Time to Talk Day – My friend Mark Williams, a pioneer in fathers mental health

Last night my friend Mark Williams sent me a blog post due to go out today for Time to Talk Day 2019.

Mark is a pioneer in fathers mental health. He was the first man to bravely open up to the world about his struggles with postnatal depression (PND). From there he rocketed into the world of perinatal mental health (PMH).

Everyone wanted to talk to the man who claimed that dads needed support in the postnatal period. Mark travelled the world for free to appear on TV and to give talks about fathers PND. There was no other motive than to tell the world that dads need help too.

Mark made big changes to the way PMH is handled these days. Mark is the reason midwives ask “How’s dad doing?”

As I began to read his post it was apparent that after years and years of campaigning, changing, supporting and talking about fathers postnatal depression Mark is going to be leaving this field in 2021 to focus on other things.

“People may know I am an International campaigner, author and keynote speaker on fathers mental health but for me it comes a time I need to move on after years of hours each day campaigning and living it daily causing anxiety of those dark days” – Mark Williams 

As I read his honest words I started to cry. My dear friend Mark has been a rock to me during my journey into the world of PMH. I already knew about the struggles and lows Mark has faced over the years but reading it last night really got me thinking and I can completely relate to his words.

“Working away from my family and the impact on my own mental health. The debt on credit cards for me and Michelle ( Only ever had £400 for TV, Magazines etc (paid talks came in 2015) which was put back into campaign). Given false hopes and taken advantage of thinking everyone is in this game to help but a small percentage are in it for their own gains mostly organisation ( I have met 95 per cent fantastic passionate people)” – Mark Williams 

Mark supported me when times were tough and he gave me the courage to campaign with him for a specialist mother and baby unit in Wales.

me and Mark Williams

Mark reminded me to tell my story of postpartum psychosis with caution and to only publish what I was comfortable with.

He really gave me a boost and helped with my confidence in talking about perinatal mental health. Mark trained me in PMH and introduced me to some lovely people.

I know he will be actively working in PMH until 2021 so we still have time to make more changes but time goes by so fast.

Together we have this mother and baby unit to sort for Wales. Hopefully we will get the results we need by 2021. If we don’t, then I will continue this fight for a unit.

Marks full blog post can be found here – http://www.reachingoutpmh.co.uk/time-to-talk-day-why-i-need-to-tell-you-i-am-moving-on/

Marks book Daddy Blues can be purchased here – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Daddy-Blues-Postnatal-Depression-Fatherhood/dp/1911246771

 

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