About

How do individuals living with mental illness experience community inclusion, health, and well-being?

 

What are meaningful, practical, and relevant ways to represent community inclusion, health,
and well-being for those living with mental illness?

 

 

In this two-year community-based participatory research project, we seek to answer both of these questions.

 

 

[THE PARTNERSHIP]

 

The Therapeutic Recreation Department at Douglas College and the Open Door Group’s (ODG) thrive Program, which provides TR services to individuals living with mental illness, partnered on this community-based participatory research project to better understand the lived experiences of individuals with a mental illness.

The project is funded by the Vancouver Foundation.

 

The Project

[THE RESEARCH PROCESS: PHOTOVOICE]

 

Our purpose is to study how people with lived experience of mental health issues experience community, inclusion, health and well-being.

 

researchparticipants

RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS are a group of diverse individuals with lived experience of mental health issues.
They were given cameras to record visually their responses to research questions.

DISCUSSIONS OF THE PHOTOS were audio recorded and participants wrote reflections to develop a narrative for each of their photographs.
Throughout the Photovoice process, the participants worked with students from Douglas College and peer researchers.

Research participants have also been involved in PEER TASK GROUPS. The Peer Task Groups have worked on various tasks, including data analysis, planning photo exhibits, writing community newsletters, and planning and preparing for a Speakers’ Series for Mental Health Awareness week (May 5-7, 2015).

PROJECT FINDINGS will be disseminated to a diverse group of community stakeholders via the photo exhibits, community newsletters, and an evidence-based Theory of Change that will help with the design and implementation of therapeutic recreation services for people living with mental illness.

 

[EXPECTED PROJECT OUTCOMES]

 

  1. Contribution to the body of knowledge on (a) the experiences of social isolation, poverty, and stigma for individuals living with mental illness and (b) meanings of community inclusion, health and well-being for individuals living with mental illness
  2. Increased understanding of the experiences of individuals living with mental illness among students, faculty, service providers, and the general public.
  3. Ability to identify aspects of TR interventions that promote community inclusion, health and well-being for people with lived experience of mental illness
  4. Increased research knowledge and skills of peer researchers, service providers, students, and faculty.
  5. The emergence of new partnerships among diverse stakeholders through the wide-spread distribution of e-newsletters and a tool-kit of outcome measures of community inclusion, health and well-being.

 

 

[PARTNERS + SPONSORS]

 

douglascollege      vancouver_foundation     OpenDoorGroup

Project Resources

Exhibits

What do community inclusion, health and well-being mean to you?

 

Photovoice Exhibit

Photovoice Exhibit

Exhibits in the lobby of the Centre of Peace | Nov 5, 2015 – Jan 11, 2016 | Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace | 1825 West 16th Ave | Vancouver | www.canadianmemorial.org

Mental Health Awareness Week Speakers Series

Mental Health Awareness Week Speakers Series

Exhibits and Talks | May 5 -7, 2015 | Vancity Branches | Vancouver | Richmond | Burnaby

Project EveryBody Community Celebration Highlighting the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Project EveryBody Community Celebration Highlighting the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities

December 3, 2014. 3pm-6pm | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, VancouverP20-PH2-Mon1-PV5P20-PH2-Mon1-PV5

Project EveryBody Diversity & Inclusion Employment Forum

Project EveryBody Diversity & Inclusion Employment Forum

November 14th, 2014. 1pm-3pm | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

Project EveryBody Youth Forum & World Café Event

Project EveryBody Youth Forum & World Café Event

October 26th, 2014. 1pm-3pm | Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver

Project EveryBody Recreation, Health and Wellness Fair

Project EveryBody Recreation, Health and Wellness Fair

October 5th, 2014. 11am-3pm | Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athlete’s Way, Vancouver

Project EveryBody Film, Art and Culture Festival

Project EveryBody Film, Art and Culture Festival

September 10th, 2014. 2pm-4pm | Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver

The Research Team

Colleen Reid PhD

Colleen Reid PhD

Project Co-Lead

Colleen is on faculty at Douglas College in the Department of Therapeutic Recreation and is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University. In her research and teaching she focuses on community based research, community development, recreation, and the determinants of health. She brings a strong commitment to social justice and participatory and inclusive approaches to her work.

