7 June 2019

Fatherhood & Social Connections

New: Movember research into Fatherhood & Social Connections
Men's Health | Mental Health
2 MIN READ
Becoming a father is life changing. However, while it can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences, until recently it hasn’t been acknowledged how challenging that transition can be for new fathers, especially regarding their mental health.

It is thought that up to one in ten new fathers experience depression after the birth of their baby. And fathers with mental health problems around the time of the birth of their child are up to 47 times more likely to be considered at risk of suicide than at any other point in their lives.

The quality of an individual’s social connections has been proven to be a strong indicator of physical and mental wellbeing and longevity, with mutually supportive friendships acting as a protective factor against anxiety and depression. Therefore, Movember believes that having and maintaining strong social connections will better serve fathers during this critical life stage, with this benefitting mothers, partners, children and society as a whole in addition.

In 2019, Movember commissioned research across Canada, the UK, USA and Australia to investigate men’s social connections, with a specific emphasis on fatherhood and the impact of becoming a father.

The report has extended the evidence showing that becoming a father can be an isolating and stressful experience, particularly in the first 12 months. It identified that having close friends is important for fathers’ mental health because those dads without close friends reported being more likely to experience increased stress levels in the first 12 months of becoming a father (33% say their stress levels increased a lot compared with 23% of all men with at least one close friend).

Sadly it also identified that 1 in 5 men lose contact with friends when they become a father, meaning that millions of men around the world could be losing key supportive relationships during this key transition in their lives.

The full report can be viewed here.