Welcome to the SMS4Dads Reference Group

 Hey Dads! Thank you for joining the SMS4Dads Reference Group.

We really appreciate your involvement and hope your journey of fatherhood is going well!

The SMS4dads Reference Group is an engaged group of over 270 dads who are keen to contribute to the development of the SMS service and make a positive impact on the transition and journey of fatherhood for themselves and for other dads.

We’d love your help to shape up content for dads, to sharpen up the messages and keep us in the loop with changes such as technology trends that influence how dads parent.

There are a couple of ways to join the conversation and participate in this group.

Firstly, you can jump on board and fill out a couple of surveys. The surveys are a great way to share your ideas and opinions and get involved. Click on the link below to find out more.

WHAT NEXT

We know most dads are super busy so we promise not to overload you with texts or emails or to share your number with any third parties.

SMS4dads will occasionally send an invitation to reference group members asking for feedback on SMS4dads messages. This happens about four times a year.

The message will be in the form of a short text that you can respond to and offer your opinion. (Everything is optional and you can contribute as much or as little as you like in any key areas of interest).

Thanks again for your participation in the SMS4Dads Reference Group.

Feel free to get in touch if you’d like more information.

All the best from the SMS4dads Team!

Welcome to the Reference Group -
Welcome to the Reference Group -
Welcome to the Reference Group -

Richard’s research revealed possible long-term negative impacts on the children of dads with mental health issues. Fathers’ depressive symptoms in the first year after the birth predicted behaviour problems in their children years later.

“If dads’ mental health has such a dramatic impact then we need to be screening dads for depression, not just mums,” Richard explains.

In response to these limitations, Richard and his team have designed a smart-phone based program that allows mobile connection for new and expectant dads.

Participants receive texts containing information and links, and self-report their mood. If the mood tracker identifies dads as needing extra support, they will be offered a phone call from a counsellor trained in this area.

Following the success of the pilot of the SMS4dads program, Funding was received to enable a National roll-out.

“When dad’s miss antenatal classes or activities, they also miss out on contact and links to other people.  They may never get the chance to say to anyone, look I’m really stressed,” he points out.

“SMS4dads is a way of bringing dads into the health system and keeping them linked in with services and support,” explains Richard.

Richard Fletcher

Associate Professor, PhD

Richard credits a varied career, a talented and innovative team, and much life experience for affording him the insight needed to address the challenges related to actively engaging dads.

After completing his masters in Medical Science, studying epidemiology, Richard earned his PhD focusing on fathers and attachment.

“Fathers are invisible in many places, and that is endemic. Not because people dislike fathers, but because the system is set up to be focused on mothers.”

Some services and organisations are aware of the need to engage dads, but have been unsuccessful in their attempts.

“When people are challenged about this, they generally want dads involved,” Richard affirms.

“Often, however, they just don’t know how to do it.”

Richard works with health professionals on issues related to fathers, and has delivered many antenatal programs for expectant dads.

He credits his own family with giving him an understanding of the role of fathers needed to make his work relevant.

“I have three daughters and two stepdaughters,”

“My kids would say they taught me just about everything I know and they’d be right. They’ve taught me a lot, and still do.”

Richard’s research revealed possible long-term negative impacts on the children of dads with mental health issues. Fathers’ depressive symptoms in the first year after the birth predicted behaviour problems in their children years later.

“If dads’ mental health has such a dramatic impact then we need to be screening dads for depression, not just mums,” Richard explains.

In response to these limitations, Richard and his team have designed a smart-phone based program that allows mobile connection for new and expectant dads.

Participants receive texts containing information and links, and self-report their mood. If the mood tracker identifies dads as needing extra support, they will be offered a phone call from a counsellor trained in this area.

Following the success of the pilot of the SMS4dads program, Funding was received to enable a National roll-out.

“When dad’s miss antenatal classes or activities, they also miss out on contact and links to other people.  They may never get the chance to say to anyone, look I’m really stressed,” he points out.

“SMS4dads is a way of bringing dads into the health system and keeping them linked in with services and support,” explains Richard.