Teachable moments: how can the community capitalise on existing and future support services to improve the mental health and wellbeing of ‘new’ fathers?
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The South Australian Mental Health Commission (SAMHC) released the South Australian Mental Health Strategic Plan in December 2017, with the aim of building, sustaining and strengthening the mental health and wellbeing of South Australians. Given the prevalence of fathers who experience anxiety and depression during their partner’s pregnancy and following the birth of their baby, and the tendency of this population to be less likely to seek out help for these issues, SMS4DadsSA – a perinatal mental health support pilot project for expectant fathers – was approved as one of the inaugural projects to commence implementation of the strategic plan. In order to gain a broader understanding of the evidence base in the area of ‘new’ fathers, and to position the future outcomes of the pilot project, SAMHC decided to collaborate with Flinders University to undertake a research analysis of the efficacy of interventions that seek to improve the mental health of ‘new’ fathers. Given the wide range of methodologies and designs of research in this area, a narrative synthesis, as compared to a meta-synthesis or meta-analysis, was chosen to capture these objectives.
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