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Critical Paths
Organizing on health Issues in the community

Keck, Jennifer; Dauphinais, Denriette; Lewko, John
Publisher:  Between the Lines, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1989  
Pages:  100pp   Price:  $11.95   ISBN:  0-919946-92-5
Library of Congress Number:  RA440.5.K43   Dewey:  613`.07
Resource Type:  Book

Abstract:  This guide to "the process of building community support for new health programs at the local level" is illustrated by the authors' own experiences in Sudbury, Ontario. They developed a community sexual health program in the city that ran from 1983 to 1986 and was sponsored by Laurentian University's Centre for Child and Development Studies. Although initially focused on the prevention of teenage pregnancy, the project identified the need for improved sexual education programs aimed at teenagers and their parents, as well as better education on discrimination, exploitation and physical abuse. This resulted in the formation of a bilingual community group to promote and lobby for better resources.
The book begins with a description of the Sudbury initiative, then outlines ways to develop similar programs in other communities. Steps include analyzing the problems of a specific community, looking at existing support services, building an organization and developing a health promotion strategy. It also covers how to work with the media and deal with controversy. The book provides a series of tools to help develop your own program, including detailed schedules, exercises, work plans, sample letters, interview questions, agendas and lists of resources. It includes a selected bibliography but no index.

[Abstract by Alice Lawlor]

Critical Paths sets out specific methods for developing, selling, and implementing a local health education or health promotion program. The emphasis is on building public support for services and resources. The chapters divide into a three sided approach -- mapping out the community to help determine its specific features and needs, building support in the community, and dealing with possible resistance or opposition to the new programs. Subjects include organizing support for new initiatives, co-ordinating services, conducting meetings, lobbying, dealing with controversy and developing a publicity strategy.
The book is straightforward and clear. Frequently, suggested procedures are in point form, accompanied by examples and checklist questions. For example, a section on how to inspire people to take part includes a short discussion of motivation, six basic considerations (e.g. "anticipate why people may not want to be involved"), questions to consider (e.g. "what can this group realistically accomplish?"), a list of obstacles that might prevent people from attending, and how to overcome them.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 Introduction: Our Story
Our Story: The Need for Better Sexuality Education - Researching the Issues - Redefining the Problem - Adolescent Sexuality Network - Our Promotion Campaign - Getting Started

Chapter 2 Mapping out the Community
Analyzing the Problem - Researching the Problem - Sources of Information - Social and Health indicators - Community interviews - Other Ways of Gathering information - "The Game of Life" - Developing Themes - Existing Services and Organizations - Change in the Service Community - Who has Power? - Changes in the Past - Summarizing the Information

Chapter 3 Bringing People Together
Who Should Be Involved - Inspiring People to Take Part - Calling a Meeting - Planning the Meeting -Conducting the Meeting - The Meeting: Did it work? - Building an Organization - A Statement of Purpose - Goals and Objectives - Adolescent Sexuality Network - Organizational Structure

Chapter 4 Projects, Activities, and Public Campaigns
Planing - Activities of the Adolescent Sexuality Network - Publicity: Getting the Message Across - The Media: Developing a Public Strategy - Working with the Media - Media Releases and PSAs - "We don't like the coverage" - Public Service Announcement - Media Release -Dealing with Controversy - Lobbying - Lobbying Tactics - Workshops, Conferences, and Other Public Events - Selecting Resource People - Promoting the Event -
Financing - Evaluation

Selected Bibliography


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