3 years ago

An intervention strategy for improving residential environment and positive mental health among public housing tenants: rationale, design and methods of Flash on my neighborhood!

An intervention strategy for improving residential environment and positive mental health among public housing tenants: rationale, design and methods of Flash on my neighborhood!
Juan Torres, Thomas Saïas, Stephanie Radziszewski, Paul Morin, Xavier Leloup, Simon Coulombe, Janie Houle
In Canada, public housing programs are an important part of governmental strategies to fight poverty and public exclusion. The Flash on my neighborhood! project is a four-year multiphase community-based participatory action research strategy currently implemented in six public housing developments (n = 1009 households) across the province of Québec, Canada. The goal is to reduce the mental health disparities faced by these public housing tenants compared to the general population, while identifying which environmental and policy changes are needed to turn public housing settings into healthier environments. The protocol involves three successive, interconnected phases: 1) Strengths and needs assessment, including community outreach and recruitment of tenants to collaborate as peer researchers, an exploratory qualitative component (photovoice), a systematic neighborhood observation, and a household survey; 2) Action plan development, including a community forum and interactive capacity-building and discussion sessions; 3) Action plan implementation and monitoring. The entire intervention is evaluated using a mixed-method design, framed within a multiple case study perspective. Throughout the project and particularly in the evaluation phase, data will be collected to record a) contextual factors (tenants’ previous experience of participation, history of public housing development, etc.); b) activities that took place and elements from the action plan that were implemented; and c) short- and medium-term outcomes (objective and perceived improvements in the quality of the residential setting, both physically and in terms of mental health and social capital). The study will provide unprecedented evidence-based information on the key ingredients of a collective intervention process associated with the increased collective empowerment and positive mental health of public housing tenants.
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