More focus on postnatal depression for men needed

At the moment, there is little help to be had for fathers having difficulty after their wives have given birth

When a mother shows signs of postnatal depression in Denmark, the municipality has a number of things they can offer her, including group therapy and sessions with a psychiatrist.

However, although around half of the country’s 98 municipalities screen men for post-natal depression, only five of them actually provide any services to fathers with problems, reports DR Nyheder.

A heavy burden
“It places a very heavy burden on a family with a small child when one of the parents is feeling really bad and the other one has to look after the child as well as their partner,” said Svend Aage Madsen, the head of research at Rigshospitalet and chair of the Forum for Men’s Health.

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As it stands now, if a man feels he needs help to combat postnatal depression he has to get a referral to a psychiatrist from his own GP, but this can be hard.

Telling it like it is
“The men who are really in a bad way often don’t have the energy to contact their own doctors and tell their story again. They are perhaps also in doubt as to whether they are feeling depressed enough,” said Dorte Fischer, the chair of the association of nurses and health personnel at Rudersdal Municipality.

“What we do know is that group therapy is one of the things that helps the most and you can’t get that through your own GP. It would make a great deal of difference if we as nursing staff could refer men immediately so that they could talk to other fathers about their problems,” she added.