SMS4dads Message Testing

CLINICIAN FEEDBACK ON MESSAGES FOR DADS WHOSE PARTNER EXPERIENCES MENTAL HEALTH DISTRESS 

SMS4dads helps fathers better understand and connect with their baby and partner through free text messages that provide info, tips and encouragement.

Examples of current SMS4dads texts are:SMS4dads Clinicians Message Feedback PANDA -

4dad: Notice something your partner is doing well and tell her about it. It is important for her to hear this now.
 
4dad: If you’re feeling bored your baby might be too. Try doing something different for a change of scene. Or try changing the scene.
 

We’d love your feedbackSMS4dads Clinicians Message Feedback PANDA -

 

SMS4dads is developing a special set of messages to provide support to Dads whose partners experience perinatal mental health distress. The messages in development have been crafted based on feedback from PANDA participants, however we’d also like to run them by clinicians who have worked with parents who have experienced perinatal mental health distress. 

We appreciate your participation in offering feedback which will support a service for parents who experience perinatal mental distress.

What’s Involved

If you agree to give feedback on the draft messages you will be sent some texts like the ones above but written for dads whose partners experience mental health distress. 

For each text you will be asked to text back a number in answer to these three questions:

 

IS THE MESSAGE EASY TO UNDERSTAND?
1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree
 
IS THE MESSAGE CONSISTENT WITH CLINICAL PRACTICE?
1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree
 
IS IT SUITABLE FOR A PARTNER OF A MOTHER EXPERIENCING PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH DISTRESS

1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neutral
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree

If you wish to, you can add comments.

If you would like to participate

Please complete the following form. Thanks for your interest in the development of this service for dads.

CONTACT DETAILS

SMS4dads Clinicians Message Feedback PANDA -
SMS4dads Clinicians Message Feedback PANDA -

SMS4dads in partnership with PANDA

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.