A free pilot program to help new and expectant fathers through the physical, mental and emotional challenges of parenthood is being rolled out in Western Sydney.
The ‘Focus on New Fathers’ program sends texts to dads, offering valuable health advice and links into pathways to ensure support options are available.
Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Focus on New Fathers project coordinator Brendan Bennett said the program is a ‘game changer’ whether you are expecting your first or fifth child.
“As a father of two girls, I love being a dad and wouldn’t change it. But some days and nights are pretty tough,” Mr Bennett said.
“Being a dad is about being the best you can be for your children and your partner. Focus on New Fathers reminds dads that they are not an island – that they don’t have to fix everything themselves or pretend to know everything about how to be a dad.”
Dads and dads-to-be are sent text messages with tips about looking after themselves and supporting their partner, reminders of how their baby is growing, and tools for parenting.
“This program is about letting fathers know they’re not alone and there is support for them when they need it,” Mr Bennett said.
Men living in Western Sydney can sign up if they are over the age of 18, and their partner is at least 16 weeks pregnant or their baby is up to six months old. They need to have a mobile phone capable of receiving and sending text messages.
The pilot, which is being delivered by the University of Newcastle in partnership with NSW Health, will run over the next year in four regions: Western Sydney, Northern NSW, Northern Sydney and Murrumbidgee local health districts.
For more information and to sign up for the program, visit: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public/Pages/focus-on-fathers.aspx