Making Connections' partners advance mental wellbeing among men and boys through community prevention
As communities across the nation observe SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week May 15-19, Prevention Institute is proud to highlight 16 U.S. sites using community-driven solutions to improve the social and environmental conditions that impact wellness.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Prevention Week promotes awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues, and encourages communities to take action. In town hall meetings, at block parties, on Twitter and beyond, people are coming together to discuss and propel action around mental health, including the use of powerful prevention strategies that can support wellbeing and build more resilient communities.
Prevention Institute and the Movember Foundation, in partnership with 16 selected community sites, launched the Making Connections for Mental Wellbeing initiative last year to improve mental health and wellbeing among men and boys through a community prevention approach. Site partners are engaged in a range of initiatives; some recent highlights include:
- In April, site partners from the Southern Plains Tribal Health Board (SPTHB) held focus groups at the 8th Annual Tribal Public Health Conference to learn about existing efforts and priorities to address the mental health needs of American Indians. “We believe we can ultimately turn the curve on American Indian male health disparities by demonstrating effectiveness through community awareness, commitment, and action that can end the benign neglect of AI males through national policy change," said Dr. Tamara James, SPTHB’s Project Coordinator of Male Health Activities.
- In May, partners in Los Angeles held a symposium on how gang violence impacts mental health and wellbeing. More than 100 community members, including youth and representatives from school, faith-based, and community organizations, gathered for a day of learning, discussion and music organized by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles. They explored strategies to improve social and environmental conditions and foster positive relationships that will enhance opportunities for wellness for young men in south LA and surrounding communities.
- In June, Resilience Grows Here, site partners in Connecticut’s Farmington Valley, will host a community event focusing on active and retired veterans. It will include a flag dedication, a garden demonstration, and an art exhibition from middle and high school students, all of which highlight the community’s role in supporting resilience. Their work also will include partnering students with veteran mentors to foster connections, address stigmas around mental health, and meet the emerging mental health needs of boys and men.
The organizations engaged through the Making Connections initiative span the country in urban, rural, and suburban locations, and prioritize those who have a particularly high need for community-level attention to mental wellbeing, including boys and men of color, military members, veterans and their families. They are multisector, and include nonprofits and community-based organizations, Native American tribal organizations, healthcare, health departments and other government agencies, and institutions of higher education.
By forming partnerships and sustainably engaging men and boys, communities are developing strategies to restore and strengthen the social connections that build intergenerational resilience. These strategies meet men and boys where they are – where they naturally gather and gain support – and draw on indigenous customs and culture as part of ongoing wellness.
Participating sites are located in: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Stockton, California; Denver, Colorado; Canton, Connecticut; Honolulu, Hawai’i; Chicago and Kankakee, Illinois; New Orleans, Louisiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Lincoln, Nebraska; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Florence, South Carolina; Houston, Texas; and Tacoma, Washington.
Read more about Making Connections for Mental Wellbeing here.
About the Movember Foundation
The Movember Foundation is a global men’s health charity. The Foundation raises funds that deliver innovative, breakthrough research and support programs that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.
Awareness and fundraising activities are run year-round by the Foundation, with the annual Movember campaign in November being globally recognized for its fun, disruptive approach to fundraising and getting men to take action for their health. During Movember, men are challenged to grow a moustache or make a commitment to get active and MOVE. Not only do these commitments raise vital funds but they also generate powerful and often life-changing conversations.
Committed to disrupting the status quo, millions have joined the movement, raising $715M and funding over 1,000 projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer and suicide prevention.
The Foundation’s vision is to have an everlasting impact on men’s health.
Movember is fully accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and for the past three years, has been named a Top 100 best NGO by The Global Journal. For more information please visit Movember.com. Movember is a registered 501(c)(3) charity.