The Institute of Family & Community Impact hosts event to boost paternal mental health

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Several years ago, the American Psychological Association released a poignant video called Boys Don’t Cry  which briefly explores the negative impact of stereotypical expectations of masculinity.  

“There are so many things that shape each person’s idea of masculinity, from social norms to cultural influences,” as NICHQ Senior Project Director Kenn Harris explains in Promoting Fathers’ Mental Health During Children’s Early Childhood.

These forces have the potential to impact fathers’ mental health, and research shows that one in 10 fathers get Paternal Postpartum Depression (PPPD) and up to 16 percent of fathers suffer from an anxiety disorder during the perinatal period. 

Paternal mental health impacts their partners and their children and as NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP points out, fathers can be powerful allies for maternal child health

In an effort to address paternal mental health, Healthy Children Project faculty Eira Yates in partnership with OhioGuidestone developed the Yates Paternal Depression Screening Tool for male fathers, a first of its kind measurement which we reported on last summer


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Father’s Feelings research activity, which uses the depression screening tool, was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Yates reports that thanks to a recent grant, the team will be able to expand its pilot program. 

Brittany Pope, M.S., Director of Applied Clinical Sciences and Research at OhioGuidestone shares that The Institute of Family & Community Impact has been able to move forward with some other exciting events too. 

Namely, DaddYoga, a free virtual yoga class for fathers and their children led by Judge William Dawson, a yoga instructor, motivational speaker, and municipal court judge in East Cleveland.

Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

Beyond the yoga instruction, Judge Dawson will offer insight and encouragement to fathers about healthy living and other life goals. 

Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with people from the world of professional sports. For instance, on June 13, Major League Baseball agent Josh Yates will join DaddYoga to discuss his experiences as a single father while navigating the high-powered world of professional sports.

The event provides fathers an opportunity to destress while engaging with their children which  aligns with UNICEF’s suggestions on how to build babies’ and children’s mental health. 

Information for the DaddYoga event can be found here.

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