All posts in: News

Menslink’s Silence is Deadly campaign is back for another year with a new attitude and a strong focus on measuring the positive impact the program and Menslink has on young guys.

Following the campaign’s success in 2016, Menslink will be bringing the Silence is Deadly program to more kids at more schools in Canberra. With over 50 schools now involved, Menslink is hoping to extend the Silence is Deadly presentations down to Years 5 and 6 in the second semester of 2017.

The updated campaign includes revitalised merchandise, a refreshed brand, new faces, and a ‘talk about anything’ video between raiders players and young menslink mentees which will be shown throughout schools and at Raiders games. Most importantly the refresh includes a change in language which will help young blokes tackle mental health head on.

Menslink wants to see young blokes working on their ‘Mental Fitness’ in the same way they would their physical fitness, by developing special tactics and skills that can help when rough patches emerge.

Michael Aichholzer, Education Program Coordinator at Menslink, said that ‘this change in language is being integrated into the campaign with an aim to make asking for help about mental illness as straightforward as a young guy asking his old man for a hand fixing the car, or asking a mate for his best footy tip.’

‘Menslink wants to remove the stigma around mental illness by normalising it with young guys that are asking for advice with a personal or emotional problem or trauma.’

Evaluation of this year’s program will also be undertaken, with Michael stating that the impact of the Silence is Deadly messaging will be ‘tested more rigorously this year,’ as Menslink teams up with ANU to conduct a research project based on measuring outcomes and change making results of the program.

With around 800 students taking part in the survey, ANU’s research will aim to prove that the Menslink Silence is Deadly program ‘has a positive impact in many ways to the young fellows we have spoken to.’


In 2016, our Silence Is Deadly program will see the Raiders join us to Talk about Talking with
lots of young men in High Schools and Colleges in and around the Canberra region.
We will be focusing on the ‘how’ – How can I get some advice and how can I help a mate.
How do I start ” that” conversation when something is really worrying or upsetting me or
maybe worrying or upsetting one of my mates?
  • Who can I turn to when I need to talk to someone about my own problems?
  • How can I help a mate out who is struggling?
  • Who can I trust and share my thoughts with?
  • What options do I have?
  • Who can help me and will they even care?

Don’t make excuses and start a conversation today. Don’t wait till it’s too late.  If you don’t tell someone – how can they help you?

Don’t just stand there, ask a mate if they’re okay and do they want to talk.

If a mate asks ‘are you ok?’ Tell the truth, it might be easier than you think. Ask for help if you need it – even big strong footballers have a teddy bear inside that needs some extra help at times.

Through our partnership with the Raiders,  we have built some heartfelt videos with the guys outlining some of their personal experiences and what they’ve learned the hard way so they can give some practical advice to the next generation of young men. View the videos here.

We all have times when our problems seem too big for just us to deal with – and 1 in 4 young men will suffer from depression & anxiety – so why not reach out?




Announcing our new campaign message for 2015. This year we will be focusing on the ‘how’ – how can I help my mate? How can I help myself? How do I start that conversation?

Team up. Help a mate. Be a mate.

Don’t just stand there, ask a mate if they’re okay and want to talk.
If a mate asks ‘are you ok?’ Tell the truth, it might be easier than you think. Ask for help if you need it.
Don’t make excuses and start a conversation today. Don’t wait till it’s too late.

Through our partnership with Brumbies Rugby, we will be working on some heartfelt videos full of their personal experiences and advice for the next generation of young men. When the time comes, you’ll be able to view the videos on our YouTube channel here.




Menslink CEO Martin Fisk accepts the award

We are very excited to announce that we have been named the winner of the Education category in ACT Partners in Prevention Award in 2014. Presented yesterday, the award recognises our ongoing commitment to changing attitudes and behaviours to create a community where people – especially young men in our case – feel safe.

The Awards recognise the contribution of best practice in strategies and activities that create awareness of gendered violence and /or work to prevent violence and sexual assault against women and children in the ACT.

Other award winners were:

  • YWCA of Canberra for their program Relationship Things which is a primary prevention program that provides young people with the skills and knowledge to recognise and behave with respect in their relationships.
  • Adrienne Frances , ABC journalist for her commitment  to raising awareness of the impact of violence against women and children in the ACT through three different programs aired on the 7:30 report.

Find out more about the awards here.

Last week, Menslink was the 2014 recipient of the “Little Feet Big Steps” award from the ACT Council of Social Services and bankmecu. This award recognises a small organisation that is taking big leaps in the provision of service delivery to Canberrans experiencing disadvantage.

Dr Tom Calma AO, Chancellor of the University of Canberra, together with bankmecu Senior Relationship Manager Jo O’Sullivan, present the award to Menslink CEO Martin Fisk

With only six permanent staff (four of them full-time), Menslink is a small organisation by any one’s standards. Yet with a tiny crew and a small budget, they have managed to make a tremendous impact amongst young men and their families across the ACT and region.

This year alone, they will deliver some fifty Silence is Deadly sessions to around nine thousand students. Together with the Brumbies they’re making a real difference to young guys across Canberra.

Our two counsellors will provide over a thousand counselling sessions to nearly five hundred young men aged from twelve through to twenty five. They see young guys in ten schools across Canberra, as well as making weekly visits to see young detainees in AMC Detention Centre (where the male:female prisoner ratio is a staggering 24:1).

And finally our team of dedicated volunteer mentors provide guidance, support and friendship to nearly fifty young teenage guys – young men who might be socially isolated, in need of a positive role model and who mostly come from single mum households.

This award is a recognition of the fantastic work performed by our dedicated staff and volunteers, and the financial support provided by our sponsors. Little feet, big steps indeed.

Got 30 secs to hear why Silence is Deadly?  We got 6 raiders and 6 young guys to tell the story…

We sat down with the Canberra Raiders in their training gym at HQ in Bruce and asked them tough questions about why Silence is Deadly.

In this highlights video you hear in under five mins how even professional sportspeople need to Man Up! and get their teams together.

The Silence is Deadly campaign was launched at Belconnen High School on December 5, 2012. It is run by Menslink, in partnership with the Canberra Raiders and funded by the ACT Government. The campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help amongst young men.

With the new school year well under way – Menslink is taking the first Silence is Deadly presentation to Kambah to share the message with students from Namadgi School.  We’ll post pics and stories here after the event.

In the meantime, check out this great anti-bullying video from poet Shane Koyczan:

So what do you get when you put eight Raiders in a Gym, point two cameras at them and ask them a lot of tough questions about why guys don’t talk about their problems?

The answer is a revealing insight into how even tough guys like professional footballers need to have a strong support team of friends and family around them to get through life.

You can watch the video here and make sure you hang around right to the end, that’s where the best bits always are right?