Campaign to highlight dads’ mental health issues

This month marks International Fathers Mental Health Day, which will be held on Monday 19 June to raise awareness of how dads might be feeling and to encourage better support

International Fathers Mental Health Day was founded last year by Mark Williams, who suffered panic attacks and postnatal depression following the traumatic birth of his son.

Mark felt he could not speak to anyone about his feelings and ultimately it led to a breakdown. Mark also experienced the difficulty of trying to support his wife Michelle who suffered severe postnatal depression.

It is estimated that at least 13 million fathers are suffering in silence each year.

This impacts hugely on families due to the lack of support and information.

While awareness of maternal mental health issues is growing, there has been less focus on the experiences of dads and Mark feels there is still a stigma attached to men admitting they have postnatal depression.

This makes them reluctant to seek help or talk to their friends and loved ones about it.

In 2011 he founded Fathers Reaching Out and has spoken around the world to raise awareness of perinatal mental health issues faced by fathers and to campaign for better support.

The aim is to make International Fathers Mental Health Day, which is being held the day after Fathers’ Day, a global day of awareness, education and resources to help parents who may be struggling.

More information

To read about International Fathers Mental Health Day and to hear Mark’s story, click here.

Find out more about dads and postnatal depression.