We’re pretty sure that men don’t experience quite the same prevalence of depression and/or anxiety as women in the perinatal period, but it’s not an easy thing to be confident about. A lot of blokes use blokey ways of dealing with unwanted emotions: a bit of quiet, brooding silence, a bit too much booze, working-like-a-machine, carrying-on like a pork chop, maybe being there but not really being present (if you know what I mean)… y’know, that sort of thing.
It is guesstimated that about 10% of men will experience depression at some time in their lifetime, and one of the most likely times for men to develop depressive symptoms is in the first 12 months of becoming a dad. New dads, like new mums, can feel exhausted, overwhelmed and marginalised – a combination that would make anyone struggle to feel valued. When we’re thinking about perinatal mental health, we should think about men too.
So with that in mind, and with the knowledge that Men’s Health Week is just around the corner (starts June 10th), it’s good to see that the Raphael Centres team are going out of their way to celebrate the role of blokes with kids.
The Healthy Men, Healthy Minds competition asks men, women and families to submit a photo which has been inspired by, or is reflective of, positive relationships between children and a significant male in their lives.
There will be a public vote to decide the winning photo (prize = iPad Mini).
For more info go to the Raphael Centre website (here), or to enter go straight to their Facebook page (here). Apart from the possible pay-off of scoring a whizzy gadget, it will be good to see blokes and kids recognised amongst the photos that are starting to appear on this Facebook site.
Last (most important) Thing
If you know of a new dad who’s struggling a bit, but is feeling a bit reluctant to see someone, give him a nudge to visit the website and/or phone either MensLine or mindhealthconnect or PANDA – there are supports out there for blokes, they’re just not always obvious.