Getting young dads together at the start of lock-down proved a bit of a challenge for Arnold our Young Fathers practitioner. They weren't keen to use the Zoom platform we were using to organise virtual groups, but after a few conversations, we moved the dads group onto a mobile app called House Party because they were already on there and seemed more willing to take part.
" I am most concerned about how this current lock-down and situation is affecting my dads mentally, how this is impacting on their relationships with partners and their children. This situation is unprecedented, and I wanted to make sure dads understood how this could be affecting them and look at ways of supporting themselves."
"Last weeks session was really deep. First, we talked about how they were managing their current relationships. Then we talked about the different things that affect peoples mental health; and about perceptions around having a mental health problem, one called it a 'destructive mechanism'. They talked a lot about the labels around people who have mental health and racial profiling issues, especially if you are black or Asian. We also looked at what can influence your mental health. One dad described how he developed Post Traumatic Stress after watching a friend die."
Off the back of the session, Arnold is going to be running a couple of one to one session to help them understand and manage stress using this tool.
Arnold works hard to get dads talking about what is worrying them. Often young dads feel like no one listens to them or cares about their lives and experiences. They want to be good dads; they need some support to help them learn the skills and understand themselves and their children better.
If you are a young dad and need some support or you know a young dad in Lambeth under25 who might benefit from working with Arnold, please get in touch.