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.

  • Communities of Care

    Communities of Care is an initiative that supports collaborative approaches to wellbeing in the greater Houston Metropolitan Area, with a focus on children and youth of color and their families. Its goal is to strengthen efforts to transform the environments where people live, learn, work, play, and pray to support resilience, mental health, and wellbeing.


  • 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. Thirteen 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.


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.

  • Equitable housing is key to health

    Stable, safe, and affordable housing is critical to health. But across the state of California, more and more people are being displaced, particularly low income communities and communities of color. In this episode of Moving Upstream, Prevention Institute’s Associate Program Director Sandra Viera interviews leaders from California’s Central Orange County, High Desert, Sonoma, and Eureka communities who seek to improve health through equitable housing policy as part of the Intersections Initiative. Intersections brings together coalitions that include healthcare in seven California communities. These coalitions are working to achieve health equity through strategies that emphasize elevating resident voices, working across issue areas, and strengthening policies and practices. This work is made possible by the St. Joseph Health Community Partnership Fund. Learn more at intersectionsinitiativeorg.wordpress.com/

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.

  • Legends of Lawndale

    MC Team Lead Becca Krauss is a psychotherapist at Mount Sinai Hospital. Advancing mental health requires clinical expertise and recognition that wellbeing happens at a community level. When violent crime is common, so are trauma and toxic stress which play out in settings like classrooms and playgrounds.

  • The Making Connections Hub

    UWEAST and its partner organizations work to prevent suicide. They have opened up a dialogue about mental health with community members; encouraged faith leaders to speak out about post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicide; and partnered with other local organizations to provide young men with leadership and career development training.