New workshop to help dads-to-be get mentally fit

Apr 01, 2022

Becoming a father for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, but a new workshop on offer in Queenstown is aimed at relieving some of the paternal pressures.

Dads-to-be are invited to attend a free, practical workshop to help them get some advice and skills to support their partner and family on the parenting road ahead.

The workshops will be presented by local dads, who are further along their own parenting journeys.

They’ll be sharing their views on parenting from a man’s perspective, while providing some real-life advice to support the mental health of dads, their partners and whānau in the months and years ahead.

Andrew Dorsey, a workshop facilitator, says doing the workshop before a baby arrives is something practical dads can do to support their family.

"I know from experience that becoming a new parent can be really stressful.

“Whilst it's exciting, it's also totally normal to be apprehensive about becoming a dad.  

“A lot of blokes typically aren't the best at talking about things when times get tough, so we wanted to try and give some practical tools and advice to dads, so they can be better prepared themselves and be able to support their partners and families through this big life change.

“If you're not the one giving birth it can feel a bit like you're in the backseat at times, but this workshop is something useful dads can do before the baby comes that will support them and their partner. 

“Plus you probably won't have the headspace or time once the baby is here so it's a good idea to get the workshop in early."

While the focus is on dads, going to the workshop will have wider benefits, he says.

"The tips you'll learn at the workshop won't just be for you and your family - you might find them useful at other points in your life as we are all going to know someone close to us who at one time will be struggling with their mental health.

“This workshop will help you to feel more confident to know how to talk to someone who is having a tough time, whoever they are, and how you can actually help."

The MEN-tal Health for Dads workshop is on from 6pm until 9pm on Wednesday, April 13, at the Wakatipu Rugby Club.

The workshop is free to new parents, but places are limited to 15 and registrations are essential.

Email workshops@southernwellbeingtrust.org to book a spot.

The workshop is part of the GoodYarn Community Pilot project, being delivered by the Southern Wellbeing Trust in partnership with the Good Programmes Trust.

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