support for Dads in Distress

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support options

100% of our support is FREE, male/dad friendly, confidential and non judgemental.

Telephone Support

Helpline for & by separated dads.
Check calendar below for time by location

  • Call 1300 853 437, or +61 (0)2 6652 8113
  • Operates daytime 7 days a week
  • Times by location listed in calendar
  • Leave voicemail if our operators busy.
  • Email

Online Support

Online groups run for & by separated dads.
Check calendar for current status & details

  • Monday eve (FREE Expert Q&A)
  • Tuesday eve (standard DIDs meeting)
  • Thursday eve (standard DIDs meeting)
  • Sunday eve (standard DIDs meeting)

In Person Support

In person groups run for & by separated dads.
Check calendar for current status & details

  • ACT – Canberra (every Tue eve)
  • NSW – Charlestown (every Tue eve)
  • NSW – Freshwater (every Wed eve)
  • NSW – Gosford (every Thu eve)
  • NSW – Maitland (every Mon eve)
  • NSW – Singleton (every Wed eve)
  • NSW – Sydney CBD (every Tue eve)
  • NT – Darwin (every 2nd Wed eve)
  • QLD – Brisbane (every Tue eve)
  • QLD – Gold Coast (every 2nd Tue eve)
  • SA – Adelaide (every Tue eve)
  • TAS – Hobart (every Wed eve)
  • WA – Perth (every Tue eve)
  • VIC – Bayswater (every Tue eve)
  • VIC – Frankston (every Wed eve)
  • VIC – Geelong (every Mon eve)
  • VIC – North Melbourne (every Wed eve)


Calendar of Support

This calendar shows up to the minute status and details. Click entry in calendar to view details

On a mobile? Open mobile friendly calendar

Dads in Distress has been keeping dads alive and in their kids lives since Fathers Day, 1999.

We provide 100% free, confidential and non judgemental support to dads who are going through or have gone through separation – in particular, separation from their kids. All of the team at Dads in Distress are peers, dads who’ve been through it themselves. We get the issues and we know what it feels like to be in this situation. You might feel isolated, anxious, depressed, hopeless. You might have suicidal thoughts, which is not all that unusual when the situation seems overwhelming. Our team, having been there, can appreciate where you’re at and be there to listen and provide you useful pointers that make this more manageable. Common issues and questions we get at our support groups include the likes of:

  • Are my kids being alienated from me?
  • How do I get legal help?
  • What is the court process?
  • I’m struggling with child support payments
  • The contact order is being broken / ignored
  • I can’t sleep and its ruining my life / career
  • How does mediation work
  • I’m being accused of horrific things I’ve not done
  • Allegations are isolating me from my friends and family
  • How do I self-represent
  • I feel isolated / hopeless
  • I don’t know how to communicate with the mum of our kids without it going off the rails
  • All the above and many many more

If this sounds like you then, you’re in the right place and we can help.

Support groups: DIDs provides support in a number of ways, the main of which are peer support groups that run in different locations around Australia and online each week. These are drop in so there’s no need to book, prepare or pay, just drop in to your local group or click the link to join one of our online groups at the start times shown. In both cases, don’t be late as we kick off on time. These groups are generally 2hrs long and you’ll have the opportunity to talk to other dads, like you, confidentially and to hear the wisdom and insight of the other dads around issues that you’re struggling with.

Workshops: We also operate regular free workshops (100% confidential) with external ‘dad friendly’ experts such as lawyers, police officers and psychologists who can answer your questions in a safe space.

Helpline: Last, but not least, we operate our helpline on 1300 853 437 open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm AET (or check linked calendar linked for times in your timezone). The helpline can be busy but if you are prompted to leave a voicemail, please do so because we can see your call but we are probably tied up on another one right there and then – we will call you back quickly.

All of our DIDs support is listed in our calendar. Click on any entry to expand it and see more detail such as the meeting address or to get the link to join an online meeting.

helpline for dads in distress

Support Helpline

National Support Line, call 1300 853437, operates 7 days / week, 9am-5pm AET

24/7 Online Chat & Forum

We have a safe private forum where you can chat to other peers around Australia 24/7. Its called the Virtual Veranda. Attend a meeting and you’ll be provided details how to join. Like everything we do, its free, confidential, male friendly. Access is via web or mobile app. 

Online Support Meetings

Talk live with dads just like you across Australia. Check the calendar, select the meeting, check the start time, then use the link for that day to join at the start time. You can also use URL at start times to join. 

in person support groups for dads in distress

In-person Support Groups

Some community based groups are active now! But some are still temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. See calendar.

Separation Checklist

Where to start? What are all the things you wish you knew about now, but that you might not think about before it’s too late? Here’s a good place to start.

links to helpful resources for separated dads in distress

External Support Links

A bunch of links to services most dads we support would probably want to know about.

Pete Nicholls Parental Alienation from a Dads Perspective

 In 2013, Pete volunteered as a DIDs group facilitator. With a passion for suicide prevention, he has since made PBB his main occupation and retains  roles within PBB.  As a separated dad, he has 21 years experience of parental separation.

Thank you Tony Miller. Thank you for starting Dads in Distress. Thank you for saving lives.

“I was a dad in distress, I went through a separation and a divorce, I wasn’t allowed to see my kids, I was hurting.” – Tony Miller OAM


Steve, one of our dads talks about his experience with DIDs

“I came across DIDs when I was going through a tough challenge in my life. I had barely had any contact with my daughter in 8 years. When I came across DIDs everything seemed to change.” -Steve

Father's Day Report

This is a reports on separating dads and the issue of suicide.

Click here to view our report

In this first report, we look at trust and its impact on dads getting help.

Also, how well are we performing as a suicide prevention support service….