Dads’ Mental Health (PDF Version)

Anxiety and depression can affect new mothers, but did you know that fathers are also at risk? Almost 50 per cent of dads aren’t aware they too can get antenatal or postnatal depression. Research shows up to 1 in 10 men do experience antenatal and postnatal depression.

Risk Factors:

your partner had a difficult pregnancy or birth

– you have previously had anxiety or depression

– your partner has depression or anxiety

– you have little support

– your baby needed to go into special care or has been unwell

– there has recently been major life changing events

Some physical signs to look out for:

Tiredness, trouble sleeping, difficulty going to sleep, staying asleep or waking early, lack of appetite, weight loss or gain.

Changes in your thinking:

You may have started to forget things, have difficulty concentrating, have trouble making decisions, everyday tasks may be challenging and at times you might feel overwhelmed or out of control.

Emotional signs and mood changes:

You may feel sad, guilty or ashamed, moody, anxious, worried or angry. Some Dads start to feel isolated or disconnected from their partner’s family or friends and you might not be enjoying things that you would previously have found pleasurable.

Some changes in your behaviour might include:

Not interested in sex, spending more time at work, withdrawing from your family, drug use or using alcohol to handle your depression, not wanting to spend time with your baby or not being able to bond with your baby.

What can I do?

· There is help and support available to you.

· Talk with your partner, family or friends about how you are feeling.

· Speak to your GP

· Ngala Parenting Line 9368 9368

· Mensline 1300 789 978

· PANDA 1300 726 306

Links to resources

Healthy Dads


Facing your new dad fears

How is Dad Going?

For parenting support and information contact [email protected] or Ngala Parenting Line

Country Dad’s SMS Service is provided by Ngala and supported by WA Country Health.