Community-Based Primary Prevention Supports: Capacity-Building Groups for Well-Being, Healthy Relationships, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Prevention for and by Ethnocultural Leaders.

Funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada

Background: Organizations and communities in Alberta have important roles to play in shifting social norms and advocating for progressive social changes. The Alberta Network of Immigrant Women (ANIW), Alberta Men’s Network (AMN) and the University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work (UCalgary) recognized the need to involve men and communities in well-being and gender equity work through capacity-building, and peer mentorship as primary prevention strategies. The findings from the Alberta Men’s Survey (Lorenzetti et al., 2021) serves as a guide in the design of our community-based projects for well-being, healthy relationships and gender equity. In 2020, ANIW, AMN, and UCalgary designed, implemented, and evaluated our first Men’s Well-Being Group for Latino-Calgarian men. This 10-session group, was open to any men in the community, and facilitated in Spanish by a Mexican-trained psychologist, Fanny Oliphant. The group was delivered virtually via Zoom and was evaluated by Dr. Liza Lorenzetti and her team at UCalgary.

Findings from our Initial Study: Participants in this group shared that they were better able to recognize and employ strategies to regulate emotions, nurture their family relationships, be role models to their families and communities, and build a deeper awareness on the impact of violence on families and communities. Since, the Latino Men’s Well-Being group has been adapted to other diverse ethnocultural groups.

Expanding our Promising Practice: Our current project builds on the success of previous initiatives like the Latino Men’s Well-Being Group, by training and supporting men and women Well-Being Facilitators in the Bhutanese, Ethiopian, Iranian, Nepalese, and Filipino communities. This project invites individuals who are interested in building their capacity as well-being, healthy relationships, and violence prevention peer-facilitators and advocates. Training, mentorship and support is provided for facilitators to lead well-being groups within their communities and evaluate the impact of this promising practice.