Understanding Paternal Mental Health Training

Want to support new dads mental health and wellbeing but don't know where to start? Our facilitated training will help you recognise and respond to dads struggling with poor mental health.

Understanding Paternal Mental Health Training

Child health experts worldwide agree that the first 1,000 days, from the beginning of pregnancy through to the child’s second birthday, has more influence on a child’s future than any other time in their life.

Babies and young children rely on their parents and carers to give them the warm, nurturing care they need to grow. If parents experience mental health problems during the first 1,000 days it can affect the way they are able to bond with and care for their child. This can have an impact on the child’s intellectual, emotional, social and psychological development.

The risk of mothers' experiencing poor mental health during the perinatal period is well understood and monitored by services and yet poor mental health in dads is very often undetected and therefore unsupported. At least one in eight new dads suffer from postnatal depression, with up to 45% of dads affected by postnatal stress and anxiety. This can negatively impact his ability to engage supportively with his child, partner, and family which is why early intervention is critical.

If we want to get it right for every child it’s important that practitioners are able to recognise if any new parent or carer is struggling with their mental health and help them access appropriate support. A positive relationship with dad may also help identify problems early and prevent a family's needs and risks from escalating.


Join our Head of Training and Community, Scott Mair, for a FREE 1 hour session to find out:

  • What happens to men biologically and psychologically as they transition into fatherhood.
  • The unique role positively involved dads play in supporting their children's development during the first 1,000 days.
  • Why many new dads suffer from poor mental health, how it can manifest and the effect it can have on mum, infant and the family unit.
  • How an asset based approach to dads can help lighten your workload and improve your service.

If you are a professionals working with families & children during the first 1,000 days...

Book your FREE slot now:

Wed 29 May - 2:00 PM

Wed 26 June - 11:00 AM

Tue 30 July - 2:00 PM


We guarantee that by the end of this dynamic learning experience you will: 

  • Be ready to start supporting new dads mental health by implementing the specific changes you have identified during the training
  • Be able to spot warning signs and symptoms associated with poor paternal mental health.
  • Feel more confident asking about dads mental health and be able to signpost dads, and their families, to further support services and resources.
  • Have a deeper understanding of new dads’ mental health, and the impact this can have on mums, babies and the family unit

Our Interactive Half-Day Training Sessions cost just £95 per person.

As well as learning from one of the UK’s leading lived experience specialists. The course will provide you with a chance to connect and share your experiences with other professionals working with families during the perinatal period. Each participant will also be supplied with a workbook to support your individual journey and receive follow up information with useful links and tips relating to discussion on the day.

Book your slot now:


Our Team Half-Day Training costs just £550 per session.

With the kind support of the Scottish Government we are able to offer a limited number of FREE Bursaries to public and third sector organisations in Scotland.

These sessions will:

  • Be tailored to meet your specific service or organisations needs.
  • Be delivered to groups of between 6-14 participants, either from a single organisation, service or a multidisciplinary group based in one specific health board or local authority area.
  • Take place at a time that suits your needs via Zoom (other video communication platforms and face-to-face training can be provided upon request).

Every registered participants will:

  • Be supplied with a workbook to support their individual journey and accompanying materials in advance.
  • Will receive a follow up email with useful links and tips relating to discussion.

Who will be training me?

Scott Mair is one of the UK’s leading lived experience specialists in paternal mental health. His drive to support new dads was ignited after his own mental health was impacted by several traumatic births and an absence of support when it was needed. His rich personal experience and depth of understanding gained from years of working with academics, practitioners and dads make these sessions unmissable for all perinatal professionals who want to get it right for every child.

To find out if you are eligible for a bursary, to discuss the training further or book a date, contact Scott

[email protected]

What should I expect?

During this course Scott will step you through:

  • The biological and psychological changes that prime men during their transition into fatherhood that help them care, protect and provide for their infant and partner.
  • Why new dads are at increased risk of poor mental health and wellbeing during the perinatal period.
  • The latest evidence relating to paternal mental health and its impact on families and children during the first 1,000 days.
  • Common signs and symptoms of paternal depression, postnatal anxiety, stress and PTSD.
  • The services that support dads who are suffering from poor mental health.


Then through group discussions, interactive exercises and individual reflection you will have the opportunity to explore:

  • Common barriers to paternal engagement and how they might be affecting the dads you want to connect with.
  • What small changes would help dads feel more comfortable and confident engaging with you or your service.
  • How to ask about dads mental health discreetly and sensitively.
  • How individuals, teams and whole services can adapt their practice, and adopt new approaches.
  • How to share new knowledge and positively influence colleagues.

Participants told us:

"It was really good, I am amazed at how online training can be so interactive and enlightening." - training participant from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire.

What difference does it make to families?

“I was made to feel welcome and was able to support my partner Mandy in the way that she needed at the time. All three of us benefited from that change and look back on the birth fondly as a result." Dad who was supported by trained perinatal staff in NHS Fife

A father whose first child at a hospital before we trained, told us the difference he noticed after we had trained perinatal staff, after the birth of his second child:

"I’m a father of two boys. My eldest, Joshua, is five and his younger brother, Zachary, is 18 months old.

My wife, Mandy, delivered naturally in both occasions. The first labour was more complex as she had to go into theatre shortly after for a minor procedure. During the labour I felt like a bit of a spare part, and the delivering midwife gave me little jobs to do, I think more to make me feel part of things rather than being any real help to anyone.

We only had about 20 minutes or so together after Joshua arrived before Mandy was taken to theatre, and we were told to expect her back within an hour or so - this became just under three hours and I was literally left holding the baby - I was in relative peace, which suited me just fine.

Mandy returned from theatre to the assessment area (essentially a 6-bed bay) just before 7pm and our respective parents arrived shortly after. Sensing we wanted to have some time just the three of us, they each left after an half an hour or so. No sooner had they left I was told by the nurse-in-charge that I would have to leave as visiting had ended. This caught us both by surprise – Mandy was still numb from the waist down and hadn’t slept properly for the 72 hours so was in floods of tears. I gave up protesting at 8.45pm and went home.

The following day I arrived at the hospital at 9.30am, half an hour before visiting would start, or so I thought....

As she was still in the assessment area, visiting didn’t start at 10am is it did on the Maternity Ward and it would be 2pm before I would be allowed in. I put a brave face on it while I spoke to Mandy but as soon as the call ended I burst into tears – this isn’t really my style and I don’t know if it was tiredness, worry, impatience, or a blend of these but I was a mess. I finally was allowed in at 2pm, shortly after they had been moved to the Maternity Ward and we finally had some time just the three of us.

Our second child arrived in 2018 and Zach’s birth was much more straightforward (easy for me to say, I know).

We arrived at the hospital at 8.30pm and the initial examination confirmed that Mandy was already fully dilated – it was all systems go! Mandy was unbelievably calm from start to finish, cracking one-liners right up until Zach arrived just after 11pm. After Zach was cleaned up and Mandy was given a check over, the midwives left us to spend some time together. As the Unit was relatively quiet we were told we could stay where we were, and they brought us food and even blankets for me to spend the night. I could bring Zach over to feed when he cried, I could fetch Mandy clothes or drinks and I was able to make the experience much less stressful for her. We were discharged the following morning and could take Zach back to meet his big brother.

My wife would be the first to tell you that she felt well supported in both labours. For me, it was night and day – Joshua’s birth was undoubtedly more complicated and this obviously affected the experience we both had. A more important factor in my mind was the individual personalities involved – with Zach’s birth, I was made to feel welcome and was able to support Mandy in the way that she needed at the time. All three of us benefited from that change and look back on the birth much more fondly as a result."