I am a father of three. I faced many challenges growing up of sexual and mental abuse, bullying, mental and physical health issues and social isolation. I learnt how to survive by cutting myself off from nearly everything and everyone.
A couple of years ago I received the best help from somewhere I wasn’t expecting… A new project was set up to promote the importance of fathers’ wellbeing and the impact it has on their kids. They put me in direct contact with other fathers who had been through their own struggles, some of which were similar to mine. Here I found that actually talking about and sharing lived experiences helped me to bring some clarity to my life.
Salford Dadz has allowed me to sit down and talk with someone who ‘has been there and got the t-shirt’. On reflection, I understand that when you are at rock bottom it is hard to see any hope. But talking to someone who has also been at rock bottom too can help change your perspective as they have a similar lived experience. This can benefit you more than talking to a professional where there is not that type of connection or understanding.Moving forward, I feel this kind of support should not be offered as a replacement for the system but should be a big part of the wider support system. Some of this change in society has started to happen already. I hope to be able to help this change happen and that it can continue to lead me and others to a better future.