Today is International Father’s Mental Health Day – 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 a 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 and 56% do not seek support.

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.

43% of first-time dads believe postnatal depression and anxiety is a sign of weakness.

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 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 [3], it’s essential that dads who feel overwhelmed, anxious or depressed seek help.

During International Fathers’ Mental Health Day on June 22nd 2020, State of Mind are 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.