Unity Water and Noosa Council have partnered with Youturn to launch Fishin’ Mates, a program that will be delivered on the Noosa-Sunshine Coast waterways for young men to get outdoors and try fishing to reduce stress, connect to other people and with nature.
Prompted by the low level of help-seeking by men and a higher incidence of psychological distress and male suicide, Fishin’ Mates is an alternative mental wellness activity just for young men providing a less formal outdoor option for youth support explains Nicholas Fawcett, Youturn’s General Manager Clinical Services.
“This psychosocial activity is tailored for young men who enjoy action, outdoors, casual conversation and mateship and may feel less inclined to take up traditional psychological supports,” Nicholas Fawcett said.
“One third of young people report high or very high levels of distress, and particularly among 15–17-year-old young men at 29%, yet males are low level users of clinical services (National Youth Mental Health 2020)
“Fishin’ Mates offers a safe space to connect and feel good, unwind, relax and escape pressure, as well as possible “soft entry” to other youth supports down the track if needed,” he said.
Meeting once a week, the participants will meet to connect to both peer mentors and elder mentors drawing on life experience to share skills, knowledge and/or a story about their journey to mental health – honest easy-going conversation.
Overtime, it is hoped participants will be empowered to talk about their own struggles whether to their own personal networks, youth worker or peer(s) in the group, or if they feel ready a headspace Psychologist (a Youturn run service) explains Youturn Engagement Manager, Susan Beaton.
“Research and anecdotal reports tell us people who fish report benefits of relaxation and stress relief, and the activity contributes to a positive state of mind, so this is our main goal,” Susan Beaton said.
“For those young men without a family member to introduce them to the value of fishing, Fishin’ Mates will enable access, and build confidence, networks and awareness of how to ask for help when you need it, as all of us need to do from time to time,” she said.
Youturn’s Fishin’ Mates commences late July sponsored by Unity Water and Noosa Council, as well as equipment support by Tackle World, and volunteer support from men across our community wanting to give-back to the cause of men’s mental health and wellness.
If you would like to get involved in Fishin’ Mates please contact us on 07 5442 4277.