Blog

Enjoy regular father-friendly news and insights from Fathers Network Scotland and our guest contributors. Contact FNS with your own story.


Call to Action

Over the past two years Fathers Network Scotland's main focus has been on dads' mental health, and how services can better support them. At a time of heartbreakingly high levels of male suicide in Scotland, there is growing concern within the sector about the lack of mental health provision and inclusion for new dads, dads-to-be & partners.

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National Work Life Week

Without the option to work flexibly, I would not be writing this blog. I would have had to give up on a vocation after years of learning and grafting, in order to be a mum. I always wanted to have children, so if we were lucky enough to have them, I was prepared to choose family over my career. Although there have been compromises, I am one of the fortunate ones to have found a progressive, forward-thinking, supportive organisation who recognises its employees are both passionate about their work and passionate about their children (and neither detracts from the other).

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2020 Survey Results

Each year Fathers Network Scotland asks families in Scotland about how they're doing. During 2020 we have been living through interesting and often challenging times. Therefore this time, our anonymous survey has captured a snapshot of what life has been like for dads during lockdown.

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International Fathers' Mental Health Day 2020

"As we know mental health awareness has increased rapidly over the last few years and the stigma is slowly disappearing," writes Mark Williams, of Fathers Reaching Out. Today is International Fathers' Mental Health Day, which was co-founded by Mark who is a survivor of postnatal depression. Today Mark reminds us that suicide is still the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and that it is of vital importance that we talk to new dads about their mental health, and screen them, just like we do mums.

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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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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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#BeThereBeYourself 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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