Values Statement


NOTE: The following Values Statement defines the MENDS standing on the listed issues, to which you can move quickly via hyperlinks:


* Personal Responsibility


* Personal Consciousness


* Marriage and Commitment to Relationships


* The Significance of Parental Relations for Healthy Child Development


* Men in a Changing World


* MENDS as a Men's Only Program


* Healthy Men and Community


* Conflict and Its Resolution


* Anger, Violence and Safety


* Diversity


MENDS programs are designed around, and the organisation aims always to function upon, the following values.


We commit to living these values in all our dealings.


We invite challenge, if at any point an observer feels that a gap exists between the following and what is observed as our behaviour:



Personal Responsibility


Understanding where one's personal responsibility starts and ends - and accepting what is outside one's personal sphere of control or influence - is held to be the only viable foundation for being humanly effective.



Personal Consciousness


The commitment to being alert and present enables informed decisions based on personal, interpersonal, situational and timing needs.



Marriage and Commitment to Relationship


We maintain that one of the most effective places to discover one's self and therefore identify a foundation for satisfying personal development is within the intimacy of a close, personal, and where achievable, long-lasting relationship.



Termination of Significant Relationships


Significant relationships are built on significant investment of love, time, work and money. The termination of such relationships by either party usually follows much soul-searching and disillusionment. We hold that termination, especially where children are involved, ideally should be an action of last resort in which all avenues of preserving the relationship have been explored. However, it is recognised that, for one reason or another, this is often not the case.


MENDS regards a safe, healthy family environment as the preferred environment for raising children. There are various types of "family". The separated family, through the best efforts of both parents, may still provide children with the framework for healthy development.



The Significance of Parental Relations for Healthy Child Development


MENDS maintains that both natural parents hold particular significance for the development of healthy self-esteem for their children which stewardship does not alter following parental relationship breakdown.


MENDS does all in its power to encourage parents to resolve their differences and to deal with each other civilly in the interests of the health and wellbeing of their children.



Men in a Changing World


The influence of most feminist thinking is acknowledged as predominantly a healthy step in human development and one involving change which may take time for both genders to fully integrate. MENDS believes Australian men can benefit through becoming more aware of the roles they have unconsciously adopted in a changing world.


Men and healthy masculinity have much of value to offer community and humanity.



MENDS as a Men's-Only Program


MENDS has been designed as a men's program run by men, not because there is any design to exclude women per se, but to accelerate the healing of men. Further, as men can gain skills and confidence in differentiating between sexuality and intimacy, they can have richer relationships with other men, thereby reducing the tendency to rush into other relationships with women for less than healthy reasons. The program acknowledges that men who are excessively reliant upon women are in no state to be in a healthy relationship. Indeed, after separation and divorce, it is often wise for a man to avoid repartnering for a period of time in order to concentrate on his own manhood and personal development.



Healthy Men and Community


MENDS believes the human race is primarily social in nature and therefore the movement away from community is seen as unhealthy for men individually and for society as a whole. We encourage men to make the effort to connect or reconnect with other men and women in community in many spheres of human endeavour, including accepting responsibility and being pro-active in solving many of our shared problems.



Conflict and its Resolution


Conflict and anger are not seen as bad in themselves; indeed they are seen as providing much of the energy to effect change. Their healthy expression is maintained to be necessary, in creating fairer and more honest interpersonal and social outcomes.



Anger, Violence and Safety


MENDS operates on the explicit belief that anger is one of the basic human emotions whose denial and suppression is unhealthy, but that its expression as violence is unacceptable and destructive. We promote men's development of emotional literacy, including the ability to identify the development of frustration and anger early and to deal with high-risk emotional states in a personally and socially responsible manner.





MENDS programs are developed and delivered to make them accessible in every way possible to men experiencing difficulty after relationship breakdown. It is acknowledged that relationship breakdown is not exclusive to men of dominant community groups, so within the financial restrictions imposed by the delivery of a new service, MENDS commits to maximum accessibility of the program to men regardless of their physical or financial constraints, religious beliefs, cultural or ethnic roots, sexual preference, age or locality.

©2010 MENDS