Blog

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


Movember and Fathers Network Scotland team up to co-develop new men’s mental health initiative

Men at risk of becoming socially isolated following the global pandemic will be able to access new ways of  receiving support for their mental health, thanks to Movember.  

The global men’s health charity has announced that they will be investing a total of AUD $3.54 million into 11  projects across Australia, Canada, the UK and Ireland, as part of the Movember’s Social Connections Challenge. 

One of those projects is Fathers Network Scotland’s men’s mental health app.

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Dads' Survey 2021

The start of 2021 saw Scottish families once again stepping into a world of staying at home, school closures, home-schooling, video communication and social isolation. For many, the second national lockdown brought fresh challenges. We were - or are - exhausted; Stepping outside for a walk became a whole lot less inviting in the depths of winter; The novelty of home schooling and video wore off very quickly; The prospect of not seeing friends and family - those support networks many of us rely on - became almost unbearable.

Each year Fathers Network Scotland asks families in Scotland about how they're doing. Last year we surveyed dads about their experiences of the first lockdown. 64% told us their mental health had suffered. But there was some very positive feedback too: 60% of dads said lockdown had positively impacted on their relationships with their children and over half told us that they wanted to change the way they parent in future.

We wanted to find out about the impact of the second lockdown, so that we can work and campaign for the issues that matter most to you, your families and your children.

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An Exciting New Direction For FNS

We are excited to announce that you will be seeing a whole lot more of two faces, who are very familiar to the whole Fathers Network Scotland community. Our current Programme Manager Cathy Sexton and Programme Lead Chris Miezitis are to become interim Co-Directors of the organisation, as we bid a fond farewell to our outgoing Director Dave Devenney.

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Talking When We Least Feel Like It

At 4pm yesterday I had scheduled in a Zoom chat with my family down south. It had been a shocker of a day. The last thing I felt like doing was talking through all the ways I felt I had failed, but I'm so glad I made the call.

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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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