Ashleigh Watkins

Host University: Newcastle University

PhD research project: Fathers’ mental health and well-being experiences within the perinatal period

Project summary: My research will examine fathers of all backgrounds differing mental health and well-being experiences within the perinatal period, as well as their experiences of accessing support (barriers and facilitators) and the tailored support needs they require.

My project will also explore current support for fathers within the NHS and health and social care services including Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise services (VCSE) assessing health professionals’ opinions and perspectives on what they think may be beneficial.

No comprehensive approach to assessing fathers’ mental health needs currently exists and with an overwhelming lack of support for fathers currently, it is imperative that research is conducted to inform the development of tailored interventions for all parenting experiences. This research will be based in the North East and North East Cumbria.

My background and research interests: Previous to the PhD, I was an Assistant Psychologist in the NHS, conducting research within a Perinatal Community Mental Health Team and Mother and Baby Unit. Prior to this I conducted research within maternal perinatal mental health focusing on birth trauma. I have a huge interest in researching perinatal mental health.

Expected PhD completion date: 2024

Contact: [email protected]