Welcome to the Helping Boys Become Healthy Men Project Wiki. This project, created through a Community Action Initiatives grant and run through the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Cooperative, focussed on mentorship projects for young men in the West Kootenay Boundary Region of British Columbia. The original CAI grant has now finished, but the learnings from this project live on. Each of the 5 communities involved in the pilot will be moving the project ahead in their community in some capacity. To read the details of their plans into the future please go to their community page by selecting the community in the side bar. For background information about the overall project, please continue to read down this page.

Roger Luscombe is the regional point person as the project moves into its next phase. If you have any questions, or wish to become involved, please contact him at or by phone at 250-352-5030.

To read the program summary document, please download it here:

Watch the video below of Gary Ockenden describing how the project got started.

Regional Project Coordinator Mike Kent speaks about the project.

The idea was to create a proactive approach to the issues young men face. It has been noted that men struggling with with mental health and substance abuse problems make up a substantial portion of the clients served by the sponsoring and partner organizations in this proposal. Many of these men failed, as boys, to receive the mentorship and role models they needed to become healthy adults. This project wis a way to make some headway on this issue - by working upstream to focus on the healthy development of 7 to 12 year old boys, particularly those at risk. It will support these boys through providing male mentors in their lives, and by engaging them in activities that are inclusive, challenging, skill building, perhaps even perceived as risky ...mentorship2.jpg and most importantly - of interest to them. The project will test five unique, cost-effective projects at the local level that reach boys, and will build regional capacity to do this over the long-term.

Why 7 to 12 year old at-risk boys and why mentoring? At this key developmental stage, boys remain vulnerable to positive and negative influences in their lives. Interventions that strengthen protective factors and foster attachment, inclusion and self-worth can alter their futures. Time spent with someone who cares can be transformative. This intervention will work in the rural communities of the Kootenay Boundary region, where isolation, limited services and geographic challenges are inherent. In addition, the collective message that emerged from our convening process for this project (which engaged more than 160 voices in 7 communities and a number of focus groups) was very clear: address younger at-risk boys, provide more mentoring, engage them in positive activity, and remove barriers to their participation.

Led by the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Co-op (KBCSC), the project is being rolled out at two levels. The first is a region-wide approach to coordinate mentor training and ongoing community capacity building to engage at-risk boys. The second involves five community initiatives (in Castlegar, Grand Forks, Kaslo, Nelson and Trail) demonstrating that mentoring and engaging activity have a positive affect on boys. The approaches being tested in local projects will support boys by: • Using adult-child relationships to strengthen attachment and resilience; • Using a wrap-around case management model that involves the broader community; and • Removing barriers to activities to increase social inclusion, healthy activity and provide male role models - these barriers may be financial, social or logistical (especially transportation).

The local projects are briefly outlined and updated in the pages of the wiki specific to those communities. We've built in opportunities for assessment and learning from these initiatives, so that those that prove to make a difference in boys' lives can spread throughout the region (and beyond).

Purpose of the project: To prevent the onset of mental health and addictions in men Goal 1: To improve the capacity of communities to successfully mentor boys Goal 2. To increase engagement of boys in transformative activities Goal 3. To foster ongoing learning and support the spread of successful mentoring initiatives in the Kootenay Boundary region.

On this wiki you will find information and updates on each of the 5 community projects taking place in Trail, Kaslo, Grand Forks, Castlegar and Nelson as well as the regional aspects, including the Mentors Make a Difference Regional Conference and community events. Please see page links in the side bar.

If you have any questions regarding the project please contact the Kootenay Boundary Community Services Cooperative at or by Phone: 250-352-6786 or Toll free: 1-866-551-5437