New mentoring program supports men for “Life”
Mentoring Men, a new one-on-one mentoring program designed to address the biggest gap in mentoring programs, a program dedicated to adult men, was launched this month.
Local Hornsby Shire resident and founder of Mentoring Men, Ian Westmoreland said the idea stemmed from a personal experience of searching for a mentoring program for adult men.
“As men, we put up a façade that starts in high school and continues throughout our lives. This is why individual mentoring is important - men are far more likely to open up and share the deep, tough stuff in a trusted one-on-one mentoring relationship compared to a group environment,” Mr Westmoreland said.
It’s a program much in need, especially now with preliminary data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics last month showing Australia’s suicide rate increased by 9.1 per cent in 12 months.
“Conformity to traditional masculine norms has been shown to be associated with suicidal thinking. Studies also show men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. This increases to over 12 times when men are going through a relationship separation,” Mr Westmoreland said.
“With a life mentor you can openly talk about any subject without fear of judgement, something which I have benefited from personally,” he said.
Mentoring men Ambassador Julian Leeser MP, Federal Member for Berowra, is a strong supporter of community-level programs.
“We know that social isolation is a contributor to poor mental health, particularly for men.
Having a structured program focussed on goal-setting and personal development will help build confidence and self-esteem. The combination of mentoring and mateship is a powerful mechanism to engage and support men through some of life’s challenges,” said Mr Leeser.
Mentoring Men are currently seeking mentors and mentees to be part of the initial six-month trial. For more information visit www.mentoringmen. org.au.
Dieter Monch, Ian Westmoreland, Julian Leeser and Aaron Harvey