Rise in mental health support for dads

New and expectant fathers will be offered mental health checks and treatment under radical action to support families, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens has announced.

In the landmark move, the partners of pregnant women and new mothers, who are themselves suffering from anxiety, depression or more severe disorders such as psychosis, will be automatically offered a comprehensive mental health assessment and signposted to professional support if needed.

Estimates put the prevalence rates of anxiety and depression symptoms in men in the first six months after birth at up to one in 10, while one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy and the first year after birth.

Mr Stevens said: “These days dads and partners are rightly expected to be more hands on and NHS mental health services also need to step up and support families at times of extreme stress and anxiety.”

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