Body Coach Joe Wicks praises Surrey dads for opening up about mental health issues, this Men's Health Week,13-19 June 2022 : Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Body Coach Joe Wicks praises Surrey dads for opening up about mental health issues, this Men's Health Week,13-19 June 2022

Published on: Thursday 16th June 2022

Three dads who experienced mental ill health after their children were born have been praised by Body Coach Joe Wickes meets new dads at Mind Matters Surrey.jpgJoe Wicks for opening up about their experiences to help others.

 

All three Surrey-based dads received support from our NHS talking therapies service, Mind Matters Surrey. Mind Matters runs a Fathers’ Wellbeing Group to support dads who have young children and who are experiencing anxiety, depression and low mood.

Joe Wicks, who has talked openly about his own parents’ challenges with mental ill-health, met the dads at the Mind Matters Surrey service in Chertsey, Surrey. “It was inspirational to meet these dads and hear their stories. I am so pleased they got the help they needed and that their kids have dads who are looking after their mental health. I remember being the child in that scenario and it reminds me just how important it is that you speak up, that you don’t live with those thoughts and those feelings because, when you do, when you suffer, the whole family is suffering.”

New dad, David Maddison, was signposted to the Mind Matters Fathers’ Wellbeing Group by a midwife after she noticed he was struggling. “My bout of depression followed the birth of my son which sounds bizarre because it’s one of the happiest moments of your life, which it was.  But I was having really dark thoughts which I’d never had before. I didn’t want to share how I was feeling with my wife because she was understandably over the moon and having to cope with a new-born baby.

“Being able to open up about how I was feeling was the gateway to getting better and thank goodness I did. I can now enjoy life again and get joy from being with my little boy. I never dreamt I could feel like that when I was going through that dark period.”

Rob Beevers, who also attended the Fathers’ Wellbeing Group, said: “For me it was my wife who just took me aside and said: ‘look Rob, if you are feeling that way if you are feeling that down, go and talk to somebody, it’s not weakness to go and ask for help’.”

Another dad who attended the Group, Iain Page, contacted Mind Matters Surrey after the traumatic birth of his fourth child. “The service suggested the Fathers’ Wellbeing Group. I didn’t know if I would be comfortable attending a group but being able to talk to other dads who were experiencing similar feelings was extremely helpful – you feel a lot less lonely and less guilty. The group lasted 8 weeks. During that time the therapist helped me to understand why I was feeling the way I was and provided us with techniques and tools to help us manage our mental health.”

Studies* show that 1 in 10 dads are affected by depression, low mood or anxiety following the birth of a child. According to the National Childbirth Trust, one in three new dads have concerns about their mental health.

Dr Gisela Unsworth, our Clinical Services Manager at Mind Matters Surrey, said: “It’s been great to share the support provided by the Fathers’ Wellbeing Group with Joe. Seeking help early on for your mental health is so important. Men can find it more difficult to come forward and I am glad Joe is helping us highlight that NHS support is available.”

Mind Matters Surrey is an NHS talking therapies service provided by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It offers one to one and group support to people aged 17+ registered with a Surrey GP. The service offers regular Mothers’ Wellbeing Groups as well as a Father’s wellbeing groups. 

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