Dads and Mental Health: Starting the conversation

Today is the 10th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day, designed to bring positive change for people living with mental health issues. This year’s theme, Every Action Counts, is a valuable reminder that we all can make contributions to improving this issue.

As dads, this topic certainly doesn’t get much airtime. The stigma surrounding mental health issues of any kind is challenging, let alone for most men. A 2019 research study from Movember has found that mental health is the most difficult topic (other than sex) for men to discuss with friends – beating out finances and marriage/relationships.  A key excerpt from the introduction states:

“Becoming a father is life changing. However, while it can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences, until recently it hasn’t been acknowledged how challenging that transition can be for new fathers, especially regarding their mental health. It is thought that up to one in 10 new fathers experience depression after the birth of their baby.1 And fathers with perinatal mental health problems are 47 times more likely to be considered at risk of suicide than at any other point in their lives.”2 1 Eddy et al, 2019 (USA) 2 Quevedo et al, 2011 (Brazil)