ATLANTA (INSERT DATE)— Fathers Incorporated (FI) released Mental Health Matters, Why Black Dad’s Positive Mental Health Is Good for Youth Academic Outcomes, the second brief in the series of educational briefs addressing fatherhood engagement for low-income African American students and their families. Through support from redefinED atlanta, the three-part series is designed to speak directly to fatherhood engagement best practices for educators in K-12 institutions. The brief highlights the importance of addressing fathers’ mental health to positively impact the educational outcomes of youth.
Fathers Incorporated’s Moynihan Institute is overseeing this project. The Moynihan Institute for Research and Policy provides descriptive and explanatory research and policy positions on issues that impact Black families from the perspective of fathers. This brief is designed for academicians and practitioners to focus continued attention on recognizing fathers’ mental health and its impact on how well his child does in school.
Mental health has long been stigmatized in society. This has especially been true for men, in general, and Black men, in particular. Men have been encouraged to either address their mental well-being or “man up” and “keep quiet” about them. Likewise, in the Black community, mental health has been stigmatized. This brief seeks to raise awareness around mental health for Black fathers and how that may impact the academic well-being of their children .
“To make Atlanta a place where every student in every community receives a great education, we recognize active parent and community engagement is a key factor,” says Adah Pittman-Delancey, VP of Impact and External Relations at redefinED atlanta. “Providing resources to community organizations like Fathers Incorporated supports broader awareness about opportunities to support fathers and engage them for active participation in their child’s education.”
It’s not hard to discern that Black Men are aware of their mental health and in a safe environment are willing to address their emotions. Their apprehension, therefore, is not their willingness to discuss mental health, but rather how the conversation occurs and the solutions constructed,”shares Kenneth Braswell, CEO of Fathers Incorporated
“If mental health matters for Black fathers, it also matters indirectly for their children,”explains Dr. Matisa Wilbon; Associate Research Scientist for Fathers Incorporated and founding fellow of the Moynihan Institute.
FI is a leader in the fatherhood field and is known for its national and local outreach focused on improving father engagement in the lives of children. They are also a forerunner of creating safe spaces for fathers to explore and address mental health.
Creating the popular Men’s Den Initiative (a fatherhood community designed to provide a safe space for men to identify and address mental health issues and to promote mental wellness), FI believes that the presence or absence of fathers shapes the way children view the world and interact with people and that fathers are an essential element in successful families and thriving, stable, healthy communities.