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 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.

  • Video: Making Connections

    This two-minute video, created with our Making Connections partners in Los Angeles, provides an overview of the initiative and a glimpse at our collaborators across the U.S. 

  • Video: Why Men and Boys?

    In this short video, Making Connections partners talk about the importance of focusing on the mental health and wellbeing of men and boys.

  • First Steps: Taking Action Early to Prevent Violence

    The First Steps report, funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and done in collaboration with Action Alliance for Children and Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California, synthesizes a decade's worth of research on violence prevention, and presents best practices, as well as a comprehensive strategy to start effective violence prevention efforts at an early age.

  • Prevention is Primary: Strategies for Community Wellbeing

    Co-published by Prevention Institute and Jossey Bass and APHA, Prevention is Primary describes the overarching foundation and principles guiding primary prevention efforts and highlights prevention practice through a range of social and health issues, including chronic disease, HIV, violence, and mental health.

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.

Profiles in Action

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