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Waverley Place, McLean Hospital’s community psychiatric rehabilitation program, was recognized for its Photovoice program by Massachusetts Senator Ken Donnelly (D) from Arlington. On Monday, October 28, the participants of the Photovoice group were invited to the state house for a chance to see their works displayed. They were also treated to lunch and a tour.
The purpose of displaying their research art is to combat the stigma associated with mental health. It was a chance for people struggling with mental health disorders to tell their side of the story and express themselves. There were over 20 pieces displayed in Doric Hall, all of which told a unique, individual narrative.
“I think it was an amazing opportunity for our Photovoice participants to see the value of expressing themselves,” said David Weene, Peer Counselor at Waverley Place. “And Senator Donnelly was very appreciative and welcoming.”
The Photovoice program is a public health research process that gives cameras to people who have been disempowered, asking them to take photographs of their communities. The photos are then narrated with the goals of enabling people to record and reflect on their community strengths and concerns. The program’s goal is to promote critical dialogue and knowledge of personal and community issues through group discussion as well as promote awareness for mental illness. The program is currently implemented at both Waverley Place and the Recovery Center of Boston University.
Waverley Place is a resource center for individuals with psychiatric illnesses and their families and friends along with professionals including individuals with lived experience with mental illness. Members of the community design a personal plan of action for rehabilitation working alongside community members to perpetuate wellness and begin the building of fulfilling lives.
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