A local dad plans to launch an all-in-one support service for fathers who have been separated from their children.
Christopher Millington is creating Action For Dads to show estranged fathers the range of support and legal advice available to them, before stressful situations takes too much of a toll on their mental health.
“Men often get treated as the absent parent or the deadbeat dad, whether it was their decision to end the relationship or not,” he said.
“There is no support to help men get back on their feet, no support to help fathers afford a home of their own so they can have appropriate access to their children, no support to help them communicate with the mother, and no support to help fathers fight for their rights.”
Christopher, a father of four himself, says the most important aspect of the group will be to support fathers as soon as possible after a relationship breakdown.
He said: “It’s important to have that support there right away, whether it’s accommodation, or even financial advice.”
He added: “From what I can gather, there is that support available, but it’s all in different places.”
The 31-year-old drew on his own personal experience when developing his idea, adding: “I was remembering the hard times after I split up with my children’s mum, and I was reflecting on what was available to help me at the time, and I realised there was nothing.
“It took me five years to get happy again, but sometimes I still feel like a babysitter to my own children.”
The care home manager added: “I want to deal with fathers’ mental health before it’s too late. Men typically don’t go to doctors a few days after feeling depressed, they’ll go six months later.
“They’ve already been let down by then. They might have already lost their relationship and their children.”
Christopher added: “There needs to be some focus on the man who is left on his own, and if we get that support for them, we are going to prevent a lot of issues and we are going to look more like a borough that takes this thing seriously.”
Find Action For Dads at gofundme.com/preventing-male-depression.