Words on Father’s Mental Health from PSI founder, Jane I. Honikman

In Honor of Fathers
By Jane I. Honikman, M.S.
Founder of Postpartum Support International

We honor men who are fathers each June with expressions of appreciation and love. It is a centuries old global tradition.  Father’s Day is about celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society. It marks the historic recognition of their traditional roles as protectors and providers.  That is the father who raised me.  Personally, it is a poignant time of year because my father passed away on Father’s Day in 1970.  I inherited his blue eyes, musical ear, determination, and a curious mind.  What I never understood about him was his occasional erratic behavior caused by his mental illness.  I honor and remember him now.

I founded Postpartum Support International with him in mind. I have always believed that both fathers and mothers contribute to our shared future.  Children inherit their parents’ genes and are nurtured through family and community experiences.  My vision for PSI is the development of parent support networks in every community in the world with an emphasis on inclusion, emotional support, prevention, and wellness.  The basis of my point of view comes from being a feminist.  Social norms are changing through advocacy and activism.  It is paramount to have heartfelt conversations about how fathers are viewed today. As we celebrate the role of fathers in all cultures, we recognize and acknowledge the power and importance of parental mental health.