Men are significantly impacted by poor mental health. The leading research suggests this is in large part due to outdated systems of masculinity to which men are taught to subscribe. One in five boys likely to experience depression before they are 18 and suicide is the leading cause of death for young men under the age of 25, with three quarters of suicides committed by men. Further, over 90% of sexual abuse and 95% of domestic violence is committed by men. Supporting boys, specifically, to develop a positive and healthy masculinity and identity improves the lives of all genders, not just men.
Where are we failing our boys?
The research shows that boys and young men are more likely to benefit from programs and setting that are familiar, ‘male friendly’ and fundamentally non-judgmental. Such programs build on the strengths of young men, rather than focus on deficits.
We want to help boys and men to live happier, healthier and longer lives. We are investing in them to build the relationships they want and need, so they can stay mentally and physically well.
What about Girls?
At The Man Cave, we are often asked “what programs do you run for girls and young women?”
As suggested by our name, The Man Cave’s programs focus on the successful development of adolescent boys and young men by addressing the specific experiences and pressures faced by the majority of boys and young men in Australia.
We firmly believe that programs which empower girls and young women are hugely important and are best led by those who identify as women. If your school or community group would like to provide a simultaneous program for girls and young women please get in touch as we may be able to connect you with some incredible organisations currently supporting young women.
What are your facilitators’ qualifications?
Are they mental health experts?
These are important questions which we take seriously.
Our facilitators are experts in youth-work and facilitation, having delivered programs to over 50,000 young people across Australia and globally. They come from diverse professional backgrounds such as: teaching, coaching, psychology, facilitation and consulting. They represent a wide spectrum of the Australian male experience which gives them the necessary empathy, understanding and connection with our participants.
Each of our facilitators undergoes a rigorous certification and ongoing professional development program designed by some of Australia’s leading youth work experts. All of them are required to meet The Man Cave’s Integrity Indicators and each holds a valid Working With Children Check.
Our facilitators are not necessarily psychologists or counsellors and they do not provide professional mental health advice or professional support to participants during or in relation to our programs.
As an integral part of our programs, our facilitators refer students, teachers and community members to a wide range of free, 24/7, mental health services. Our facilitators also work in close partnership with relevant wellbeing and student services that may be available in a given school or community. We are always pursuing new and better ways to provide holistic support.
Finally, our curriculum and programs have been created in consultation with experts in mental health, education, youth work and gender, cultural and racial diversity. We regularly consult this group to ensure our programs meet the highest standards and are respectful of a wide range of sensitivities.
If you have any queries or comments about our facilitators, please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Operations, Joel Lazar at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you run programs in schools outside of Victoria or Australia?
We focus on impact over scale, and as we are based in Victoria, Australia, this is where we deliver the majority of our work. Having said that, if an opportunity is likely to clearly advance our goals with young men (and we have capacity), or is likely to create meaningful change to the conversation surrounding masculinity and young men, we would be interested in speaking further with you.
We also have a strong international reputation for delivering powerful keynote presentations and panel discussions and we will consider these opportunities on a case by case basis. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you are interested in discussing this further.
Do you deliver one-on-one workshops or counselling for young men?
No. We only run facilitated group workshops and camps through schools and sporting clubs, and do not provide one-on-one workshops, counselling or therapy. If a boy or young man you know would benefit from one-on-one counselling or therapy or needs extra private support, there are some useful resources and links to mental health support services here.
How do I help someone I know who is struggling with mental health challenges?
Head to Health is an excellent hub of resources and links to specialist and generalist service throughout Australia.
Also, the “Check In App” (which you can find on Google Play or the App Store) is an excellent resource created by beyondblue that gives simple and practical tools to support friends and family during difficult times.