Advocacy, Public Policy

Men’s Health Takes Center Stage at the White House

In 2012, Men’s Health Network launched the Dialogue on Men’s Health series, which regularly brings together healthcare professionals, patient groups, community organizations, private corporations, and government agencies to address the unique challenges that confront men, boys, and their families. So you can imagine how delighted we were when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked MHN to help organize a Dialogue on Men’s Health event at the White House January 8, 2016. The goal of the White House event—and of all of the Dialogues—was to inspire, engage, motivate, and activate the private- and public sectors to make men’s health a priority. A lofty goal, but one that was achieved with remarkable success.

tamh - WH speakers
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Editorials, Education, Family Issues, Fatherhood

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month

We all want nothing more than to be understood. But for some kids, that isn’t as easy as it seems. Learning and attention issues are much more common in children than most people realize. In fact, in the U.S., 1 in 5 children struggles with brain-based learning and attention issues that affect reading, writing, math, focus, and organization. While learning and attention issues may not be as visible as other health issues, they’re just as real.

understood-com-resourcesThat’s why we’re partnering with on the #BeUnderstood campaign in support of Learning Disabilities (LD) Awareness Month in October, and to raise awareness about kids with learning and attention issues.

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Masculinity, Other Cancers

Eric DunlapI Was Told This is a Woman’s Disease

For Eric Dunlap, it all began with a throbbing pain in his upper chest during an intense home workout.

It was 2000, and Dunlap, then 34, was beginning to settle into the American Dream just outside of Atlanta. He was a few years into a marriage with his college-sweetheart, and was the father of two young sons, ages three and 13-months. He had a burgeoning career in mortgage finance and had just finished a 100 push-up workout. “I felt a pain in my chest. I thought I pulled a muscle—I couldn’t stand,” Dunlap said. And then, he noticed a lump near his nipple.

Dunlap’s wife urged him to see a doctor the next day, and it wasn’t long before Dunlap was blitzing through physicians and medical specialists. Within days, he received a phone call from a nurse urging him to come to the doctor’s office. He initially blew off the request, but then he got a call that changed his life.

“I’m sorry. I have to be upfront with you, but you have breast cancer,” a pathologist told him over the phone.

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Growing Up, Masculinity

Even More Distracted Driving

Dear Mr. Dad: A few weeks ago, you had an email from a 13-year old whose mother talks on the phone. You should have told the child to rat her mother out to the cops. The mother is endangering her own life, her daughter’s life, and innocent bystanders’ and drivers’ lives. The 13-year old should send a note to the cops saying that her mother constantly talks and texts while driving, and give them her license plate, description of the car, and where she frequently drives. The mother needs a ticket.

A: As a rule, I think kids should talk to their parents before ratting them out. But since the girl already tried talking, you and many other readers who wrote in with similar suggestions are absolutely right: the mother (and anyone else who texts or talks on the phone while driving) needs a wake-up call. Better an expensive ticket than a tragic car crash.

I also got emails from drivers (and children of those drivers) wondering whether listening to the radio or audio books is a problem. The short answer is yes, but it’s nowhere near as bad as texting or talking.

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Fatherhood, Growing Up, Masculinity, Parenting

Distracted Driving: A Real Killer

Dear Mr. Dad: This may sound dramatic, but I’m hoping you can help save my mom’s life. She’s constantly on her phone, talking or texting, while she’s driving. I’m only 13 and I’ve tried telling her to stop but she says she has it under control and says I should be quiet. She’s cut out some of your columns and stuck them on our refrigerator, so I know she respects your opinion . I can’t get through to her. Will you help?

A: Unfortunately, your mom is far from alone in using her phone while she’s behind the wheel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that at any given moment, nine percent of all drivers are either on a call or texting. That may not sound like much, until you consider that distracted driving—which most often involves a cellphone—causes nearly 1.3 million car crashes, killing close to 5,000 Americans and injuring more than 400,000 every year. That makes distracted driving nearly as dangerous as alcohol and speeding.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of distraction: visual (taking your eyes off the road), manual (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off your driving). Let’s start with texting since it involves all three.

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Family Issues, Fatherhood, Parenting

dads are as important as momsWhy Dads Matter As Much As Moms

For many decades, conventional wisdom told us that when it came to child development, mothers were the most important parent. Fathers, apparently, weren’t good for much more than piggybacks, reading an occasional bedtime story, and, of course, discipline. Researchers who studied child development bought into that conventional wisdom and rarely bothered to investigate whether dads might actually play a more important role.

Fortunately, a steady flow of more open-minded, intellectually honest research has discovered (and continues to discover) what fathers and children have always known: Dads play a role in their children’s life that is at least as important as the mom’s. Dads aren’t merely nice to have around; their presence is essential to their children in almost every area of their life: physically, psychologically, socially, developmentally, and even economically.

The Dad effect shows up in two different ways: good things happen when he’s involved, and not-so-good things happen when he’s not. At the same time, we’re learning that supporting dads in their parenting role and giving them plenty of help and encouragement increases their involvement. Thanks to relatively new research, we now know that dads who are actively involved with their kids are happier, less depressed, healthier, less likely to commit crimes or abuse drugs or alcohol, and tend to be more satisfied in their jobs and have more successful careers.

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Talking About Men’s Health

Added on April 18, 2012

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