The first ever International Fathers’ Mental Health Day willtake place on Monday 20th June 2016 to raise awareness of postnatal depression(PND), antenatal anxiety and childbirth trauma experienced by men.
Mark Williams from South Wales – who experienced all three mentalillnesses after becoming a father and subsequently founded ‘Fathers ReachingOut’ and ‘Reaching Out Positive Mental Health’ – explains: “Fathers aswell as mothers can experience mental illness at what should be one of life’shappiest times so it’s important to ensure that men talk about their feelingsand recognise the symptoms as the quicker the help, the quicker the recovery.
“Health professionals also need to ensure that dadsare given permission to open up about their feelings so they can stay healthyand support mums.”
Since working full time in the field, Mark has found that atleast 1 in 10 fathers experience from Postnatal Depression (PND), but that menare not mentioned in the NICE guidelines relating to the perinatal period andoften fall through the early prevention services net.
Mark says: “I’ve spoken to fathers with bipolar,schizophrenia, clinical depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesseswho have no support plan in place at this crucial time. We must bringeverything together as if one piece of the jigsaw doesn’t fit, things canquickly go terribly wrong.”
To support International Fathers’ Mental Health Day, share yourthoughts and experiences using #IntFathersMHday
For more information please visit www.reachingoutpmh.co.uk