Maitland’s Top Blokes championing Mens Health

June 14, 2022 | IN Media Release and News | BY AVID | 3 min read

Top Blokes Foundation together with Waterford by AVID Property Group (AVID) are joining forces to champion and promote Men’s Health Week (13-19 June) to help create a safe and supportive place for young men in the local community.

Top Blokes Foundation is one of the 2021 Waterford Community Grant recipients, with funding enabling them to offer a professional Mentoring Program for high school students with the purpose of providing mental health support for young men.

Working with primary and high schools to provide a mentoring program, Top Blokes Foundation Managing Director Melissa Abu-Gazaleh said the foundation delivers evidence-based social education and support as well as strategies and solutions for challenges that young men typically face.

“Suicide is still the leading killer of young men in Australia and Men’s Health Week is all about building healthy environments for these boys with mental health being an important part in this equation,” said Ms Abu-Gazaleh.

“We want to see a world with less suicide, domestic violence and addiction to alcohol and drugs, and the support of Waterford has allowed us to deliver a mentoring program to the young men of Francis James High School.

“This Waterford funded program enabled two Top Blokes mentors to visit 10 students on a weekly basis for six-months, running workshops on a range of topics from addiction and mental health to healthy relationships, masculinity and anger management.

Top Blokes Foundation has seen strong evidence that boys respond positively to the program, improve mental health, critique the traditional concept of masculinity and become leaders and ambassadors in their schools and communities.

“An independent study found boys who have a Top Blokes mentor improve four times in their outlook to life, their social connection and their mental health compared to those who don’t – we are preventative and it’s important to get to our boys before it’s too late.

“Many students at the schools we work with do live in or nearby the Waterford community, so it’s a real pleasure to have this working relationship with AVID that allows these young men to develop leadership skills and be advocates for something they believe in.”

AVID Project Director New South Wales Nathan Huon said the Waterford team was very passionate about showing their support for Top Blokes Foundation and providing meaningful and engaging opportunities for the local community.

“It’s well known that there is still a lot of social stigma around men’s health and how they should deal with health issues which is why we’re really proud to support Top Blokes Foundation and the meaningful work they’re doing,” said Mr Huon.

“With so many families with school-age children living at Waterford, our working relationship with Top Blokes Foundation is just another way we can create a supportive community here.

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing Top Blokes Foundation grow and continue to be active in the Maitland community, and of course to continue to work closely with them.”

For crisis support or suicide intervention services, contact Lifeline‘s 24-hour crisis line on: 13 11 14.

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