 
 

Maya Alonso

Maya Alonso

Project Co-Lead

Maya is the coordinator of Open Door Group’s THRIVE program and for the past 2 years has been co-lead of the community based research project “Imagining Inclusion: My health, wellbeing and community”, an examination of lived experiences of mental illness through the use of Photovoice. With a background in Disability Studies and Community Development, Therapeutic Recreation and Project Management, she is interested in opportunities to bring about positive community and social change as well as developing meaningful methods of documenting health outcomes. With nearly a decade of working in Mental Health, Maya is passionate about addressing stigma, raising awareness, and promoting health, wellness and community development for and with individuals living with a mental illness.

Amanda Berg

Amanda Berg

Peer Research Assistant

Amanda is a person with lived experience and has worked as a peer support worker, peer facilitated mental health workshop coordinator, and a facilitator for Hearing Voices. She has a creative writing arts degree from Douglas College and a radio broadcasting diploma from BCIT. Helping people learn about ways to achieve wellness is something she is passionate about. She volunteers at a horse rescue.

 
 

Maggie Bosse

Maggie Bosse

Student Research Assistant

Maggie is thrilled to be involved in the Imagining Inclusion project. Maggie has a MA in political theory, with a focus on body-politics and health. She has been involved in dance and performance arts for most of her life. As a student and practitioner in therapeutic recreation, she strives for more connected communities and creative expression.

 
 
 

Suezin Kang

Suezin Kang

Student Research Assistant

Suezin graduated from the Therapeutic Recreation degree program at Douglas College in 2015 and is certified as a CTRS. She is now working as a Therapeutic Recreation Practitioner, a Program Coordinator and a Mental Health Worker to serve older adults and individuals living with mental illness. With her lifelong interest in art and design and her skills in therapeutic recreation, she hopes to participate in fostering inclusive communities by promoting health and wellness.

 
 

Katryna Koenig

Katryna Koenig

Student Research Assistant

Katryna joined the Imagining Inclusion Project at the initiation of the photovoice sessions and was involved in the data collection and analysis components. Alongside her peers she has presented the research findings at national and international conferences. Following graduation from the Therapeutic Recreation Program at Douglas College in 2015 Katryna was hired as the Program Coordinator of Therapeutic Recreation for the Strive Centre. The centre provides meaningful recreation and skill-building programs for people with acquired brain injuries and other disabilities. In 2016 Katryna anticipates co-authoring an article with Radka Prihodova to demonstrate the value of participating in research as an undergraduate student.

Ania Landy

Ania Landy

Project Manager

Ania graduated from Douglas College with Bachelor Degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Currently, she is completing her Master of Science degree in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She is excited to be part of this creative participatory photography project at ODG and looking forward to working with everyone.

 
 
 

Ashley Lancz

Ashley Lancz

Student Research Assistant

Ashley is a 3rd year Therapeutic Recreation student at Douglas College. She has a passion for promoting health and wellness and has a strong interest in learning more about research and community development. As a member of the research team she brings a hard work ethic, creativity, and an eagerness to learn new things!

 
 
 

Nikola Durity Marin

Nikola Durity Marin

Peer Research Assistant

“Nothing about us, without us!”
Nikola has worked in print, radio and TV before realizing that she had a knack for Traditional Chinese Medicine rooted in her blackenese family’s history. She has been working in Therapeutic Recreation as a soccer and qi gong facilitator and has a strong connection to peer based and artist-run holistic and western wellness movements.

 

 

Michelle McDonell

Michelle McDonell

Student Research Assistant

Michelle is a 3rd year Therapeutic Recreation student at Douglas College. She has an immense passion for the field which has afforded her many experiences including volunteer work with numerous adaptive recreaction organizations and, more recently, a life-changing trip to Uganda for her practicum assignment. She looks forward to working on the Imagining Inclusion project and the new opportunities which this will bring.

 
 

Radka Prihodova

Radka Prihodova

Student Research Assistant

Radka is originally from Czech Republic and has been in Canada for 5 years. As a Master’s student of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Charles University in Prague, she developed her skills as an independent researcher by exploring the motivation of athletes with intellectual disabilities who are participating in the Special Olympic. Currently she is a 4th year Therapeutic Recreation student at Douglas College. She volunteers as rhythmic gymnastics coach for Special Olympics team Burnaby.

 

Cynnimon Rain

Cynnimon Rain

Student Research Assistant

Cynnimon Rain is a Therapeutic Recreation student in the Degree Program at Douglas College, British Columbia. Her research interests include: mental health and addiction recovery, positive psychology, and the impact of physical environments on well-being. She herself includes playing outside as a major part of her mental wellness toolbox.

Contact

For more information or to be added to the mailing list contact communityinclusionproject@gmail.com or fill out the form below.

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