Words by Smiley Team
A charity supporting men struggling with their mental health and related issues has won a major national award.
The charity works with men across England and Wales who are undergoing family breakdown and are at risk of experiencing poor mental health, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts as a result.
“The men who come to us feel like no one listens, no one understands, or worse, no one cares enough to even try," says Nav Mirza, the Chief Executive of Dads Unlimited.
“The £40,000 in unrestricted funding will make a huge difference to our work and after the limited fundraising opportunities during the pandemic this could not have come at a better time.”
Dads Unlimited was founded in 2017 by one dad who had direct experience of mental health issues following the breakdown of his family.
The charity’s services aim to help dads in this situation to achieve a positive ongoing relationship with their children and by improving co-parenting relationships.
Men aged 40–54 have the highest suicide rates in the UK and research has found that one of the most common suicide ‘at risk’ groups are those experiencing relationship difficulties, specifically the breakdown of a long-term relationship or marriage.
Other services the charity delivers include one-to-one mentoring, to help dads navigate family separation, agree achievable goals, and understand their options to develop a positive co-parenting environment.
The team also provides practical support focused on helping dads plan and manage their contact with their children and offers free family court support.
Dads Unlimited has continued to operate throughout the pandemic and demand actually increased during this time, with calls rising from 578 a month pre-lockdown to 997 calls.
Last year, Dads Unlimited delivered more than 6,100 hours of mentoring to help nearly 500 parents and supported 135 men with suicidal ideation and 153 male victims of domestic abuse.
“Dads Unlimited is a young charity which has grown quickly and demonstrated a huge impact in that time," says Katie Pinnock, Director of UK Charitable Partnerships at GSK.
" Working to address an often-forgotten problem – the effect of family breakdown on men’s mental health – their innovative package of emotional support combined with practical advice and affordable legal services has proved effective in engaging dads who may have been reluctant to access other help.
“Their work has a clear focus on the needs they have identified, filling a gap in suicide prevention services, and people from across the country are now contacting them to access their support.”
DONATE: Help to improve the mental health of dads by donating to the charity.
VOLUNTEER: Be a Dads Unlimited fundraising hero – see what that means.