4 December 2019

Supporting Dads

Guys go through a huge life change when they become Dads. We worked with Dads Group Inc. to fund a project to help them through.

Many men struggle to make and maintain strong social connections, which can contribute to social isolation and loneliness. In some cases, it can also lead to anxiety, depression and – for some men – suicide.

To tackle this mental health issue, we called for innovative, outside-the-box ideas for game-changing products and services which focused on increasing social connection amongst men. We picked the best 13 projects from around the world to receive pilot funding as part of the Social Innovators Challenge, a $5.6 million investment with the goal of helping men forge stronger, longer lasting and more meaningful relationships.

One of those projects from our own backyard is DGI Connect, run by Dads Group Inc., a community organisation committed to connecting new Dads to improve their mental health. Founded by Tom and Kate Docking in 2014 when they discovered there was limited support for new fathers at a national level. So they created their own version of Dad’s Groups – similar to Mum’s Groups which are found all around the country.

“Dad’s Group started because I realised that I had no idea how to Dad. So I connected with some of my mates who were already Dads, with their babies, and we started our first Dad’s Group unofficially,” says Tom Docking, Founder of Dads Group Inc.

“The Movember funding has changed Dads Group because it has allowed us to explore running more Dads Groups. It has allowed fund, analyse, iterate and then roll it out again.

“The underlying challenges you go through, every Dad has those in different ways. And so, in talking about it, people just connect and resonate . . . We don’t do that enough, we don’t recognise [the importance of] that. But it unlocks the power to impart wisdom and that is the most exciting thing about Dads Group.”

To find out more about DGI Connect and Dads Group, visit www.dadsgroup.org. To find out more about our work in Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, click here.