Date published: 20 June 2022
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Specialist Perinatal Service is marking International Father’s Mental Health Awareness Day by supporting a new app for dads across Cheshire and Merseyside.
The DadPad app (see below) is an easy to use, freely downloadable resource for new dads, partners, parents and dads to be in the Cheshire and Merseyside area, packed with relevant information, as well as details on local support groups and service providers. Its aim is to provide new fathers with guidance on how to develop the mindset, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their babies’ physical and emotional needs.
“One in five women experience mental health problems during pregnancy and the first two years after birth. When things don’t go to plan, this can have a lasting impact on mums, babies, partners and families” explained Dr Ruth O’Shaughnessy, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Mersey Care.
“Our service provides important perinatal mental health assessment and support for local women experiencing moderate to severe mental health issues during this time. This includes interventions to support family relationships to thrive including the relationship between mum and baby, and between mum and dad or partner.
“We should always remember to keep the whole family in mind and that it can be a difficult time for dads/partners in their own right - the launch of this app will provide vital access to support.”
Building a strong attachment will not only enable dads to better enjoy their new role but also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies. Crucially, the app also provides dads with guidance on how to support and seek help (when needed) for their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new roles, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.
The app covers topics such as:
- Feeding, holding, changing and cleaning your baby
- Surviving without sleep and coping with crying
- Getting to know your baby
- Home safety and first aid
- Looking after yourself and supporting your partner.
Julian Bose, Director of Inspire Cornwall CIC said “The DadPad was created because babies don’t come with a set of instructions, and dads told us that there was important information that they wanted to be given on what to expect and how to care for their baby. We listened to what dads, their partners and health professionals asked for and combined it all in the DadPad.
“With technology playing such a big part in everyone’s lives today, developing an app to complement the existing DadPad seemed the obvious next step. This has opened up a world of possibilities in delivering new content and features and, crucially, getting updates and news out to the dads quickly and easily.
“We are delighted to have been given the chance to work with the teams at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust Specialist Perinatal Service to be able to now launch this resource for dads and dads-to-be across the Cheshire and Merseyside area.”
Working in partnership as part of a Cheshire and Merseyside wide service, Mersey Care has teams covering Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Warrington.