The Dads and Football project report by the Mental Health Foundation, released today on Friday 19th November to mark International Men’s Day, finds very little support available for new Dads as they face the challenges that entering fatherhood brings.
Dads and Football, a 2-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust, in partnership with Cardiff City Football Club Community Foundation and Cardiff University’s National Centre for Mental Health, was created to support new Dads in response to the inadequate provision that is currently available.
Initially taking the format of 5-a side football, bringing Dads together through their love of ‘the beautiful game’ – the football games were quashed due to the pandemic and quickly replaced by online peer support sessions. Dads and players from Cardiff City including Will Vaulks, (an expectant Dad at the time), joined the groups to discuss how the life change had impacted them. 91 Dads were also consulted on their views through an online survey.
The survey conducted through the Dads and Football project found that 70% of Dads want more information on what to expect when becoming a Dad. In response to the need expressed by Dads, the Foundation teamed up with the Fatherhood Institute to create ‘Becoming Dad’, a useful guide for new dads containing the most up-to-date research and information, lots of practical tips, advice and signposts to many organisations that can help when various issues arise.
The ‘Becoming Dad’ guide is free and can be downloaded here.