Together as a group since 2012, they started life as a one-off way to encourage their kids.
The “Boy Band” now uses dance routines, while capitalising on the comedy of dads on a dancefloor, to stem the torrent of male suicide.
OPD is fighting to remedy the epidemic with real talk about men, mental health, masculinity, and how men deal with emotions.
Their mission is to encourage open-aired and honest conversations about mental illness.
By sharing their own experiences, the dance troop aims to raise awareness about the emotional, familial, and sometimes physical struggles created by psychological roadblocks.
They hope to help men grieve, and see emotion as a strength, not a weakness and avoid keeping things buried or bottled up.
When men tend to bottle up how they feel, a spokesman for the group said, they can explode on the wrong people, at the wrong time, hurting those they love the most.
For me, much of this is explained by the plague of fatherless homes.
Without a Father’s Love
Speaking from experience, fatherlessness makes emotional maturity and its connection to mental health a lot harder to achieve, let alone maintain.
Those who want to do better, and give better, often have to wing it, or hold their breath, pray, and hope for the best.
Add to this the frustrations of living in a world full of man-hating anti-masculinity activism, and just existing can devolve into a desperate fight for survival.
In this context, life can become an insufferable storm.
Putting the dancefloor between this storm and themselves has helped these dads bond, as well as break through their own personal tragedies and mental wellness challenges, ‘one dad dance step at a time.’
OPD wrote in mid-June,
‘In some shape or form, mental health impacts everyone globally, and yet the stigma still causes so much shame, fear, doubt, isolation, and misunderstanding.
‘We want everyone to support their mental health as openly and as regularly as we know we should for our physical health.
‘Even if you don’t think you need to!’ the group added.
On a Mission
Offering clarity of purpose, mission, and operational status, Outta Puff said, the three pillars driving their team are:
Break the stigma surrounding the subject so that we normalise mental health-related conversations.
Put support groups around ourselves where we feel comfortable and free to talk openly, knowing we’ll be greeted with non-judgmental empathy.
Engage in regular positive activities that constantly support, nurture, and underpin our ongoing health (mental and physical).
The group’s success is attributed to its online presence.
They have global reach, going viral on Tik Tok, alongside Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
Thanks to social media, ‘our content now reaches millions of people per month,’ explained Artistic director Paul Jukes.
Thanking supporters for helping OPD’s impact, he said, there’s ‘still more work to be done.’
‘Empowered by my own experiences of depression, I am passionate about reaching and supporting even more people, encouraging positive change and removing mental health stigma.’
Mental wellness is as important as our physical health, he added.
Credit where credit is due.
I’m a fan of the efforts of the Brighton crew.
Some men play golf. Others fish. Some collect stamps. (Not judging)
These dads dig a dancefloor. It’s a great concept, with a clear mission.
Would I ever do this, though? Nope.
Sign me up for a garage band over dad choreography on Tik Tok any day.
Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.