As we enter November, we shine the spotlight on dads. This is typically when mental health awareness for men is raised via the Movember campaign where men grow out their moustaches or by individuals speaking out. Chuck Bruce from the Mental Health Commission of Canada says this:
‘At the MHCC, we have long advocated for increased awareness of the unique mental health realities faced by men, who are less likely to recognize, talk about, and seek treatment for their illness. In the throes of a global pandemic, the need to support men’s mental health and promote resiliency has never been greater.’ – Chuck Bruce
This year has been a trying year for many parents the world over, and many of us have experienced feelings of anxiety and depression. This is true for pregnant women, new parents, moms and dads. In this post, we would like to highlight some resources that dads can take advantage of:
Dads’ Mental Health Blog Series, via DrDawnKingston.com:
- Powerful Reasons Why Caring for a Dad’s Mental Health is Important
‘Despite the spotlight being primarily on mothers, research from McGill University tells us: “… a significant number of first-time expectant fathers experience depression during their partner’s pregnancy.”’
- Urgent Signs of Depression to Watch for in New Fathers
‘Did you know up to 1-10 new dads struggle with depression after their child is born?’
- Helping New Dads Suffering from Anxiety and Depression
A list of basic tips for dads, if dads are feeling low or if dads are showing signs of anxiety, and if dads are showing prolonged signs of anxiety/depression.
- 10 Tips to Keep Romance Alive on the Parenting Pathway
A support system built on trust with partners, family and friends play an important role in maternal mental health. That in turn affects the future health of your child and family. While much has been said on postpartum depression in moms and we are playing our part in addressing prenatal anxiety and depression, the emotional wellbeing of one of these key supports – the dads – is vital to healthy families.
Organizations That Support Dads
- Canadian Centre for Men and Families
Programs and services across Canada to provide health and wellbeing support to boys, men, fathers and families. ‘The Centre is an open, inclusive and safe space, providing therapy and counselling, peer support, a legal clinic, fathering programs, mentorship and support services for male victims of trauma and violence. We provide services, research, advocacy, outreach and public education on all aspects of men’s issues.’ Find your centre here.
- Dad Central
A Canadian based resource for dads and for those who work with dads. ‘For over 20 years, we’ve supported and engaged dads, trained dads, written for dads, and are dads ourselves.’
- Fathers Mental Health
A Toronto based resource for dads from Mount Sinai Hospital with information for both new and seasoned dads.
- Dads in Gear
A Vancouver based resource by the University of British Columbia for ‘men who want to be involved, healthy and smoke free dads’.
An American based resource that supports men who are uncomfortable with emotional health matters. Tackles topics such as anger, suicidal thoughts, parenthood, stress, substance abuse and more. Resources include stories from other men and link to a lifeline. Watch the introductory video here.
- Australian Men’s Shed Association
An Australian based organization that supports men’s health, provide practical skills and ‘prioritises the wellbeing of all men valuing the role that Men’s Sheds play in the prevention of social isolation by providing a safe, friendly and welcoming place for men to work on meaningful projects and to contribute to the wider community.’
- Men Therapy.org.au
Australia’s Beyond Blue’s initiative for men. More resources for men, by men. Facts, tips for caring for yourself, caring for friends, stories and Dad Advice from other dads. ‘Men are known for bottling things up. But when you’re feeling down, taking action to call in extra support is the responsible thing to do.’
- PANDA Australia – Perinatal Anxiety and Depression in Men Fact Sheet:
‘Up to 1 in 10 new dads struggle with postnatal depression.’
- PANDA Australia:
Information on experiencing perinatal anxiety and depression in dads.
- How is Dad Going?:
Mental health support for new and existing dads.
Stories from Dads
- Dad Advice
Australia’s Beyond Blue’s initiative where ‘Dads share stories and tips on how a baby has changed their life. Take the ‘dad stress test’ offered on this page.
- Recovery Stories
‘New dads share their experience with postnatal anxiety and depression.’ A PANDA Australia initiative.
Continually Updated Resources
- Follow our Love + Relationships Pinterest board for more resources and stories on dads’ mental health.
- Visit our Resources page for mental health resources for both moms and dads. Includes links to crisis centers and helplines.
- Visit our COVID-19 Mental Health Resources page for pandemic support.
Getting help as a new dad is nothing to be ashamed of. The sooner you or your partner gets help, the sooner you can recover. One barrier to getting help is stigma, so people struggling may work hard at hiding how they really feel.
With increased awareness on the effects of mental health struggles in both women and men when transitioning into parenthood, more people are becoming aware of the strain and long-term effects of untreated anxiety and depression in the family. Many parents have received help and gone on to enjoy each other and their baby. Reach out for help. Recovery is possible.