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Design Patterns for Service Delivery

Dads Unlimited has developed design principles and patterns for service delivery to men within a mental health context.

Built upon the Design Patterns for Mental Health, Dads Unlimited has also integrated research from How To Make Mental Health Services Work For Men, published by the Men’s Health Forum and The Movember Foundation, along with our own Design Patterns based on our experience of providing life-saving interventions for Men throughout the last five years.

Design Principles are high-level values that run through each of the Design Patterns and set out how Dads Unlimited delivers all services. Think of Design Principles as the ‘what we do‘.

Design Patterns are evidence-based solutions to implementing the Design Principles in an operational context. Think of Design Patterns as the ‘how we do it‘.

Design Principles for Men’s Mental Health Interventions

  1. Listen and respond1
  2. Make it human1
  3. Make it personal
  4. Be reliable and consistent
  5. Give control1 and empower
  6. Be clear1
  7. Adapt to changing needs1
  8. Create a safe space1

Design Patterns for Men’s Mental Health Interventions

  1. Listen and respond
    1. Tell the story once1
    2. Provide a space for peer support1
    3. Provide a range of ways to express yourself1
  2. Make it human
    1. Signpost to local services1
    2. Provide a space for peer support1,2
    3. Manage expectations1
    4. Display hours of service1
    5. Clearly show how to get in touch1
    6. Build positive self-image1
    7. Be Male positive2
    8. Remove the stigma2
    9. Provide Systemic Support​
  3. Make it personal​
    1. Tailor support to the person’s needs​
    2. Support for as long as they need​
  4. Be reliable and consistent​
    1. Provide a visible record of progress1
  5. Give control and empower​
    1. Encourage self-care1
    2. Define personal milestones1
    3. Build a sense of achievement​
    4. Stress privacy & confidentiality of consultations2
  6. Be Clear
    1. Manage expectations1
    2. Lead with what you offer1
    3. Use easy-to-understand, non-clinical language2
  7. Adapt to changing needs
    1. Encourage self-care1​
    2. Make it sustainable – anticipate change​
  8. Create a safe space
    1. Ease of Access1 – allow different routes for people​
    2. Tell people how you will use their information1
    3. Provide routes to anonymity1
    4. Provide an escape1
    5. Use purpose-centric settings2


  1. Design Patterns for Mental Health by SnookPublicPolicy Lab & Barnardo’s and Funded by Nominet
  2. How To Make Mental Health Services Work For Men published by the Men’s Health Forum, Haynes, and The Movember Foundation.
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The co-parenting programme was a groundbreaking moment. It has given me clarity. It has shifted my life so much. The quality of the mentoring support has been great. I was able to do things myself, but I received the support to take the correct routes. It empowered me, and I was in charge of my decisions but with the company of the mentoring service.
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Can't speak highly enough of Dads Unlimited they saved me from ruin and will always hold a place in my heart.....a truly wonderful group of individuals who will help your cause I am sure! ❤😁
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If you're a father or a mother and need help, you found the right place. Don't feel lonely Dads Unlimited are here to help you. They did to me.
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You're very special. You have supported me unconditionally! You're amazing, never unavailable for me. You listened... Yes listened.. But understood

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