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The first step to improving your emotional wellbeing as a dad

11 October 2018

Mental health Perinatal mental health
What to do when you or your partner need a hand with the emotional challenges parenting can bring.

Sometimes parenthood involves a little bit of trial and error before you settle into your routine as a father.

As newborn babies change very quickly, so must parents.

This can be tough as a new dad and the list of challenges can soon mount up; exacerbated by a lack of sleep and normal social interactions, which can lead to changes in your emotional wellbeing.

St John of God Raphael Services National Coordinator Anthony Harrington said the first step new dads or mums should take if they do have concerns about their emotional wellbeing is to talk to their doctor.

“Speaking to your GP about your concerns is the best first step, they can help you recognise the signs and symptoms of perinatal depression or anxiety,” he said.

“They can also connect you with a range of services and people who can help you manage your concerns before they mount up.”

Mr Harrington said if you don’t get the support you need or expected, you can always ask for a second opinion.

“There is also a range of online support tools or health lines that you can reach out to get further information,” he said.

“In the same way that everyone in your family is affected in when you have a cold or flu, experiencing perinatal anxiety or depression can also affect your partner, your children and your support network.

“So taking the first step and seeking help is the best thing you can do for you and your family.”

Get help


Tel: 1300 726 306


Tel: 1300 224 636


Tel: 1300 789 978

Did you know?

St John of God Raphael Services provides free support for dads as well as mums who are experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety.

St John of God Health Care
Anthony Harrington - Mental health nurse

Anthony Harrington is a credentialed mental health nurse with more than 26 years’ experience and is the St John of God Raphael Services National Coordinator.