Register for our kickoff of the first phase of the SpringMo Black Wellness Initiative

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The Impact of Men’s Health on Fatherhood

Springfield, MO— June is National Men’s Health Month. It’s a time for boys and men to focus on caring for their bodies by eating healthy foods, getting physical activity, and being diligent about preventing chronic disease. June is also the time we celebrate men with Father’s Day. Fatherhood is rewarding as it gives men a sense of purpose and fulfillment and positively affects their health.
Fatherhood can also be challenging and stressful as men balance work, family, and personal life demands, leading to stress, anxiety, and other mental and health conditions. Unfortunately, many Black Men endure these conditions, which can impact men’s ability to be present as a father and role models for young boys.
Black men face health disparities from systemic racism, discrimination, and socioeconomic factors, which can lead to poor health.
Systemic racism impacts access to opportunities for advancement to better lifestyles, education, employment, and healthcare. In addition, barriers to access to quality healthcare, such as transportation and insurance, can impact the ability to receive preventative care and treatment. These factors contribute to higher rates of chronic disease, including obesity, Type II diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, Black men’s leading causes of death.
According to the Men’s Health Braintrust, American boys and men die earlier than women at higher rates from many of these leading causes of death. Unfortunately, many men don’t seek preventative health care leading to poorer health outcomes. Men’s Health Month highlights the need for early detection and treatment of complex diseases for men, especially black men.
The socioeconomic factor of health disparities for Black men living in poverty and dealing with financial difficulties can impact access to healthy food, safe housing, and quality healthcare. In addition, environmental factors such as living in areas of high pollution, high crime, unclean water, toxins, and biohazardous regions can also impact health and increase the risk of chronic disease.
Fathers play an essential role in shaping children’s beliefs around health and wellness. Men’s attitudes and behaviors regarding pursuing health and fitness will impact children’s health. When fathers encourage healthy eating habits, demonstrate physical activity, and model positive coping strategies for stress helps men to be great role models for their children, grandchildren, and other young boys and men in their communities.
According to the Routledge Handbook of Parenting, fatherhood can positively and negatively affect men’s health. When men prioritize health and seek support, it influences the children in their lives. Strong community involvement and support from other black men promote opportunities to learn from others when faced with mental health challenges and overall well-being. In addition, fathers may benefit from connecting with other fathers and participating in community activities that involve their whole family.
Addressing health disparities for black men requires a comprehensive approach focusing on the underlying factors contributing to these disparities. Identifying systemic racism and discrimination, increasing access to healthcare and preventative service, promoting healthy behaviors and lifestyles, and addressing social and environmental factors that impact health.
The SpringMo Black Wellness Initiative Men’s Impact Summit on June 10th will address these issues and more. It’s an excellent opportunity for men and young men to learn more about health and wellness, relationships, the importance of physical activity, and finances from our community’s experts. All these factors play a role in men’s health. So register today for this important event for the black men in our community.

by Melesha Bailey,
UniteNews Contributing Writer

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