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Tweddle helping dads with postnatal depression

Posted by Kerrie Gottliebsen | 26/06/14

Lately there’s been an increase in the media reporting of men and their experiences of postnatal depression. Tweddle Psychologist Nikki Zerman thinks that this is an important step in raising awareness of PND in dads, and in reducing the stigma that comes with not coping after the birth of a child.

“Nearly a third of all fathers attending the Tweddle Residential Program score above the cut off in the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS)” she said.

We encourage dads to attend our residential and day stay programs as we know that early identification and support of mental health issues can help dads on the road to recovery and impact positively on the family as a whole. 

According to Zerman “Mental health issues, especially at this time of transition, can impact on the couple relationship, the parent child relationship and family functioning.  Fathers play an important role in the family and it is important to value this role and ensure their well-being is monitored and supported in the same way that we support mothers"  

Studies show that men who reported that they use instrumental forms of support (e.g. seeking advice, assistance or information) reported fewer symptoms of depression. Early Parenting Services like Tweddle can play a critical role in screening and identifying fathers experiencing poor mental health and link them into appropriate mental health support, or support them through our Tweddle Psychology Service outpatients clinic.

Tweddle introduced an online resources section for dads, available on their website, offering links to research, blogs, books, support and comments for Dads.  The ‘Dads Information Centre’ was acknowledged by Dr. Richard Fletcher, Fathers and Families Research Program Convenor Australian Fatherhood Research Network and author of The Dad Factor.

A recent opportunity to talk to men about the importance of being a dad and mental health awareness at the Sons Of The West Health Expo in Maribyrnong was warmly welcomed. If you or someone you know is not coping with parenting, call Tweddle Psychology Service on (03) 9689 1577 during business hours or Mensline 24/7 on 1300 789 978

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