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Two young men’s strong bond, in good times and bad

By SHINE for Kids team member Tanya Macfie

I received a referral to Stand as One for a young man, Mason*, from Frank Baxter Youth Justice Centre requesting mentoring support to assist him to transition to the community on release.

Mason has spent most of his adolescence going between out-of-home care and custody and sadly is estranged from his family. He has also been diagnosed with complex PTSD, anxiety and depression.

Mason finds it difficult to maintain positive relationships and while he said he would like a mentor and needed the support, he was also anxious to meet someone new one-on-one.

After deliberations with staff at Frank Baxter, it was decided that I would sit with Mason during his first mentor visit to help ease his anxiety.

Mason was matched with mentor Peter* (pictured), also a young man, and Peter’s skills (he is studying for a Bachelor of Psychological Science) and calm, friendly disposition have made him a great fit for Mason.

Their first meeting went well and Mason was less anxious with my support. The two hit it off and talked about many things, discovering they shared an interest in trail bike riding and mechanics.

Mason was incredibly nervous to meet Peter alone for his next visit, but went ahead with it anyway and was super proud of himself afterwards.

After several more meetings, eventually, the time came for Mason to be released and the two met up for the first time in the community for lunch.

Peter helped Mason update his resume and apply for a few jobs and said Mason looked well and seemed more at ease.

Unfortunately, Mason reoffended and returned to custody.

Upon hearing this news, Peter made sure that he had a visit booked as soon as possible as he wanted Mason to know that he would not judge him or give up on him.

When Mason was transferred to Riverina Youth Justice Centre, the first thing he did was call Peter.

It is pretty clear to see they have built a solid rapport and a sound foundation of trust through the consistency of contact.

Peter said, “Now that trust has been built … I’d like to be of assistance and guidance to Mason … As a mentor, I want to see the best possible outcomes for him.

It has been great to strengthen our relationship and give him an outlet of someone to talk to regularly … moving forward I’d like to support Mason to flourish where I can.”

Peter and Mason continue to meet weekly and work on short and longer-term goals.

It’s wonderful to see the positive impact a mentor is having in this young person’s life.

 

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Two young men’s strong bond, in good times and bad

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