It’s time we looked out for Dad
International Fathers’ Mental Health Day (IFMHD) is an annual global event first launched in 2016 which gives voice to issues unique to men as they transition to fatherhood—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.
- During International Fathers’ Mental Health Day on June 18th, the Centre for Perinatal Psychology is encouraging dads who are struggling to come forward and seek help.
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 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 18th, 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.
There are now five of us campaigning for IFMHD and you can see us on the US-based website Postpartum Support International, a key sponsor for the campaign. Centre for Perinatal Psychology is proud to be involved as the Australian representative, advocating for father’s mental health.
This year the day is acknowledged on June 18th 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
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 are dedicated to advocating for all members of the family and we believe dads mental health matters. Listen out, you might here us!
Centre for Perinatal Psychology is proud to have joined with some of our partner organisations to create four infographics to promote International Fathers’ Mental Health Day. Campaigns are strengthened with collaborative cooperation. We acknowledge and appreciate collaborating with COPE (Centre for Perinatal Excellence), Town Hall Dads, and the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) in promoting IFMHD and father’s mental health.
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