Have you heard about our Healthy Young Men Program?

December 15, 2020

In 2017 approximately 75% of people who died by suicide were males.
Black Dog Institute

While visiting schools and the community, CatholicCare’s Central Coast Family Centre received repeated requests for a program for young men that would help them navigate relationships and help them to understand what respectful relationships look like, while promoting positive mental health.

Many young men on the Central Coast have been raised in homes where domestic and family abuse is prevalent. Many have continued the cycle of violence treating their partners in the same way that they witnessed when growing up. We refer to this as inter-generational transmission of domestic violence.

CatholicCare entered into a partnership with headspace to create and deliver a program for young men aged 13 – 18 years which supports the promotion of better mental health while learning about healthy relationships. The aim of the program is to work together to prevent domestic and family violence and prevent youth suicide on the Central Coast.

A significant risk factor for suicide in men under 30 is intimate partner violence. The creation of the Healthy Young Men program unpacks the pressures on young men today, and works with their perception of how they are seen as males in contemporary culture. The program has a focus on how to be an active bystander (someone who not only witnesses a situation, but takes steps to speak up or step in to keep a situation from escalating or to disrupt a problematic situation). The program also arms them with the strategies and language they need to be positive role models in our community.

The program has been delivered across six weeks in three schools to date and is also being delivered to Frank Baxter Detention Centre. Feedback from students include “I think all guys should do this”, “I’ve learnt a lot”, “This was really helpful, I now know how to speak up”.

Program co-creator and co-facilitator Danielle Habib says “These young men are given tools they can use everyday to support them in being the best men they can be, including mental health strategies, active bystander tools and how to challenge gender stereotypes”.

Fellow co-creator and co-facilitator Silas Pollard states “It has been a great opportunity during COVID-19 to work with young men in schools on important issues around mental health and healthy relationships”.


Image credit: @sammieeev on Unsplash


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