Making Connections Backpack

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The Making Connections Backpack is a resource library for those engaged in building a gendered and community-level approach to improving mental wellbeing among men and boys. The Backpack offers tools to shape your journey, and connect with others engaged in or supporting similar upstream prevention work. 


The Making Connections Backpack is a comprehensive guide to creating gender- and culture-relevant community-level approaches to improving mental health and wellbeing. It features:

  • Strategies for building community capacity and resilience that were developed by the Making Connections community coalitions, such as creating shared spaces, advocating for policy change, supporting civic and community engagement, and others
  • Core principles and values to guide community-level mental health approaches such as equity, treating culture as a lens and asset, shoulder-to-shoulder actions among peers, a focus on upstream prevention, and prioritizing the “pillars of wellbeing,” among others.
  • Tips for changing the narrative about men and boys’ mental health and resilience and sharing narratives that encourage healing and hopefulness
  • A packing list of tools and frameworks that can support the planning and implementation of community-level mental health initiatives
  • An explanation of how to plan and measure the success of community-based initiatives like Making Connections as well as a description of common challenges and solutions for overcoming those challenges.
  • Stories from the Making Connections coalitions about what problems their communities faced, what solutions they tried to improve mental wellbeing, what worked well, and what didn’t.

Use the Making Connections Backpack to support your community’s efforts to create opportunities and spaces to move from trauma to resilience. Access the Backpack on Prevention Institute’s website.

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