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Ford Paternity Workshops Help Dads Deal

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Ford Paternity Workshops
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Research shows that approximately 25 percent of men struggle with postnatal depression in the first three to six months after a child is born. Further, 10 percent of all fathers-to-be will face depression at some point during their partner’s pregnancy. To help dads and expectant dads cope with the all-too-real possibility of depression, Ford paternity workshops offer solace and understanding when it’s needed most.

“Many new dads have no idea that men suffer from postnatal depression. There is a tendency to bottle up emotions, stay silent or simply withdraw into themselves, to the point their work and family life suffer beyond repair,” said Lara Nicoll, manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Ford of Britain. “Creating an environment where men can talk openly about their anxiety enables them to feel less isolated and become the dads they want to be.”

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Ford Britain hosts paternity workshops three times a year in addition to its maternity workshops. During these Ford paternity workshops, fathers-to-be get the opportunity to try on a pregnancy suit that lets them feel the simulated weight of carrying a baby. Ford strives for gender inclusion and diversity, and these workshops join flexible schedules, entitlements, and well-being opportunities as part of its strategy.

Also available in the U.K. and Germany is the Ford Parent Network, which encourages employees to share advice with one another on the challenges and triumphs of raising children. Ford also offers a 24-hour helpline for its employees to give them the opportunity to discuss their struggles with mental health around the clock.

Ford of Britain has been involved in mental health discussions of late, kicking off its Elephant in the Transit campaign last year with Time to Change to help raise awareness. The automaker is also a part of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Working Forward campaign, which advocates for maternal and paternal rights in the workplace.

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