Understanding Paternal Mental Health

Our Understanding Paternal Mental Health training works towards the following outcomes:

  • An increased understanding by practitioners working within perinatal services including NHS, Third Sector and Local Authority support staff of fathers’ mental health, and the impact this has on children and families.
  • All dads being asked about their mental health.
  • More mums and dads becoming aware of the importance of their mental health including postnatal paternal depression anxiety and stress & post-traumatic stress disorder in men.
  • More staff knowing where dads can access support.
  • More dads accessing mental health support.


We all want Scotland to be the best place for children to grow up. But while the evidence tells us just how important the role of a dad is to the life chances of any child, we now know that at least one in ten new dads suffer from post-natal depression, with up to 45% of dads affected by post-natal stress and anxiety.

If a dad’s mental health is not recognised and supported during the perinatal period, then his ability to engage supportively both as a father and as a partner may be at risk, limiting positive outcomes for his child, partner and family.

In this blog, FNS hears from dads who have suffered postnatal depression - and turns the spotlight on a relatively common condition that still carries a stigma.

Fathers Network Scotland and the Fatherhood Institute surveyed almost 2,000 new fathers from across the UK including 564 in Scotland. Although almost all of the new fathers were present in maternity services at each stage, our research shows that large numbers felt ignored before, during, and after the birth of their child, even though their involvement is central to infant and maternal well-being and is desired by mothers. The 'Understanding Paternal Mental Health' training encourages and supports perinatal practitioners to better engage with dads.

What to Expect

In this free half day workshop we will explore:

  • Signs and symptoms: Fathers and paternal depression, post-natal anxiety, stress and PTSD
  • The incidence and impact on families and children
  • The importance of early assessment of paternal mental health
  • Services that support dads with mental health problems
  • How we can mainstream ‘dad-inclusive’ practice

To find out more about our Understanding Paternal Mental Health training, our Programme Lead Chris Miezitis can be reached at: