16 Feb Learn About Women’s Health with UpLift Her
Welcome to the More Than a Walk Blog, where we discuss health, wellness, and all things happening at the AAMWA. Today, this blog is about the ladies. What does women’s health look like, and what does it mean to be supportive to women (especially Black women) in improving and maintaining their overall wellbeing?
Women’s health is a critical issue that affects every aspect of a woman’s life. It encompasses not only physical health but also mental, emotional, and social well-being. Women face unique health challenges that require specialized care and attention. This is particularly true for Black women, who face significant health disparities due to systemic racism and discrimination. On average, Black women are more likely to experience chronic health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. They also face higher rates of maternal mortality, infant mortality, and other reproductive health issues. These health disparities are not solely due to genetics or individual behavior but are largely attributed to social determinants of health, such as poverty, lack of access to quality healthcare, and discrimination. Access to quality healthcare is a significant factor in improving the health outcomes of Black women. However, systemic barriers, such as racial bias and discrimination, limit access to care and negatively impact the quality of care received. For example, Black women are less likely to receive pain medication for the same level of pain as their white counterparts and are less likely to receive appropriate care during pregnancy and childbirth.
Another critical aspect of Black women’s health is mental health. Black women experience unique stressors, including racism, sexism, and discrimination, which can lead to poor mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Unfortunately, mental health care is often stigmatized within the Black community, and accessing care can be challenging due to financial barriers and lack of resources. To address the health disparities faced by Black women, it is essential to prioritize comprehensive, culturally competent, and specific care that addresses the social determinants of health. This includes expanding access to healthcare, reducing healthcare disparities, and addressing implicit bias and discrimination within healthcare systems.
And while it is understood that even provided adequate resources, we must address the stigma surrounding mental health care and prioritize the provision of mental health services that are culturally competent and responsive to the unique needs of Black women. This can include promoting therapy as a viable form of self-care and increasing the number of Black mental health providers.
But importantly enough, it is essential to promote overall wellness and preventative care among Black women. This includes healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress reduction techniques, as well as preventative care, such as regular check-ups, screenings, and vaccinations. At UpLift Her, we provide health screenings to ALL women to be sure they’re happy and healthy.
It is to be understood that Black women face significant health disparities due to systemic racism and discrimination. Ultimately, addressing these disparities requires a multifaceted approach that prioritizes access to comprehensive, culturally competent care, mental health support, and preventative care. By working to address these issues, we can ALL improve the health outcomes of Black women and promote equity in women’s health.