Preventative steps for dads to manage mental health

Mental health refers to our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. Good mental health and wellbeing allows you to live your life in a positive and meaningful way and cope with life’s changes and challenges.

Mental health problems or conditions can refer to depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and others. Feeling down, tense, angry or anxious are all normal emotions and it is normal to experience them. But when these feelings persist for long periods of time, they may be part of a mental health problem.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including:

  • Biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry
  • Life experiences, such as stressors or trauma
  • Family history of mental health problems

As well as being healthy, physically, good mental health is very important in helping you be the best dad you can be for your kids. Here are some tips towards achieving this.

Have a broad range of interests (work, family, sport, hobbies) and spend time on the things you enjoy.
Develop skills to help you cope better in stressful situations – e.g. anger management, relaxation techniques or assertiveness.

  • Recognise and accept the things you can’t change.
  • Develop a support group of people you feel comfortable to talk to and can trust and nurture these relationships.
  • Don’t think you have to do it alone – share issues with an empathetic listener and ask for help sooner rather than later.

If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
If children are struggling, they can call Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636

Tips:

Set goals

Map out together the goals that you have over the short and longer term and plan how you are going to achieve them.

Activities:

Low-cost ideas for dad dates

Dad dates don’t have to be about spending money – what’s important is spending time one-on-one with your child.