For many parents, having a baby is one of life’s happiest milestones, but for others, it’s completely overwhelming. And it’s not just mums who are struggling with their mental health as they adjust to parenthood – dads are feeling lost too.
For the first time, dads have become the focus of a new wellbeing program, designed to help navigate the sometimes choppy waters of fatherhood. New and expecting dads will get the mental health support they need, with millions of dollars being poured into perinatal services.
The $26 million in funding announced today will be used to create a Perinatal Mental Health and Wellbeing Program, to support parents during the perinatal period (during the impending birth and arrival of their bub).
One in ten women experience depression during pregnancy, and one in seven will experience it during their baby’s first year. But dads too are battling with the baby blues. One in ten expectant and new fathers experience depression, anxiety and emotion distress in the perinatal period.
What will the perinatal mental health funding do?
The new initiative will boost the range of services that support the mental health of women and their families who are impacted by perinatal mental illness or are grieving after the death of a child. There will be new screening and treatment, better access to support and a bid to increase awareness of perinatal mental health issues.
Organisations are able to apply for grants as part of the program so they can provide mental health support and access further training in mental health. The money will also be used to fund organisations that provide support for families who have experienced stillbirth.
Read next …
Dads are amazing and need support too. If you want to read more about why they’re amazing, and how to support the father in your bub’s life take a look at our articles:
- New dads need support too (here’s how to give it)
- Dads reading to kids helps develop language skills
- How dads play a role in reducing the risk of colic
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