial for all young men to hear: that it is ok to fail and if you are experiencing any difficulties then talk with someone. Seeking help is the answer.”

In 2014, the Silence is Deadly campaign received the ACTCOSS “Big Steps Little Feet” award for significant community impact by a small organisation, while also receiving an ACT Government Violence Prevention Award for encouraging young men to reach out for help instead of turning to violence.

In 2015, Menslink received a Mental Health Week award from Health Minister Simon Corbell; due in part to the work we’ve done encouraging young guys to get help and help their mates.

How it works

The campaign engages with young guys in groups of 10 to almost 500 at a time with a talk, videos and extended question and answer sessions.

We encourage them to talk to counsellors or other support staff about their problems and de-stigmatise the whole myth about getting help.

Here are a few of the 2017 Raiders players discussing life’s hassles, talking to mates and getting help for your problems:

 

We also speak to selected classes and groups about other guy issues, such as: relationships, bullying, self-esteem, body-image and even the impact of online porn.

For more information about the Silence is Deadly program, please visit www.silenceisdeadly.com.au or read some of the testimonials from schools on our Case Studies page.

A session with students at Trinity College in Wanniassa was covered by 666 ABC Radio. Click here to listen to the interview with Menslink CEO Martin Fisk, Trinity mental health ambassadors Rob Shiells and Zak Stewart, and Menslink volunteer (and ex mentee) Connor Lore.

Menslink also provides outreach counselling to secondary schools (around 9 or 10 in the ACT).  Our counsellors visit these schools on a weekly basis during the school term, with follow up sessions available to students during school holidays or after they graduate.

Here’s what some schools have to say about the in-school counselling support we provide:

“Having the regular Friday visits by the Menslink counsellor enables effective planning by student services to identify and refer boys in need of professional counselling. Being independent of the school is a distinct advantage in relaxing the students and often makes it easier for them to speak freely. Menslink’s contribution cannot be overstated. Not only are they there for the students in need, but also at times find themselves encouraging and supporting staff. They have become an integral member of the Student Services team.”

“Our students have benefitted greatly from the services provided by Menslink. The counselling services have provided very valuable support for boys who need it. Regular school counsellor allocations are not sufficient to provide support to everyone in need. Not once has a student refused ongoing support after the first session. A large number of male students have been supported to develop strategies and I have witnessed many develop resilience and overcome challenges with the support of Menslink. The wellbeing of a number of these students has been of great concern to school staff and/or their carers. There has been very noticeable improvements in the wellbeing of these students and this is in no small part due to the support from Menslink.  Parents are also full of praise for the impact that this service has had.”

To get Menslink out to your school, call us on 02 6287 2226 or contact us.

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