No boy should be left behind in the dark.
You can help transform the life of a young man like James today.
Join us in supporting the Top Blokes Mentoring Program and help us provide crucial support to boys who have experienced neglect, abuse and trauma.
With your tax-deductible donation, we can make a positive impact on the mental health and well-being of young men and help them build a brighter future.
"If I didn't do Top Blokes, I could see myself dead in 12 months, whether from suicide or a drug overdose." - James*, 15
Watch Adam (James' mentor) share his story, or read James' story here.
15-year-old James has been through what most young boys never have to face.
Trigger warning: mental health issues, drug use and suicide.
Growing up, his mum struggled with depression and drug use. His father was never around. His mum's struggles meant James was the victim of her frustration. He was often abused and neglected, even being refused medical attention when he needed it.
With no one to care for him, James felt abandoned and alone. His mental health worsened, but no one was around to help.
As his loneliness and depression grew, James desperately sought ways to stop the pain. He began self-harming, and when that didn’t help, he turned to the one thing he’d been surrounded by all his life. The one thing that he’d seen others numb their pain with. Drugs.
He tried smoking and vaping. He soon started using cannabis, and then turned to illegal pills. He almost overdosed.
James' dark descent into addiction grew quicker. He started using hallucinogens, cocaine and speed. He was losing himself to the darkness of depression and drugs.
Then, he joined the Top Blokes Mentoring Program.
For the first time, James had mentors to shine a light on a path to a better life. With their guidance, he learned more and more about himself, his mental health and how to build a support network. He quit drugs and has been sober for seven months. His mental health has improved drastically. Even his school attendance and academic performance have improved.
James says, “Top Blokes is the biggest part of my story. If I didn’t do Top Blokes, I could see myself dead in 12 months, whether from suicide or a drug overdose. Now I don’t do drugs and I don’t feel suicidal. I haven’t felt this good in a very long time."
Thanks to wonderful supporters like you, James got the lifesaving support he needed.
JAMES WAS ALONE AND WITHOUT HOPE.
As his mental health deteriorated, James became increasingly worried that he couldn't pull himself out of the darkness.
"Normally, I would go home from school and take drugs because my mental health was suffering," James says.
On top of his worsening addiction, 15-year-old James was trying to overcome suicidal thoughts. But he had no one around that he could talk to. No one to guide him through the toughest time of his life.
Suicide is the biggest killer of young men aged 15-24. It can take a single conversation with someone who truly cares to change a young man's life for the better.
When James met his Top Blokes mentors, his life changed.
"Before Top Blokes, I would never talk to anyone about how my mental health was suffering. Not professionals, friends or family," James says. "From the first Top Blokes workshop, and learning how drugs can ruin mental health, I made the decision to stop. As soon as I quit drugs, my mental health improved straight away."
Thanks to people like you, James received the support he needed and has been able to turn his life around.
YOUNG MEN NEED OUR HELP.
It's not just James. Young male health is a significant issue in every community. Of any demographic group, young men have the lowest rates of help-seeking. Yet, young males themselves tell us that alcohol and illicit drug use by their peers are on the increase, as are mental health issues, including depression and suicidal thoughts.
"I've had to go to funerals of my friends who have suicided. Everyone should be happy. No one deserves to feel down," James says.
Top Blokes Foundation's specialised mentoring programs are designed specifically to engage boys and young men. Delivered in schools over 6 months, qualified youth workers mentor young men to learn and build positive habits around topics like mental health, drugs and alcohol, risk-taking, and more. These long-term programs provide a safe space for boys like James to seek help, be heard, and develop the skills to live a healthy life.
"Getting advice from my mentor really helped me," says James. "I've now been sober for seven months. I've had urges to do it, but I feel confident to overcome the feeling."
We currently have a waiting list of schools and boys we can't get to, simply because we don't have the funding.
Your generous donation can help us finally connect with a boy who needs our help right now.
JAMES HAS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE.
At the beginning of the 6-month program, his Top Blokes mentor, Adam could see that James was struggling. Adam recalls, "From the first time I met James, I could see he was in a dark space. He couldn't look me in the eyes. He looked tired...but I could tell he was desperate to turn his life around."
Week after week, James' mentors provided a safe space for him to learn and develop skills around his mental health and help him overcome his drug use. His mentors helped him realise that it's okay to open up and seek help. "I'm more confident in reaching out for help when I need it," says James.
His experience with the Top Blokes program has helped him realise how much he wants to help other young men like him who are struggling with their mental health.
"I hope I can help others by simply sharing my story."
Top Blokes helped James take control of his life. He now looks forward to a brighter future. "When thinking about my mental health, I think about it this way: one tree makes a million matches, but one match can burn a million trees. Don't let one incident - one match - burn all your trees down."
can help a young man connect with a mentor to overcome his trauma
can give 2 boys a support system to help them through their darkest days
can help a group of boys open up to a trusted and experienced mentor
*Names have been changed to protect the identities of the people involved.
If you'd like to talk to someone about the issues described above, please don't hesitate to call:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
If you believe someone is in immediate danger, call Police on 000.