For the past 30 years women have had permission (to ask for help), but men have not.
Counselling and education service Manline says men make up 50 per cent of the population, but as a general rule are not funded.

The agency has been working in the Manawatū for 35 years and has produced The Blokes' Book with 50 pages of contacts for men to seek help before they reach crisis point.

Manline manager Ray Jermyn said men avoided talking to anyone around their relationships, and prostate health.

Clinical manager Phil Straker has been working with men for 30 years and says the reason men avoid seeking help is the way they've been brought up.

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"For the past 30 years women have had permission (to ask for help), but men have not."
Palmerston North City Council has funded the agency for the past three years.

Before that, men were seen for free at Manline.

Straker said they help all men with any issue who walk through the door from age 13 upwards.

"The risks are still the same across the demographics.

He added that a sense of community was destroyed in the 80s and we need to build resiliency in kids, not wrap them in cotton wool.

Straker and Jermyn said they talked about The Bloke's Book over three years and developed the resource with Wellington organisations, Stuart at Kidz need Dadz Trust and Peter at Father&Child Trust. Massey University year 4 social work students Sam Dent and Zachary Wenman started the networking connections with Palmerston North agencies.

"We used Zac and Sam's research to champion the need for the book," said Straker.

Download an online pdf of The Blokes' Book: www.manline.co.nz/information or for a free hard copy, info@manline.co.nz, Hancock House, 77-85 King St.

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