Quality prevention strategies can be effective in preventing, reducing the severity of, and supporting treatment outcomes for some mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Further, strategies that build thriving communities foster mental wellbeing for everyone. 

Prevention Institute is the lead coordinating agency for the Movember Foundation's Making Connections Initiative, which focuses on improving the mental health and wellbeing of men and boys in the U.S. This partnership leverages the work of local organizations to bring primary prevention activities to a community scale to promote resilience across generations. Additionally, PI is exploring how prevention strategies benefit those with significant exposure to violence, trauma, and poor health conditions, which all contribute to adverse mental health issues.

 

Photo credit: Kokua Kalihi Valley/Honoulu Aina

Projects & Initiatives

PI works with a breadth of partners and communities to develop strategies and practices to keep people healthy and safe in the first place. Below is a selection of ongoing or recent projects.

  • Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys

    Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys is a national initiative to transform community conditions that influence mental wellbeing. Sixteen communities across the U.S. are developing and activating strategies to improve conditions that can affect the wellbeing of men, boys and their families, including social connections, economic and educational opportunities and assets, and improvements in the physical environment.The Movember Foundation is funding the work; Prevention Institute is providing coordination, training, and technical assistance; and a team from the University of South Florida is evaluating progress and outcomes. 

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Understanding, Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    Until now, there has been no basis for understanding how community trauma undermines resilience and mental wellbeing, especially in communities highly impacted by violence, and what can be done about it. With the support of Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, PI and Dr. Howard Pinderhughes developed the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience (ACE|R) framework. PI also works with communities, sectors, and policymakers to address and prevent community trauma, and to foster community resilience.

Publications

We research and write reports, white papers, fact sheets, opinion pieces, and journal articles, as well as produce videos and podcasts. Here are some of our latest offerings.

  • Back to our Roots - Community Determinants and Pillars of Wellbeing Advance Resilience and Healing

    Mental health is at the heart of many of the challenges we face, including trauma and adverse childhood experiences, social isolation, institutionalized bias and discrimination, and ‘diseases of despair’ that manifest in depression, suicide, and substance misuse. Addressing social determinants of health is key to helping communities navigate adversity, heal, and flourish. PI’s new report, Back to Our Roots: Catalyzing Community Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing, illustrates how improving community conditions can reduce the incidence and intensity of mental health challenges, and help activate resilience.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: A Framework for Addressing and Preventing Community Trauma

    This first-of-its-kind framework explores trauma at a community level. It explains how trauma is produced not only by experiencing interpersonal violence but also by experiencing structural violence – the harm that individuals, families, and communities experience from the economic and social structure; social institutions; and social relations of power, privilege and inequity that inhibit them from meeting their basic needs.

  • What? Why? How? Answers to FAQ's about the ACE|R Framework

    What? Why? How? Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework builds off of core concepts in the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework and addresses questions that have emerged in early practice and implementation.

  • Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Learning from Practice

    Since the initial development of the Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Framework in 2016, multiple networks and communities have shared it, as well as adopted, adapted and/or implemented it to address and prevent community trauma. Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience: Learning from Practice reflects valuable lessons from their practice.

Tools & Services

We have developed a broad range of practical, free-to-use tools to guide practitioners, advocates, and policymakers in planning and implementing  prevention strategies. We also provide Services to help you use our tools to create healthy and safe communities.

  • The Spectrum of Prevention

    The Spectrum of Prevention is a systematic tool that promotes a multifaceted range of activities for effective prevention. The Spectrum identifies multiple levels of intervention and helps people move beyond the perception that prevention is merely education and serves as a framework for a more comprehensive understanding of prevention that includes six levels for strategy development.

Profiles in Action

These profiles, written by PI and our partners, show what community prevention looks like on the ground, all across the country.

  • Elevating community wellbeing for East African men and boys in San Diego

    The United Women of East Africa, an organization originally created to serve refugee mothers and their children in San Diego, reached out to other groups in their close-knit community and forged a partnership to address concerns facing young men as part of the Making Connections initiative.

  • Ohio ACE|R Profile

    Ohio’s Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is utilizing the Framework to drive its statewide opioid prevention efforts and strategy in partnership with 12 communities. They are specifically using ACE|R to build trauma-informed coalitions and identify drivers of substance misuse.

  • Tacoma ACE|R Profile

    The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department embraced the ACE|R Framework in its community-driven planning process to improve mental wellbeing for boys and men of color and LGBTQ youth, particularly in efforts that focus on healing as a starting point for collective action.