Today is the first ever International Fathers Mental Health Day. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of postnatal depression, antenatal anxiety and childbirth trauma experienced by men.
I have become increasingly interested in learning about maternal mental health since becoming a mother myself and things are improving greatly in perinatal mental health for mothers. It is important that fathers are not left behind in this and that their experiences and needs are recognised.
It always strikes me that around all things parenting fathers are often second in the queue or completely forgotten about whilst the focus remains very heavily on mothers. If the stigma around maternal mental health is challenging then my goodness it’s bloody awful when it comes to fathers. Raising awareness that these are very real issues that can affect fathers is key to enabling people to recognise their feelings and to reach out and ask for help without the fear of judgement. It also serves to educate people so that they can support others.