Online Program

Making Connections for Mental Wellbeing Among Men and Boys

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Shelia Savannah, MA, Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
A landscape analysis on the state of mental health for American men and boys revealed that:
    • Prevention programs are effective but they are not at scale to maximize community-level impact.
    • Indigenous and lay people approaches are emerging that support healing and mental wellbeing.
    • Resilience is a critical protective factor for mental wellbeing.
    • The need to focus specifically on men and boys’ mental health is emerging.
    • Population-level prevention strategies are not well developed despite the analysis that underlying community-level conditions are a part of the problem.

In response, Prevention Institute and the Movember Foundation have launched an initiative called Making Connections for Mental Health and Wellbeing Among Men and Boys in the U.S. This initiative supports communities to plan and implement upstream, community-driven mental health and wellbeing strategies for men and boys. The focus is on improving mental health outcomes in high-need communities, such as for boys and men of color and military or veteran communities. Sites are focused on community-level strategies within the social-cultural environment, the physical/built environment, and/or the economic environment. To make such changes, sites need to engage sectors that go far beyond traditional mental health partners.

Whereas traditional mental health partnerships have focused on improving individual level outcomes, sites are looking at community-level strategies and the necessary multi-sector partners for success. Making Connections has broad-scale implications for engaging multiple sectors and advancing a health in all policies approach. In connecting mental wellbeing to community-level approaches, it explicitly calls for engaging public and private partners in comprehensive solutions. In order to connect to and with men and boys, there is an emphasis on reaching them in the places where they spend their time and doing the things they enjoy doing. To connect systems and institutions to mental health and wellbeing and each other, there is a focus on transforming systems and institutions that serve men and boys to support positive mental health outcomes and embedding effective strategies within the practices of institutions, systems and services.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify key sectors that have a role to play in advancing community-level approaches to improve mental health and well-being for boys and men.

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Men’s Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: With over 30 years’ experience, Sheila Savannah, MA is a Prevention Institute Director, providing leadership on health equity, mental health, and violence prevention. In her leadership role on mental health, she focuses on its intersection with community resilience, and the social determinants of health. This includes Making Connections, an emerging multisector national initiative aimed at improving outcomes in mental health and wellbeing among boys and men of color, military and veterans and their families.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.