let’s talk about our men…

I wanted to take a moment to talk a little bit about mental health. Primarily, men’s mental health. I love that more conversations are happening and we are, as a people, more willing to recognize this issue.

With most mental health things, we often do nothing because we feel powerless to make an impact or bring about change. This isn’t because we don’t care as much as that we care deeply and don’t know how to help. I want to direct our attention to some statistics and something that will be an amazing resource.

Family Man is a free, online course designed to equip fathers of children between the ages of 2-8 with the practical skills needed to cope with frustrating situations. Drawing on research-based principles of positive parenting, Family Man uses the latest parenting strategies that support happier homes and better mental health.

“There is a huge amount of research that shows parenting is more effective when it’s done as a team,” said Jane Endacott, Director of Digital Health Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at Movember. “We know that when dads are fully engaged in parenting decisions, it benefits the whole family.”

The interactive program is comprised of three 20-minute animated episodes. Each episode features a father as the main character who is faced with a challenging situation such as a battle over the dinner table or a public tantrum – common meltdowns that can cause friction in households and impact the whole family’s mental well being. Users are prompted with a number of possible ways to respond to the situation and an explanation of the pros and cons and likely outcomes of each option coaching fathers through each situation step-by-step.

Adapted from ParentWorks[i], a successful program designed by Professor Mark Dadds at the University of Sydney, Family Man has been vetted by a global panel of psychologists and parenting experts.

“Evidence-based parenting programs are effective in reducing behavioral problems, yet few involve the participation of fathers,” said Professor Dadds. “Family Man was designed to be accessible to all families and may be especially useful in rural and remote areas, where resources can be hard to access. It can be fully delivered online, without the support of trained practitioners, which is a key barrier for many parents.”

A recently launched survey by Movember of 1,600 fathers across North America including 800 US fathers from across the country showed that:

  • Nearly 2 in 3 US dads (63%) said they would be very or extremely likely to seek advice from an online website dedicated to fathers
  • 54% of fathers felt there was a lack of online parenting resources for fathers
  • 47% of fathers felt parenting advice from websites and social media are not aimed at them

Additional survey findings helped inform the need for a tool like Family Man:

  • 94% of dads reported that they feel more engaged with their children during the pandemic
  • 1 in 5 (19%) US fathers say their child’s behavior at home is somewhat manageable while 16% of US fathers say their child’s behavior in public is somewhat manageable
  • 31% of fathers reported feeling more impatient since having children

The  State of the World Father’s report indicates that approximately 80 percent of men will become biological fathers at some point in their lives. In addition, a previous study conducted by Movember also found that 67% of soon-to-be fathers and more than half of all men say that men are under more pressure nowadays to be good fathers.

For more information, visit familyman.movember.com