We've never had more requests for help.
We're urgently raising money to provide critical support for boys at real risk. Please can you make a donation to our appeal today to provide more dedicated mentors to every boy who needs it?
Mental health issues are on the rise, as are social isolation, impacts on education and effects on family life.
Right now, so many boys within our neighbourhood are crying out for support. As they grow into the men of tomorrow, they need a solid support system around them - a proper role model they can trust. They are learning what's right or wrong and they need someone to walk with them.
Jonah says, "Some people may have someone to look up to, but for some it’s up to them, they have to do it all by themselves. I had to work out how to solve my own problems, I had to work out when I made a mistake."
It starts with just one conversation.
The numbers are scary. Suicide is the biggest killer of young males over the age of 15. 75% of all mental health disorders occur before the age of 24. And 90% of all young people in detention are male.
When we first met Jonah* he wasn’t in a good place. His parents had split up and without a father figure around, his older brothers did their best to lead him in a good direction. However, it wasn’t always easy and his older brother was now in jail. He didn’t know who to talk to about problems or feelings he was having and so he was beginning to get into trouble at school. Just like his brother had 5 years earlier.
Jonah joined our mentoring program where, over 6 months, we covered topics such as healthy relationships, mental health, anger management, masculinity, drugs, alcohol and online behaviours.
Importantly, we could start a conversation with him and give him the opportunity to share very personal and serious matters that are normally quite difficult to express.
Jonah’s doing better now. He is a confident and funny teenage boy, with lots of friends. His brother is out of jail and is in work. His parents have reconnected. His family feels strong again.
"The program made me feel like I could open up. My oldest brother just came out of jail and we opened up to each other about life in prison and outside of it. He was in there for quite a while. We are closer and he’s doing good now."
In a year like this, supportive and help-seeking behaviours and attitudes save lives. Our mentoring programs help boys to develop these skills and increase their resilience, empathy, and respect for self and others. In doing so, we work to reduce the rates of male suicides, poor mental health, and antisocial and risk-taking behaviours.