Thursday, September 25, 2014

Photo exhibit explores life with mental illness

An image from the Imagining Inclusion exhibit.

It's impossible to ever truly see the world through another person's eyes. But we can learn a lot about someone else's point of view by studying the photographs they take.

That's the idea behind the Imagining Inclusion Photo Exhibit, a new showcase that explores the daily challenges faced by people with mental-health issues.

The exhibit is part of a Douglas College research project focused on how people with mental-health diagnoses experience community inclusion, health and wellbeing.

Funded by the Vancouver Foundation, the study is a collaboration between Douglas College and Open Door Group, a nonprofit that serves people with mental-health issues.

As part of the study, the researchers invited clients of Open Door Group to take photos related to their personal experiences and to reflect on the meaning of the images.

"The images and text in the exhibit powerfully convey experiences of rejection, exclusion, stigma, voice, inclusion, belonging, health, and community, and most fundamentally, the reality of living with a mental health diagnosis," says Colleen Reid, project co-lead and a Therapeutic Recreation instructor at Douglas.

The material collected during the study will be used to develop an evidence-based tool kit to help community mental health practitioners measure client outcomes. The findings will also be written up and presented at conferences to increase understanding of the lived experience of mental illness.

Many of the photographs from the study are featured in the Imagining Inclusion Photo Exhibit, which makes several appearances in Vancouver this Fall as part of the Project EveryBody Series.

Exhibit dates


October 5
11am-3pm
Creekside Community Centre
1 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver

October 26
1-3pm
Creekside Community Centre
1 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver

November 14
1-3pm
Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

December 3
3-6pm
Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

Learn more about the research project on the doug blog.