Culture Counts: A Guide to Best Practices for Developing Health Promotion Initiatives in Mental Health and Substance Use with
In chapter 6 - Put the plan to work and keep it working
On this page:
It’s important to look for ways to hold the interest and involvement of community partners and members of the intended audience
as the initiative progresses.
Use a variety of methods to inform community members and participants about the initiative’s progress and any new developments.
- information displays at local shopping centres, community notice boards, Laundromats, fast food restaurants, local stores
- information sessions
Look for opportunities—“hooks”—to raise the initiative’s profile in the media and the community or to reinforce its value
to fund-providers and other interested parties. Examples:
- unexpected early outcomes from the initiative, e.g., demand for your materials is higher than you thought it would be
- a celebrity or other prominent member of the community gets interested in the issue or the initiative
- events in the news that relate to the initiative, e.g., local bar’s liquor license revoked for serving alcohol to minors
- a new law or government policy that supports your initiative’s goals
- new research that supports your initiative’s strategy
- linking to other organizations’ initiatives, e.g., Mothers Against Drunk Driving ribbon campaign.
When initiative milestones or goals are reached, or anyone makes a special effort to promote and support the initiative, there
should be some type of formal recognition of the achievement.
Recognition of achievements helps to keep people motivated and interested at a time when their energy and enthusiasm for the
initiative may be declining. It also demonstrates the value of the initiative to the community and others, and can generate
or renew interest in it.
To learn more about recognizing accomplishments:
The initiative and its promotion may have sparked interest beyond the immediate scope of the initiative, providing opportunities
for building on the success of the initiative or changing its direction to take advantage of involvement of new partners or
Your work plan should include decisions about how these opportunities will be tracked and responded to, and who will do this.
Find ways to merge the initiative’s work with the ongoing work of partner organizations. For example, community-based partners
in the Culture Counts project continue to distribute the brochure in their communities; some also use it in individual and
group counseling sessions.
Share programs and experiences so others can use them. By carefully documenting the initiative and making the documents available,
perhaps in the form of a manual, others can adapt your initiative for their purposes.
“We continue to promote the message of the LRDG. The local Portuguese newspaper ran a full-page article on the Culture Counts
project and the Portuguese version of the LRDG brochure. We plan to do more education through health fairs, client workshops,
the media, etc.”
—Maria J. Benevides, MSW, RSW, Portuguese Mental Health and Addiction Service