Dad’s can experience depression after the birth of a child too
It may surprise you that men may also experience symptoms of depression when expecting a new baby or becoming a new parent. 1 in 10 new or expectant dads experience anxiety or depression in Australia. Over 40% of first-time dads believe depression and anxiety is a sign of weakness. To add to our existing range of evidence-based mental health support programs for new and expectant parents, the team at PIRI are currently working on a world-first specialised Web-based treatment for depressed or anxious new fathers.
Depressed new fathers rarely access traditional support services and their symptoms go largely unacknowledged and untreated. This new program will be based upon the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach of our successful MumMoodBooster treatment program for new mums.
What contributes to the experience of depression in Dads?
Having a baby leads to major life changes: financial, emotional and social, and the sheer number and magnitude of these changes can be overwhelming. Dads commonly feel stressed as they try to balance performing at work while sleep deprived and trying to support their partner and baby when they return home. Dads also commonly report feeling left out and overlooked during this time as the focus is on mum and the baby. In addition, many Dads find that there is little or no time for themselves. Dads who are supporting a partner with depression and anxiety are also more likely to experience depression themselves. This might be, in part, due to shared experiences, which can contribute to depression, such as limited family support, financial stress and sleep deprivation.
How you can help
We are asking for men with partners who are pregnant or have recently had a baby and feeling OK, to help us understand how we can adapt digital tools to support men’s mental health as they make the transition to parenthood.
MindMum is an app we have developed to help mothers cope with the challenges of a new baby and reduce distress. Please use the app for a few days. Find the download instructions here. www.mumspace.com.au/when-you-need-extra-help/
We will ask for feedback on this tool and related resources in a 45-minute group/individual zoom session.
For more details, please complete the online form and we will get in touch. http://bit.ly/tools-for-dads