The best books for new fathers about their mental health

Who am I?

Mark Williams is a keynote speaker, author, and international campaigner. In 2004 he himself experienced depression and suffered in silence for years until he entered community mental health services. He founded International Fathers Mental Health Day and #Howareyoudad campaign to make sure all parents are having support for the whole family. In 2020 Mark published the report called "Fathers Reaching Out - Why Dads Matter" to explain the importance of paternal mental health which has far better outcomes for the whole family and the development of the child when we include fathers. Mark is also an ambassador for Mothers For Mothers Charity.


I wrote...

Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health: A Guide for Recognition, Treatment and Management

By Jane Hanley, Mark Williams,

Book cover of Fathers and Perinatal Mental Health: A Guide for Recognition, Treatment and Management

What is my book about?

It is only in recent years that there has been development in the awareness of the father’s mental health. Yet, the father’s mental health can influence the mother, the infant, the family, and society. This book seeks to address the reasons why the father or the potential father could suffer from a mental disorder or illness during the perinatal period, his reactions, and what can be done to help him.

The book explores the way in which fathers’ mental health has presented in the past and how it presents now. It looks at the father’s attitudes towards his mental well-being and how he may self-manage and self-medicate. It examines the impact and influences the potential father and the father’s mental health has on his partner, infant, and children.

The books I picked & why

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The Life of Dad: The Making of a Modern Father

By Dr. Anna Machin,

Book cover of The Life of Dad: The Making of a Modern Father

Why this book?

Dr Machin draws on her research and the latest findings in genetics, neuroscience and psychology to tell the story of fatherhood. She will show the extraordinary physiological changes a man undergoes when he becomes a father, investigate how a man’s genes can influence what sort of father he will be, and will show how a dad makes a unique contribution to his child’s life, helping to foster independence of mind and spirit.


Parental Mental Health: Factoring in Fathers

By Jane I. Honikman, Daniel B. Singley,

Book cover of Parental Mental Health: Factoring in Fathers

Why this book?

The authors are well-known experts on parental mental health. The book shows their passion and how we need to be more father-inclusive as personally, I believe that supporting all new parents for their mental health has far better outcomes for the whole family and the development of the child.

Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers

By Olivia Spencer,

Book cover of Sad Dad: An Exploration of Postnatal Depression in Fathers

Why this book?

The book includes a review of recent studies and research in this area, looking at the effects of postnatal depression on children and relationships, and an investigation into the reasons behind male postnatal depression, including the social and psychoanalytic factors which go some way to explaining why men experience this depression as well as women.

DAD: Untold stories of Fatherhood, Love, Mental Health and Masculinity

By Elliott Rae,

Book cover of DAD: Untold stories of Fatherhood, Love, Mental Health and Masculinity

Why this book?

DAD is a deeply moving and inspiring collection of stories that represent the diversity of modern fatherhood and seeks to start a conversation that challenges the traditions associated with masculinity.

Including 20 powerful and defiant stories about postnatal depression, becoming a new dad during the pandemic, miscarriage, widowhood, stillbirth, co-parenting, childbirth trauma, work-life balance, new dads at work, shared parental leave, being a stay-at-home dad, gay fatherhood, and surrogacy, being a stepdad, black fatherhood, raising a child of dual heritage, being a single dad, faith, and fatherhood, raising a child with autism, gender stereotypes and more. Elliot Rae and MFF


New Fathers, Mental Health and Digital Communication

By Paul Hodkinson, Ranjana Das,

Book cover of New Fathers, Mental Health and Digital Communication

Why this book?

This book explores the experiences of new fathers struggling with mental health difficulties and focuses on the role of digital media as part of their approaches to coping. Hodkinson and Das show how the ways new fathers are positioned by society can make it hard for them to recognize their struggles as legitimate, or reach out for help. The book explores a range of different uses of digital communication by struggling fathers, from selective forms of disconnection, to the seeking out of online information or support.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in mental health, dads, and innovation?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about mental health, dads, and innovation.

Mental Health Explore 94 books about mental health
Dads Explore 33 books about dads
Innovation Explore 35 books about innovation

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time, and Living if you like this list.