Early Parenthood: Supporting Fathers — [Geraint Davies in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:30 am on 30th January 2019.

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Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons) 9:30 am, 30th January 2019

I thank the hon. Lady for her well-informed discussion of this important issue. She may be aware of my constituent Mark Williams, who has been a campaigner for the best part of a decade on fathers’ mental health after childbirth. He has been fundamental in pushing the campaign in all nations of the UK, including in the English NHS. He tells me frequently that—as the hon. Lady says—in the services that follow a baby’s birth the father is almost forgotten.

Mark had a breakdown—I know he will not mind my saying that on the Floor of this Chamber. It took him years to understand what was wrong, but now he champions the issue. Does the hon. Lady agree that we need more fathers like Mark to stand up and say that this is a problem? As she will be aware from her former role as a Minister, loneliness and mental health are an issue, and it is worse in men because we do not like talking about it. We need more people like Mark to speak up about what they face after having children.