It's International Father's Mental Health Day

It's International Father's Mental Health Day

Published by Maria Greenwood at 8:40am 22nd June 2020. (Updated at 8:43am 22nd June 2020)

Today mark's the 4th International Father's Mental Health Day, and we have been speaking to one of the UK team members who helps to run the event.

Dr Andrew Mayers, is a Principal Academic at Bournemouth University and perinatal mental health campaign and educator. 

Dr Mayers told us the day is all about getting the support and awareness for fathers to come forward and talk about their mental health in a way they haven't done before.

"For a long time it was only mothers who got support, but of course it affects fathers too.

"We already know that men are notoriously bad at dealing with their mental health and it's just the same with fathers, the perception is that the man needs to be the rock and bury his emotions, yet he can be seriously affected by what's going on around him."

Andrew has been involved in the project for four years, helping them to promote the day and get the message out there. 

"The reason why I've done this is to help dads in three ways, get that support for their mental health, encourage them to come forward and get help. 

"Give them the tool kit to help them, help their partners deal with their problems, because they often don't know what they can do to help their partners. 

"Thirdly, to raise awareness of those fathers in the birthing room who the witness a traumatic birth.

dad and baby

In January 2019 NHS England announced that, for the very first time, some fathers would now be screened for their mental health. 

Throughout the day, there will be a series of blogs, stories and resources shared by charities, support groups, health professionals and families who have experience poor mental health in fathers.

Dr Mayers said:

"The success we have seen in recent years is encouraging, but we cannot stop there. We need to see comprehensive changes across the UK, not just England.

"We also need to ensure that the changes that are made will make a real difference. We will hold governments and NHS providers to account to see that promises are kept."

You can read more about Dr Mayers' work.