Fathers talking mental health: How to recognise the signs someone is struggling

a man holds his head while sitting on a sofa

Good mental health is vital in helping you to be the best Dad you can be for your kids, along with maintaining your physical health. Looking after your mental health allows you to live your life in a more positive way and cope with life’s challenges. However, knowing how to recognise when you need to make some changes or seek help is critical.

Feeling down, tense, angry, or anxious are all common emotions and it’s normal for everyone to experience them. But when these feelings go on for long periods of time, and start to affect your day to day life, they may be signs you, or someone close to you, is struggling.

There are many factors that can contribute to mental health problems, including: biological factors, life experiences, or family history.

Anxiety and depression in men is common. One in eight men, on average, will experience depression, and one in five men will experience anxiety at some stage of their lives. Effective treatments are available and taking action may not be as hard as you think.

Tips on how to support your own mental health, and your mates:

  • Don’t try to tough it out on your own. More likely than not there are others going through a similar thing. There are other men around you who have experienced what you are going through and you can be a great support for each other.
  • Deliberately identify the positives in your life. We all have our days, but try to focus on the positives and reflect this attitude to your kids and partner. Spend time on the positives that you enjoy (work, family, sport, hobbies, friends). If you find it difficult to identify any positives and it’s affecting your day to day life, seek the support of a mental health professional.
  • If you feel you are not coping, get help. Talk to your partner, a friend, counsellors at work, or your local health service. Don’t think you have to do this alone, it takes strength to recognise and seek support, it doesn’t make you weak. Share your issues with an empathetic listener and ask for help sooner rather than later.
  • Inform yourself. There is good information and support online for men through reliable Australian websites and apps.


Access to a local Psychologist is freely available through Medicare if you get a referral from your GP.

If you are struggling, call Lifeline on 131 114, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636, Mens Line Australia – 1300 789 978

Have you enjoyed this article? As we delve into the complexities of fatherhood, our content serves as a reliable guide, offering insightful tips and expert guidance. Discover more general parenting advice on our blog.

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