Before the lecture last week, I did not realize how many factors can affect your health. I thought the main way you could be healthy was to eat your fruits and vegetables and exercise, but in reality there are way more factors. Being aware of my intersectionality, I can find the ways my social identities affect my health.
My parents were refugees from the communist regime in Vietnam so they came to this country with no money. I grew up with very low income so I could only eat what my parents could afford and that usually consisted of fast food. My family’s lack of money very often negatively affected my heath. My parents could not afford to take me to the doctor’s every time I was sick and I was sick often. My family is financially better now but going to the doctor’s is still kind of foreign to me.
Being a full time student is like my job right now so I think UMich is a social determinant. Here at the University of Michigan, our tuition pays for healthcare so we can use it for STI testing or psychiatric help. At UHS I got some blood work done and it was “free” because my tuition payed for it. Students here at UMich also have access to the CCRB. There are numerous resources here that the university offers that can help us with not just our physical health but our mental health. I also went to one of the flu shot clinics that the university offers.
There are many social determinants that can negatively affect our health. It is sad that we can not change some of these things or they are hard to change, such as I can’t change my race or change my socioeconomic status.