Don’t let the past dictate your future….break free
And take Charge of your health!
Why Care, and Why Now?
- Black men live seven years less than men of any other racial groups
- More Black men have died from COVID-19 than any other race
- Black Men are more likely to die from preventable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, prostate cancer, kidney disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, and heart disease
- Black men suffer more oral diseases that are treatable
- Black men have a high suicide/homicide rate – 3rd leading cause of death in 15 – 24-year-olds
- Approximately, 1 in 2 black men who have sex with other men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime – a rate of 50%.
- Colorectal cancer rate is the highest in black communities than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S
- Epigenetics – predisposed by genetic and environmental factors
It is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work. Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence. (CDC.gov, n.d)
How you live, where you live, where you work, learn and play, impacts your health and drives health disparities.
The Following Contribute to Epigenetic Changes:
- Poverty- lack of access to healthy foods, fresh air, clean water
- Chronic stress- racial bias, social injustices, societal obstacles
- Lack of health insurance-lack of access to basic medical care
Focus on What You Do Best
- Lack of education-lack of knowledge about health choices, care for self and others, and navigation of health care system
- Make your health a priority!
- Find a primary care physician (family doctor) and know your health baseline.
- Know your family health history and advocate for yourself.
- Manage your weight by exercising –can’t go to the gym? Find a walking buddy, fresh air will do you good!
- Establish a support system -find someone to keep you accountable for your health/unhealthy behaviors.
- Get enough sleep, lack of adequate sleep contributes to weight gain.
- Seek help for your mental health, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength!
- Seek medical help, don’t wait until it is too late.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables than sweets or processed foods.
- Educate yourself by reading/obtaining information from trusted reputable sources.
- Manage your stress,…… laughter is good medicine!!
Most importantly, don’t quit! Don’t quit on yourself or others around you.
- Live Another Day – Extensive information on mental health and substance use resources for People of Color. Their mission is equal access to life-saving resources.
- Detox Local – An excellent resource that features abundant information including mental health and substance use resources specifically for the AAPI (American Asian and Pacific Islander) community.
- U.S Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/content.aspx?ID=10238
- Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Office of Equity and Minority Health, https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71550_2955_2985—,00.html
- Men’s Health Resource Center, https://www.menshealthresourcecenter.com/
- Men’s Health Network (MHN), https://www.menshealthnetwork.org/
- Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/mens-health/basics/mens-health/hlv-20049438
- Men’s Guide to Mental Health, https://www.bcbsm.com/behavioral-mental-health/resources/men/
- National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Identity-and-Cultural-Dimensions/Black-African-American