Hemel Mum backs mental health campaign for dads

Helen Birch
Helen Birch

A Hemel Hempstead mum is supporting a campaign to raise awareness of the mental health issues of fathers.

Helen Birch, aged 38, lost her partner to suicide in 2015, when she was pregnant with her third child.

Helen is now a supporter of campaigner Mark Williams, who raises awareness around the world about the importance of fathers’ mental health. Mark is the founder of International Fathers Mental Health Day and has a website, at reachingoutpmh.co.uk

He has set up a petition urging the government to provide mental health screening for all new fathers, at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/205928

Helen works with Mark on the #Howareyoudad campaign and has also set up a closed Facebook group called We Can Do This, for anyone experiencing any type of pre- or postnatal trauma.

She has shared her story at conferences, appeared on local radio, written an article for Babies on Board magazine and won the Heart FM Hertfordshire Heroes Bravery Award.

Helen is currently writing a book about her experience.

Helen said: “I am so excited to be working alongside Mark, raising awareness and making sure that all future generations know that talking and asking for help is a really good thing.

“No-one should have to experience the pain of losing a loved one to suicide, nor should anyone feel like that is their only option. I want every person to know that, no matter what you are going through, there are people who can care for you, can help you keep your head above water, to enable you to get through the pregnancy and beyond.

“So please, if you need help you must ask. Always be honest about how you feel, however scary, and accept the help that is offered to you. It won’t be a quick fix, but you will be put on the right path and you are not alone.”