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With special guest:

  • Dr Chris May

Who ya gonna call?

Our guest today is Dr Chris May from the University of Newcastle and he has a simple message for new Dads with mobile phones. Sign up for SMS4 dads and you will get the advice you need to deal with the new challenges we face as a Dad. This is not limited to young Dads. The age range of Dads already accessing the service extends to the over 50 year olds.

A really good aspect of this service is that it is available to Dads in remote locations that find it particularly hard to access help. The NBN is opening up the most remote areas to better communication and this will make access easy.

Some of the Dads who have already signed up for this program have commented that it is like getting good advice from a mate and best of all the mate knows what he is talking about. The program operated by Chris May and his colleagues sends text messages by SMS at random times during the day and over the weekend that often seem to deal with the problem at hand. They may provide encouragement and guidance. One example Dr May gave us involved reminding Dad to give a few compliments to Mum which will be appreciated for sure and certain. Other interesting messages are sent as though from baby, such as it is dark in here, can’t wait to see your face. Dr May tells us about some other graphic examples that Dads will love to hear.

The service is also aimed at the problem of post-natal depression in men, an area that has yet to be properly examined but is suspected to be common in the community. By getting Dads to rate their mood the service can make available through an interactive process appropriate support for Dads doing it tough.

This new approach of sending SMS messages directly to Dads has not been tried previously in Australia but the early indications are that it is a winner with broad support from the Dads participating.

It is easy to join the SMS4 Dads group. Dads can telephone 0437 281 215 or just go to the SMS4 Dads website to get all the information. The service is free and available to Dads everywhere from all backgrounds.

You can also follow SMS4dads on Facebook and check out the YouTube promo video.

Dr Chris May

Dr Chris May is a Senior Researcher in the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle and Project Manager of the SMS4 Dads program. Dr May has a long standing interest in fathering and parenting partnerships fostered over more than 25 years of paediatric nursing. His research has been recognised when he became the first non-medical officer to be awarded South East Sydney Area Health’s open division research prize. His interesting background includes being qualified as a midwife in Edinburgh. His PhD explored the importance of co-parenting quality in families where there is a child with an autism spectrum disorder.

Song selection by our guest: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day by Morcheeba

Listen Now (mp3)

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