Fathers and Mental Health

A significant proportion of fathers living with their natural, adopted, step or foster children will be experiencing mental illness.

Psychiatric illness among fathers can have a devastating impact on children’s wellbeing and even milder forms of paternal mental illness such as depression and anxiety can have serious developmental effects.

While several pathways linking paternal mental illness with poor child outcomes have been identified, fathers’ impaired parenting is an important, potentially malleable factor.

Clinicians may assist fathers with mental illness and their families by proactively inquiring about children and by exploring fathering-focused psychological support.