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How to Help Fathers Prioritize Their Health

Posted by Antoine Johnson

Most Recent Fatherhood Posts

Jun 25, 2024

June marks a significant time for raising awareness about men's health, but in the conversation about well-being, there's a crucial voice that often gets overlooked—the voice of fathers.

As we delve into Men's Health Month, fatherhood practitioners and human service organizations can recognize and encourage fathers to prioritize their health. One of the most significant contributions fathers can make to their children and families’ health is prioritizing their own self-care and preventive health practices.

Think about these facts. According to the Indiana University School of Medicine:

  • Only 60 percent of men go to the doctor for yearly routine check-ups.
  • Men die an average of 5 years earlier than women.
  • 31 percent of men suffer from depression in their lifetime.
  • Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for men in the U.S., and men are 2 to 3 times more likely to get prostate cancer if their father, brother, or son had it.

Men's Health Month reminds fathers to take charge of their health, schedule routine check-ups, and seek support when needed. This will ultimately lead to healthier and happier families.

Consider ways you can help fathers develop healthy habits (e.g., eating healthy, working out, and getting enough sleep).

Here are a few things you can suggest to help dads prioritize their health:

  1. Schedule yearly check-ups (physicals) and go to the doctor when sick.
  2. Reduce stress.
  3. Balance work and family life.
  4. Join a community of faith.
  5. Join or start a support group or network for dads.

By modeling healthy behaviors and demonstrating the importance of regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and proactive healthcare, fathers set a powerful example for their children and loved ones.

Explore programs and resources for fathers that integrate a men’s health component. National Fatherhood Initiative®'s (NFI’s) Profathering15™, for example, allows dads to grow by learning skills in fathering, healthy relationships, and their physical and mental health. Additionally, NFI’s Three Steps For Dads to Care For Their Mental Health brochure is a great print resource to distribute to the dads you serve.

As we observe Men's Health Month this June, let's not forget to celebrate and engage fathers as essential champions of well-being. By recognizing their influential role in promoting health within their families and communities, we can create a ripple effect of positive change that extends far beyond individual lives.

Together, let's empower fathers to prioritize their health, break down barriers to engagement, and build a healthier, more vibrant future for all.

Do you include a men’s health component in your programs and services for fathers?

How can you help fathers recognize their influential role in promoting health within their families?

he Benefits of Fatherhood Programs in Community-Based Organizations

Topics: fatherhood research, men's health, Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, NFI-Specific Programs & Resources, General Fatherhood Research & Studies, mental health

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