Ballymena charities Turning Point NI and Ballymena & Little Steps Sure Start, along with the support of AWARE NI, have joined forces to start a new peer support group aimed at Dads and male role models within the Northern Trust area.
Dad’s Voice will be an informal, relaxed and friendly group for Dads. It will provide a safe space for dads to come together to share experiences and support one another through the challenges of life and fatherhood.
Darren Beggs, family support worker with Ballymena & Little Steps Sure Start, will be lead facilitator of the group.
“Support for Dads is something that I have a passion about, it came from my personal experience of becoming a dad. My wife had a traumatic birth with our first child. I struggled initially with the trauma of the birth. I noticed that nobody, other than my close family, had asked how I was doing.
“So I wanted to fill a gap in services and become involved in supporting Dads going through similar experiences as myself.
“Statistics show that the number of men who become depressed in the 1st year of becoming a dad is double that of the general population. 1 in 10 dads will suffer from Postnatal depression but a study by the National Childbirth Trust, in June 2015, found that as many as 1 in 3 are worried about their mental health and 3 in 4 dads are worried about their partners mental health.”
Tracy Wishart, Community Outreach Worker at AWARE, is delighted to support Dad’s Voice in setting-up their own support group in Ballymena, stating:
“We are thrilled to help Dad’s Voice to create a space for Dads in the Northern Trust area. Talking to other people who know what you are going through, can be an important step in your journey to recovery from mental ill-health, and to support one another through life’s challenges and fatherhood. The research behind peer-support shows that it can improve your wellbeing, help build your support network, and make you feel more confident.”
The group will be on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month from 7.30pm to 9pm at Turning Point NI, 62 Mill Street, Ballymena, BT43 4AF and be open to dads, stepdads, Grandads, foster dads, dads-to-be or any significant, male role model in a child’s life, within the Northern Trust area.
Dad’s Voice will be having an open night on Tuesday 5th July at 7.30pm. This will give people an opportunity to find out more about the group and meet some of the facilitators.
For more information you can contact Dads Voice.
or find us on Facebook @dadsvoiceni or Instagram @dads_voiceni