Because Dads matter too…
Men, husbands, and partners are sometimes overlooked when providing support and information on mental health issues. International Fathers’ Mental Health Day was founded by paternal postpartum depression survivor Mark Williams and fatherhood mental health expert Dr Daniel Singley. Each year, the day after Father’s Day is taken to raise awareness highlighting key aspects of fathers’ mental health. Research suggests that the risk factors, and impact, of perinatal mental health are reduced when mums have a supportive partner. However, fathers can develop ‘perinatal mental health’ problems and there is often little guidance available for men to understand the causes, risk factors, treatments and prognosis of perinatal mental illness, quite apart from what support they can provide.
So many of us are socialised to think of men as providers of support during the perinatal period and early parenthood. Today, a wealth of research indicates 10% of new dads experience paternal postpartum depression raising to 50% when mum is suffering low mood and depression. Men need the support of their own. However, the stigma against mental health difficulties in early parenthood is even higher for men than for women. Society views men as strong and stoic. When men feel concerned and challenged as new fathers, they are often nervous about reaching out for help.
The right support can shine a light on best practices and related resources for dads, their partners, and those who support them.
DADS ONLINE – #dadsMHday
Twitter: IFMHD on Twitter @dadsmhday
Visit PSI’s father-specific resources
PSI Dad’s Monthly Chat with an Expert, facilitated by Danny Singley
Dad’s Twitter Chat facilitated by Mark Williams, #dadsMHhour, weekly Mondays 3 pm Eastern Time