Dads in Gloucestershire have seen an increase in parenting confidence and a reduction in anxiety with the support of Dad Matters.
Dad Matters Gloucestershire has been supporting dads-to-be and new dads at its weekly Hospital Drop-Ins at Gloucester Royal Hospital Women’s Centre. Dad Matters has also been offering many opportunities for dads to come together and interact with each other in a social setting: Stay ‘n’ Play session, Walk and Talk sessions and Dad’s coffee mornings.
Ryan Jones, Co-ordinator for Dad Matters Gloucestershire, said: “Our Stay ’n’ play sessions have been a great success and we have seen some great relationships being made between the dads that have attended.”
One dad said: “The guys at Dad Matters listened and gave me loads of advice and I feel a lot more confident about becoming a father.”
Research has shown the desire and need for a dads-only session to focus on dads’ mental health. Nick Darrock-Fuller, Co-ordinator for Dad Matters Gloucestershire, said: “The Journey into fatherhood is a time of change for men and this journey brings worries and stresses for many men. Thinking about and understanding their own mental health at the time is key for them to be able to support their family.”
One in 10 dads suffer from postnatal depression, 75,000 dads each year in the UK. Postnatal depression in dads is more likely if there is maternal postnatal depression too – of fathers with depressed partners, 24 to 50 per cent experience depression themselves.
Dads who may be struggling with their mental health or supporting a partner who has mental health issues do not always have the right environment to talk. The new Dad Matters well-being group is a safe space for Dads to talk about issues that may be affecting them in a confidential space.
Events will be starting in November and will be held in different venues across the county. To find the nearest one visit: www.dadmatters.org.uk/gloucestershire