Stoke-on-Trent dads to receive support with post-natal depression

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Hundreds of fathers in Stoke-on-Trent could soon receive help to cope with the hidden illness of post-natal depression.

Blurton West and Newstead Cllr Lloyd Brown called on Stoke-on-Trent City Council to allocate more of its  budget to support dads who may be suffering in silence.

Around 65,000 men in the UK suffer with post-natal depression, including more than 350 men in Stoke-on-Trent.

After suffering from the illness, Cllr Brown brought the successful motion to the council.

He said: “It is something most mothers will be spoken to about but what about dads?”

When talking about life post-birth of his child, he said: “I was starting to feel like a spare part.

“Looking back, I should have spoken to someone.”

Even though he had a wife, child and a good job, he said “none of it mattered, I felt useless and this is not a way anyone should feel”.

He added: “I believe we need to look at this as families moving forward.

“Talk to somebody, there is a way through it but sometimes you can’t find it.”

Cllr Brown said a third of new dads are worried about mental health and treatment to mothers is effective and will no doubt benefit men.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council plans to organise funding to support ante-natal checks for men to ensure the whole family is physically and mentally well post birth.

Health visitors will be advised to ask the father at the same time as the mother, how they are coping and how they are feeling.

This could go even further to provide support for fathers where the birth was not successful.

Hollybush and Longton West Cllr Kath Banks said: “I have seen the effects on the male rip families apart.

“It must be really difficult for someone to admit they are not coping.

“I think it is a real step forward. Is it really too much to ask to see if dads are ok post birth?”

The motion was unanimously approved and will be discussed in the near future.

Cllr Brown tells his story, below:

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