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Fieldscans


Physical and Mental Health Interventions for Black Men in the United States

Authors


Scheitler • Shimkhada • Ko • Ponce




Introduction

Given the high burden of violence on boys and men of color, it should be a priority to understand the factors contributing to violence exposure and involvement, and evaluate programs that might reduce this burden. As described in more detail below, strengths-based approaches hold particular promise for alleviating the burden of violence. It is the purpose of this paper to review existing knowledge on strengths-based approaches for boys and men of color.


Principal Investigator
  • A. J. Scheitler, EdD
  • Riti Shimkhada, PhD
  • Michelle Ko, MD, PhD
Principal Investigator
  • Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, PhD

Download Full Report

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Background

Physical and Mental Health Interventions for Black Men in the United States



This report, submitted to RISE for Boys and Men of Color (BMOC), is a comprehensive report of the findings from a field scan performed by the University of Michigan (U-M) Gender and Health Research (GendHR) Lab on physical and mental health interventions for black men1 in the United States.

This field scan is a natural extension of the GendHR Lab’s work on black men’s social and cultural experiences, and how these experiences contribute to their health trajectories and transitions. For the current RISE field scan, members of the GendHR Lab conducted a thorough and systematic review of the empirical and grey literatures to identify successful strategies used by organizations, agencies, and individuals across the United States to develop and maintain physical and mental health interventions for black men ages 18 and older.

Several physical and mental health interventions that target black men exist. Yet, few studies have (a) examined the unique characteristics of these interventions, and (b) examined the way these interventions have improved health outcomes for black men. The current field scan sought to extend the work of previous studies by applying an intersectional approach to examining patterns in successful physical and mental health interventions for black men. There is a need for this field scan because it increases knowledge about the influences of contextual factors on individual- and community- level intervention work that is currently being done with black men. Therefore, we are pleased to submit a field scan that provides a comprehensive synopsis of previous and existing physical and mental health interventions that target black men in the United States.

This RISE field scan on physical and mental health interventions for black men in the United States contributes to the knowledge needed to develop culturally sensitive and gender-specific health intervention approaches for black men in the future. This field scan also provides an important basis for policy decisions regarding physical and mental health services and in designing interventions that will be most effective for subgroups of black men. Through this field scan, we strive to understand the disparity between how black men articulate physical and mental health conditions and researchers and practitioners’ roles in working with them to improve these conditions. Acknowledging the importance of physical and mental health for black men will inform a strengths-based framework that documents the range of health-specific needs of this subgroup of men of color. A strengths-based framework is necessary to create evidence-based treatments and strategies to improve their health conditions. Overall, this field scan significantly advances a grossly under-studied area of culturally sensitive and gender--specific health interventions that are designed and implemented (specifically) with black men in mind.



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