21 June 2021
It’s time we looked out for Dad
Centre for Perinatal Psychology is proud to be the Australasian representative to this Global Campaign for Dads’ Mental Health.
International Fathers’ Mental Health Day (IFMHD) is an annual global event first launched in 2016 which gives voice to issues unique to men and non-birthing partners as they transition to parenthood—their strengths, difficulties, and needs.
- 1 in 10 expecting or new dads experience perinatal anxiety or depression in Australia and 56% do not seek support.
- 43% of first-time dads believe postnatal depression and anxiety is a sign of weakness.
The father’s role has changed dramatically over the past few decades and today, dads are much more involved, both in the practicalities of parenting and in building their relationship with their child.
However, adjusting to fatherhood, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming. Dads who become the sole breadwinner need to balance the demands of continued work performance and supportive home life on reduced sleep.
Around 10% of fathers experience mental health problems in the first year, following the birth of their child and 57% of first-time fathers admit to significantly increased stress levels .
The causes of mental health problems, such as postnatal depression, are just as relevant for dads and non-birthing partners as they are for mums. However, men find it much harder to seek support for emotional problems, with 43% of first-time dads believing postnatal depression and anxiety is a sign of weakness.
The impact of mental illness for men can be catastrophic, with suicide being the biggest killer of men under 45 . New fathers are unlikely to seek help, with over half (56%) not seeking support during stressful times. Since men are three times more likely to take their own lives , it’s essential that dads who feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed seek help.
During International Fathers’ Mental Health Day on June 21st 2021, the Centre for Perinatal Psychology is encouraging dads who may be struggling to come forward and seek help.
About International Father’s Mental Health Day
Founded in 2016 by Mark Williams (a lived experience advocate based in Wales, UK) and Dr Daniel Singley (a psychologist in San Diego, California) to raise awareness globally about the need to get better support for dads.
The international committee now numbers eight and we have numerous Global Partners. The US-based Postpartum Support International is a key sponsor for the campaign. Please contact us if you would like to join as a Global Partner. Centre for Perinatal Psychology is proud to be involved as the Australasian representative, advocating for father’s mental health.
This year the day is acknowledged on June 21st 2021 and throughout the day, there will be a series of blogs, stories, press releases and resources shared by charities, support groups, health professionals, and families who have experienced the impact of poor mental health in fathers. #DadsMHDay
In 2018, Centre for Perinatal Psychology engaged in multiple radio interviews across Australia to promote International Fathers’ Mental Health Day, both in the lead up to the day, with more on the day. We reached almost 15 million listeners via 148 syndicated radio items. We are dedicated to advocating for all members of the family and we believe dads mental health matters.
Centre for Perinatal Psychology is proud to develop a series of infographics to promote International Fathers’ Mental Health Day. Campaigns are strengthened with collaborative cooperation. We acknowledge and appreciate collaborating with so many Global Partners, including:
Postpartum Stress International
The International Marce Society
Father’s Reaching Out – UK
The Center for Men’s Excellence – USA
Bournemouth University – UK
University College Cork – Ireland
Society for Pre and Postnatal Services (SPANS) – Africa
Gidget Foundation Australia
PANDA – Australia
COPE – Australia
Town Hall Dads – Australia
Parent-Infant Research Institute – Australia
Becoming Us – Australia
Australian Birth Trauma Association
Peach Tree Perinatal Wellness – Australia
Karitane – Australia
The Father Hood – Australia
Healthy Male – Australia
PADA – New Zealand
Little Shadow – New Zealand
Perinatal Mental Health Coalition Canada
Maternal Mental Health Progress in Canada
We encourage the sharing of these infographics on social media – join with us on this campaign to promote the mental health of fathers through the perinatal period.
Patton GC, Coffey C, Posterino M, Carlin JB, Bowes G: Life events and early onset depression: cause or consequence? Psychological Medicine 2003, 33(7):1203-1210