First, we’d like to wish a very Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. We know that being a father can be difficult at times, but it is also very rewarding. Since today is the day to recognize you for everything you’ve done, we also wanted to show you just how important you are in the world of mental health.
• Studies show that children with active fathers have better mental health outcomes, including lower dropout rates, incarceration rates, and even self-esteem. Why? Every child looks to parents or parent-like figures for their modeling—essentially copying behaviors they observe. The more opportunities they have for positive behaviors, the more likely they are to grow up with healthy ideals.
• They help mothers, too! Mothers who report having supportive and attentive partners both during and after pregnancy report lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
But sometimes, fathers need help, too.
• Most people know about postpartum depression in mothers after birth, but did you know that fathers can suffer from PPD as well? In fact, about 1 in 4 fathers suffer from PPD, also known as PPND or Paternal Post Natal Depression. Having a child is a life changing experience, so it makes sense that it would affect both parents.
“So,” you might be thinking, “how can I be the perfect dad?”
The answer is simple: you can’t. Just like life, parenthood comes with it’s own set of ups, downs, trials and tribulations, and it’s okay not to have all of the answers. However, a bit of time, patience, and love can go a long way in helping to support your family. The Fathers Mental Health Network is a great resource for fathers who may be suffering from mental health challenges or are worried they might. You can also check out the links below to some great resources and ways you can continue being a great role model.