A New Online Program for Dads

Becoming a dad doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t happen without a fair amount of upheaval and challenges. Many Dads have spoken about the mix of feelings they have had as they plan for and take home their new baby on their journey to parenthood.

It may surprise you that men may also experience symptoms of depression when expecting a new baby or becoming a new parent. 1 in 10 new or expectant dads experience perinatal anxiety or depression in Australia.

“I knew I’d lose sleep, but I didn’t expect to feel this exhausted!”

“I feel such an overwhelming mixture of pride, wonder and protectiveness towards my baby. It has made me want to make the world a better place for her.”

“I miss the leisure and closeness my partner and I shared before- it’s hard including a third person in your relationship. It’s a bit sad not to be ‘number one’ in my partner’s eyes anymore.”

Some mums and dads have more difficulties than others as they make this transition.  Many dads struggle and feel very overwhelmed and stressed, and about 10% become depressed.

To add to our existing range of evidence-based mental health support programs for new and expectant parents, the team at PIRI are currently working on a world-first specialised web-based treatment for depressed or anxious new fathers, DadBooster.

Depressed new fathers rarely access traditional support services, and their symptoms go largely unacknowledged and untreated. This new program will be based upon the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach of our successful MumMoodBooster treatment program for new mums.

DadBooster is designed for men who are experiencing paternal postnatal depression. This program is based on years of clinical experience and controlled research about how to best reduce moderate to severe symptoms of depression.

DadBooster Home Page
DadBooster Internal Page

DadBooster is an active, six-session cognitive-behavioural therapy treatment program, closely comparable to the therapy delivered in traditional face-to-face psychology sessions, but entirely under the control of the user. It allows men to work through their own issues and develop strategies for dealing with these. Low-intensity SMS messages provide regular contact, advice, and encouragement to remain motivated in completing the treatment. Changes in symptoms of depression are regularly monitored throughout the program. Men can invite their partners to access a partner website with information on paternal depression and for managing their own emotional health.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous funding from the Ian Potter Foundation, Perpetual Impact Philanthropy and Men of Malvern, with support from the Baker Foundation and the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI).

DodBooster Study