Blog

The home of father-friendly news, thoughts and creative insights from FNS and our guest bloggers. Let us know what you think – and if you’ve got an idea for a blog post you’d like to write for us, get in touch with FNS!

Thinking about Mum during Mental Health Awareness Week

During this Mental Health Awareness Week, Fathers Network Scotland's Director, Dave Devenney, writes about his experience of losing his mum to suicide.

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Time to Think: Parent Network Scotland

Parent Network Scotland is one of the recipients of the Cattanach Trust's Dads' Fund, which was developed in recognition of our 2016 Year of the Dad. The charity offers a range of parenting programmes and training opportunities to parents across Scotland, which are delivered during flexible weekly sessions tailored to meet the needs of each group. 

We spoke to Mark Robb, a Community Facilitator at PNS, who has been able to use some of his hours, supported by the Dads' Fund, to focus solely on supporting dads. He tells us how it has given him the time to really think about what works when it comes to engaging with dads, enabling him to build stronger, more supportive relationships.

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How Ninewells Hospital went Dad-Friendly Overnight

Ninewells_team_pic.pngMany maternity wards still don’t allow fathers to stay overnight, despite obvious support benefits for their partners and newborn babies. DONNA BROUGH of Ninewells Dundee – an award-winning exception to the rule – explains how she made dads welcome on her wards.

ONE of the most shocking things about our survey of dads in Scotland was how many were excluded from staying overnight in hospital just when their partners and babies needed them most.

We heard stories of dads forced to sleep in the car park, or drive home in dangerously sleep-deprived state, or hide camp beds in the shower to get round the rules. Most tellingly, we heard how traumatic it was for mums to lose the support of their partners only hours after labour. 

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'Be There, Be Yourself' Champions: Bryan

We feel really grateful to be able to share with you the honest experiences of our next #BeThereBeYourself champion, Bryan. 

Our “Be there, be yourself” campaign encourages father figures to celebrate their diversity, to feel supported when discussing their emotions, to feel empowered to embrace a care-giving role, and above all to find joy in the little things.

 

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The Dads' Fund

Fathers Network Scotland works with organisations funded by the Cattanach Trust's Dads' Fund, which was set up in 2016 to mark the Year of the Dad. These organisations support families across Scotland, ensuring that the dads they engage with are able to be as involved in their children's lives as possible. Here we showcase three of those organisations: One Parent Families Scotland, Dads Rock and Relationships Scotland.

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Liberating Dads Means Liberating Mums Too!

Susie HeywoodGender Friendly Nurseries provides training to nursery staff on the impacts of gender stereotyping and supports nurseries to work towards Gender Friendly Nursery status. It was piloted in North East Glasgow and is currently being rolled out across the city. Co-founder Susie Heywood, of the North East Glasgow Health Improvement Team, tells us about the inspiration behind Gender Friendly Nurseries, the impact of gender stereotyping on families in Scotland, and why she supports the Fathers Network Scotland #BeThereBeYourself campaign.

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'Be There, Be Yourself' Champions: Jenny

We're so excited to share with you the experiences of our first #BeThereBeYourself champion, Jenny. 

Our new campaign #BeThereBeYourself confronts gender stereotyping around fatherhood. We're encouraging father figures across Scotland to celebrate their diversity, to feel supported when discussing their emotions, to feel empowered to embrace a care-giving role, and above all to find joy in the little things. 

Jenny's daughter has drawn her as a superhero monster, flying across town day or night to help.

 

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The Big Monster MashUp Competition

Everyone benefits when dads and father figures are empowered as caregivers – mums, children, families, employers and society at large. We’re passionate about building a world where diversity is celebrated and the nurturing role of father figures is recognised and respected. 

The Big Monster Mashup campaign was borne out of a desire to confront gender stereotyping around fatherhood. We're sharing the message to father-figures across Scotland, to “Be there, be yourself”, to encourage them to celebrate their diversity, to feel supported when discussing their emotions, to feel empowered to embrace a care-giving role, and above all to find joy in the little things - and to be silly!

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Big Monster Mashup Competition Terms and Conditions

Mental Health Support For New Dads is Crucial

Over the last six months we've focused our attention on dads' mental health. Suicide remains the biggest killer of men under the age of 50 in Scotland. In an attempt to reduce this heart-breaking statistic we have been running the 'How Are You Dad?' pilot project. Funded by the Scottish Government, we've trained nearly 70 professionals from the NHS, local authorities, third sector organisations and the private sector to check in with new dads about how they're feeling. This Father's Day, we're releasing the evaluation for that pilot, backed up with the data from our recent Dads' Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey. 

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