Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has joined a rally outside the Scottish Parliament today to encourage fathers to talk more about their love for their children.
The rally, organised by campaign group Fathers4Justice, aimed to break the wall of silence surrounding the suicides of separated fathers in Scotland, after the group found themselves increasingly dealing with suicide reports.
The rally comes after a survey found almost a quarter of people believe mothers love their children more than fathers. A survey of more than 1,000 people found that 23% believe mothers love their children more than fathers do.
Fathers from across Scotland gathered to sign a large Valentine’s Card to all children in Scotland as a reminder of the important role a father can play in a child’s life.
Fathers for Justice founder Matt O’Conner said:
“Nine men die every week from suicide in Scotland and 71% of all suicides are men.
“Not only is suicide the biggest killer of men under 45 across the UK, but dads are three times more likely to die after separation than mothers.
“While it is encouraging that 77% of Scots believe that parents love their children equally, we want that number to be 100%. Men must become more comfortable talking about their feelings about their children and push to play an active part in their lives following a break-up”
Commenting at the event, Finlay said:
“This event is all about fathers showing their love for their children. Many men feel uncomfortable expressing their emotions which causes us to be in this peculiar situation where some people believe that mothers love their children more than fathers. This is just not the case.
“We need to change the culture around how parents are treated after separation. I am in support of equal parenting, where both mothers and fathers are given equal rights by the courts.
“I hope that this campaign will encourage father’s to be more open about their feelings for their children, and help to highlight the vital role many fathers play in their children’s lives.”