Jun 2, 2020
Kevin Dedner is co-founder and CEO of Henry Health. Henry Health
is a digital community that provides self-care support and
culturally sensitive teletherapy. Henry Health's initial
target audience is black men who have the lowest life expectancy of
any population. In fact, the stated goal of Henry Health is to
increase the life expectancy of black men by ten years within the
next twenty-five years.
Kevin has over 15 years of experience in public health (he also has
a Masters in Public Health degree) - He’s worked on a variety
of issues including childhood obesity, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco
control. He has worked with numerous public health entities
including the nation’s largest public health foundation, the Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation.
You can connect with Kevin here: LinkedIn,
Henry Health Website,
Henry Health on
Twitter, Kevin on
Links mentioned in the show:
Bernard Tyson was our leader, Why do Black Men die so soon?
Dr. James Sherman’s 1994 Report:
John Henryism and The Health of African-Americans
We All Deserve to Have Our Culture Honored, Especially in
Meet the Health Transformer Addressing Racial Disparities in
HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED
- Kevin Dedner is an expert in public health and has been a
public health advocate for many years. He has worked on all of the
major public health issues over the last decade from HIV to
childhood obesity and tobacco control.
- Kevin shares his own experience with mental health. He talks
about how mental exhaustion led to depression and a search for help
- He worked closely with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to
address health disparities. In that space Kevin became keenly aware
of black men having the lowest life expectancy of any population.
He talks about how in all of his career he never heard anyone
talking about this even though the data has existed for quite a
while. The deeper he looked he found a correlation between
mental health and un-managed stress.
- Untreated mental health is a driver for chronic disease and
- After dealing with his own depression and realizing it was
stress that really drove him into that depression, he wanted to do
something about it and found his way to helping found Henry Health
to help black men with their mental health.
- We talked extensively about how we get more black men to focus
on their mental health, and how we get society to focus on this
problem. Kevin talks about how we need to teach people how to use
tools like meditation, breathing techniques, etc. to manage our
stress and mental health.
- Kevin talks about Dr. Sherman’s research that shows that black
men are living life at a higher sense of awareness. Many times,
people are unconscious of this. This causes blood to move through
our veins faster, strains organs, weakens immune systems and
more. This is why we must solve the mental health issue in
order to extend the life expectancy of black men.
- We talked about how we can get more black men to become aware
of their need for help with their mental health, increase their
access to care, and providing access to services and content that
help black men improve their mental well-being.
- Kevin explains that while mental health products are exploding
on the market, there are very few, if any, culturally sensitive
offerings for populations such as black men, or the LGBTQ
- Kevin talks about where Henry Health is in their business life
cycle as a seed stage startup, what traction they have had so far,
and their strategy for bringing their solution to market.
- Kevin explains that a lot of people seek culturally competent
solutions for mental health regardless of being apart of a certain
population or not.
- For something to become a public health issue, we have to have
the political leadership pointing government resources at the
problem. We believe that mental health will be the public health
issue of the next decade. We do need to see political will
and change though, for this to happen.
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What If Ventures (Mental Health