Connecting the Dots was an innovative 3-year project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.* The initiative sought to promote the mental health of urban** Aboriginal youth and families by bringing community partners together to address risk and protective factors influencing mental health.
The project used a model known as Communities that Care, an evidence-based system that uses a public health approach to promote health. The Communities that Care model encourages community members to come together formally, measure risk and protective factors impacting mental health, implement effective programming, evaluate outcomes, and advocate for policy change. The end goal is to reduce the risk factors and enhance protective factors identified in a particular community.
The project was led provincially by CMHA BC and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and coordinated locally through Friendship Centres and CMHA branches in Kelowna, Port Alberni and Quesnel.
Connecting the Dots Resources
- Connecting the Dots: Promoting the wellness of urban Aboriginal youth and families in BC – 2013 Visions article
- Executive Summary of Final Evaluation Report (2.4 MB PDF)
- Journey Map (2.4 MB PDF) – a graphic depicting the journey of the project and key activities
- Port Alberni project summary (1.3 MB PDF)
- Kelowna project summary (733 KB PDF)
- Quesnel project summary (1.8 MB PDF)
- We also have a narrated slideshow telling Quesnel’s journey with the project through photos (9 minute video)
Connecting the Dots card
This card is one of the small legacies of the Connecting the Dots project and shares information about four traditional medicines and 11 tips for mental health.
- Download the card (340 KB PDF)
- Download the card for printing and folding—3 cards per sheet (467 KB PDF)
Photovoice book and video
- Read the Photovoice book – Photovoice was one method that the Kelowna site used to capture and caption stories of identity, belonging and well-being from Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society Youth Group
- Watch the video from the Photovoice Exhibit Gala – Youth’s photos and stories were showcased at a gala event that took place in 2012 and features interviews of Aboriginal youth, project coordinators and community members in Kelowna.
For more on Aboriginal mental health promotion see our recommended resources.
*The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
**”urban” in this context means off-reserve