approach to health promotion serves as a framework for the organization
of the Moms and Mentors program. A conceptual framework (click
here to view diagram) was adapted from the 'Determinants of Health,
Empowering Strategies' to illustrate the integration of this program
within the broader context of the community (Maureen Hobbs, University
of Victoria, Masters in Nursing Thesis, 2002).
In this diagram,
young moms are at the centre of the small circle and their position
is symbolic of the significant powerlessness common to them. Several
issues common to young moms emphasize the inequalities that undermine
their health and vulnerability to low education and poverty. For those
who experience loneliness and low self-esteem, the outer circle of
the framework represents the process of building self-esteem by engaging
in social companionship and sharing experiences with others.
- Moms and
Mentors offer companionship and encouragement to young moms and
their families who are vulnerable to psychosocial, physiological,
behavioural, and economic conditions that encircle their lives.
relationships with experienced moms trained as mentors involves
a dynamic process of guiding young moms in a caring and non-judgmental
way towards a healthier lifestyle.
is represented by the arrows extending from the small circle surrounding
young parents to the larger circle of the community. The arrows
outward represents the mentors' intentions to be supportive and
involves support for the psychological issues associated with young
parenting; informational support for child growth, development and
behavioral issues and instrumental support for assistance with other
also promote awareness of community health and social resources
by collaborating with professional mentors including public health
nurses, hospital nurses, midwives, doctors, social workers and teachers.
moms and mentors are resourceful to each other as parents helping
parents, fostering healthy parenting and families. Mentor relationships
provide young parents with both individual and collective support
while building connections to the larger community.
extending from the outer circle back to young moms represents a process
of 'giving back' to the community as young moms provide support to
one another. It is a process of building supportive relationships
with others, developing problem-solving and decision-making skills,
increasing self-confidence and self-worth, and pursuing goals. It
involves positive change in one's life and experiencing personal empowerment.
social support with opportunities for affiliation with a self-help
support network and mentor relationships promotes healthy families
and community empowerment.
Moms and Mentors
was started in 1995 as a community development initiative, facilitated
by Maureen Hobbs, a former Public Health Nurse with the Capital Health
Region, Victoria, B.C. Currently Moms and Mentors are in the process
of applying for non-profit status on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.