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Talk to sons about mental health,dads told

Press AssociationPress Association 28/10/2016

Fathers are being urged to open up about mental health with their sons after a survey showed half of teenage boys would be uncomfortable talking about issues including stress, anxiety and depression with them.

A British poll of 16 to 18-year-olds found many boys and young men would not talk to their fathers about their mental health because their parent either does not talk about their feelings, or they would not want to burden them.

About one in three of the teenagers in the survey said they chose instead to "put a brave face on", although the majority wanted their fathers to talk to them about mental health.

Campaigners say the findings clearly show young men take cues from their fathers when it comes to their attitudes and behaviour towards mental health.

Jo Loughran, interim director at mental health awareness campaign Time to Change, said: "We want to encourage all dads to talk more openly so that if and when their sons do develop mental health problems, they can be more supportive of them.

"If we can break the negative cycle of men feeling unable to speak out, we can create a new generation of men who no longer feel isolated, ashamed and unable to reach out for the help that they, and everyone around them, needs to successfully manage their mental health."

The research was carried out for Time to Change, a British campaign by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

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