A study has found young men engaging with Menslink’s free counselling and mentoring services in the ACT region are experiencing long-term benefits.
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Canberra’s (UC) Centre for Applied Psychology, showed that young men’s lives and relationships continued to improve in the years after they received support from Menslink, highlighting the benefits of early intervention in areas such as mental health and family violence.
The study, conducted through interviews with former Menslink clients and carers, showed long-lasting benefits over time (on average 2.5 years), with 94% of participants reporting positive long-term changes, and 79% reporting improved relationships in the short-term and 52% in the long-term.
Lead researcher, Dr James Neill from UC, said impressive short-term benefits were not only maintained, but continued to improve during the follow-up period.
“This ongoing improvement is notable because, more commonly, immediate gains from brief interventions tend to dissipate in the longer-term. So, the evidence indicating that Menslink participants experience post-intervention growth, on top of very substantial short-term benefits, is particularly noteworthy. It appears that young guys engaged with Menslink become sufficiently empowered to make ongoing positive changes, independently, in their own lives.”
Menslink CEO, Martin Fisk, said the findings were important for the community. He said the goal of Menslink is to give young men a hand up, not a hand out.
“Provide early intervention supports that are there when the young guy needs it – at no cost and no fuss. Then provide them with the skills and techniques that they can continue to use in their lives as they develop into independent adults.”
“The capacity of Menslink to readily engage with young guys has always been a strength,” said Chair of the Menslink Board, Michael Battenally.
“To now see the long-term benefits to the young guy and his family affirmed by independent research is fantastic. Menslink will leverage this evidence in its strategic planning and build on the strength-based approaches we already take.”
Menslink is a not-for-profit program that provides free support services to young men and has been operating in the ACT since 2002. Menslink provides two main support services – counselling and mentoring – targeting young men who are experiencing or at risk of personal, family or school problems.
For more information about Menslink, visit menslink.org.au