Why do you work with boys and young men?

Many men struggle with poor mental health, and many men and their communities are being harmed by outdated systems of masculinity we see all around us.

One in five boys are likely to experience depression before they are 18. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young men under the age of 25 and 3/4 of those suicides are completed by men. Further, over 90% of sexual abuse and 95% of family violence is committed by men.

Supporting boys, specifically, to develop a positive and healthy masculinity and identity gives men – and all genders – a better shot at life.

The research shows that boys and young men are more likely to benefit from programs and settings that are familiar, ‘male- friendly’ and fundamentally non-judgmental. Such programs build on the strengths of young men, rather than focus on deficits, and these are the pillars of our work.

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?

Our facilitators are not necessarily psychologists or counsellors. They do not provide professional mental health advice or diagnoses to participants during or after our programs.

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.

Our facilitators have undertaken child protection and child safety training conducted by the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, as well as an ongoing professional development program designed by some of Australia’s leading youth work experts. Every facilitator holds a valid Working With Children Check.

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.

If you have any queries or comments about our facilitators, please do not hesitate to contact hello@themancave.life.

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.

There may also be a local Headspace centre near you here.

How do I help someone I know who is struggling with mental health challenges?

ReachOut 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.

Do you work in Primary Schools?

No. The majority of our school-based programs are with young men in early- and mid-high school (years 7-10) and occasionally in upper high-school (Years 11-12).