Bristol

Bath men's post-natal group aims to beat 'macho culture'

Andy Chambers with his wife and son Image copyright Andy Chambers
Image caption Andy Chambers was inspired to set up the service after his wife suffered post-natal depression with their first child.

A support service has started in Bath & North East Somerset to help men affected by post-natal depression.

Bluebell's Dads in Mind service will be run by Andy Chambers, who volunteered after helping his wife through post-natal issues that also affected him.

"We're recognising that depression can affect the whole family," he said.

Mr Chambers plans to hold a monthly meeting that will provide non-clinical support for men who need help.

The gatherings will be similar to ones already run by Bluebell in nearby Bristol.

They offer support for fathers who are suffering from anxiety or low mood.

'Macho culture'

"With dads, there's the attitude of macho culture, that stops them from admitting something is wrong.

"I hope this group will allow men to have frank and honest discussions with our peer group.

"We aren't taking away from the mums in any shape or form, but want people to recognise the family is important," Mr Chambers said.

Image copyright Bluebell
Image caption Mr Chambers wants to use the meetings to help men open up about their experiences

Mr Chambers found dealing with his wife's post-natal depression for two years an "isolating" experience.

"I remember asking the midwife a question, and she replied to my wife as if I wasn't in the room.

"When I was going through it, I couldn't talk to friends because they froze and didn't know what to say to me.

"Now it's seen as something that people will want to deal with proactively," he said.

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