Perinatal mental health: fathers
All too often, husbands and partners are overlooked when it comes to providing support and information on mental health. Evidence suggests that the risk factors, and impact, of perinatal mental health are reduced when mums have a supportive partner. Furthermore, fathers can develop 'perinatal mental health' problems (either as a result of their spouse's/partner's illness or independently). There is often little guidance available for men to understand the causes, risk factors, treatments and prognosis of perinatal mental illness, quite apart from what support they can give to their partner. Fathers also need information on how to improve their own mental health. On this page, you will find some resources that seek to address the gaps in support.
Groups providing support for fathers
It can be a very scary time for a father to witness his partner/wife experience mental illness. It can be even more distressing when the mother is presenting with manic and/or psychotic symptoms. Action on Postpartum Psychosis provide some excellent resources to help partners. Expertly written, the resources have been developed in response to partners requesting help. You can access these resources here.
The Bluebell charity already provides excellent postnatal depression services in the Bristol area. Following some successful funding, Bluebell now also offer support to local fathers, via the Dads Zone. The service includes the opportunity to talk directly to a father whose partner experienced postnatal depression. Similar to Dads Matter UK, the guidance applies to fathers needing help on supporting their partner, and for those needing support for their own mental health.
I will be announcing the launch of a new national support group for fathers' mental health very soon