When flipping through a magazine to find a two-page spread of celebrities going out for coffee or taking their dog for a walk under the title, “Celebrities, they’re just like us!” it can still be difficult to find much in common with the rich and famous. But when it comes to mental health, celebrity families struggle with the same challenges that we do. As these celebrities can attest, the impact of fathers on mental health can be profound.
Ryan Reynolds, who’s been quoted extensively for his often humorous takes on parenting, reveals that a difficult relationship with his own father contributed to his struggle with anxiety: “I have three older brothers. Our father was tough. He wasn’t easy on anyone. And he wasn’t easy on himself. I think the anxiety might have started there, trying to find ways to control others by trying to control myself.“
And though he’s royalty, becoming a dad has changed Prince William’s perspective and opened up a candid discussion about raising children in an environment that supports their mental health needs. In a 2017 interview, he shared: “Catherine and I are clear that we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings.”
We will all go through tough times in our lives, but men especially feel the need to pretend that everything is OK, and that admitting this to their friends will make them appear weak. I can assure you this is actually a sign of strength.
Zak Williams, son of the late Robin Williams, shares that his father’s struggle with his mental health has inspired him to reach out to help others balance their own mental health needs, especially during the difficult events of early 2020. He and his siblings are always looking for ways to keep their father’s memory alive, including in their own Father’s Day celebration this year: “The key thing for us during this upcoming Father’s Day is just to take some quiet time to reflect as a family around all the things that we’re grateful for around him and who he was.”
Being a father is a challenging and rewarding adventure. Whether you’re a father yourself or have an awesome dad to celebrate, have a happy Father’s Day!
If you know a child or young adult struggling with depression or experiencing thoughts of self-harm, contact our psychiatric hospitals at 1-913-890-7468, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).