Youth Mental Health & Wellness Photovoice Research Project in Iqaluit, April 2010

Date : July 17, 2013
Exploring the aspects of life among youth that make them feel happy, sad, frustrated, angry, scared, excited, or joyful.


This project is part of a larger programme at the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre called the Child and Youth Mental Health and Wellness Intervention, Research and Community Advocacy Project in Nunavut that is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.



Youth Photovoice Pilot


Summary

Six students participated in the Photovoice project as photographers, and 10 students participated in a discussion about the photos at the Makkutukkuvik Youth Centre after the photos had been taken. The project took place over a 2-week period in April and May 2010. More than 60 photos were taken and all of them were discussed by the group. Select photos that highlighted certain parts of the discussion are shown here.


Themes
Several themes arose out of the discussion of the photos. Loneliness, bullying, emotions, friendship, happiness, having fun, and relationships were key themes that emerged in the discussion.

Bullying - A group of the girls took short films of themselves enacting a physical fist fight between them, calling each other names, and reacting in anger. While the girls would not talk explicitly (because of shyness) about some of the material they were demonstrating, it was clear from the group discussion that they felt these videos highlighted a problem of jealousy, anger, and violence between girls.

Friendship - The same group of girls, also took several photos to illustrate their feelings about the importance of friendships in their lives, having fun, and the happiness and positive feelings that good friends can bring.

Emotions - The photos of song lyrics initiated discussions about the need for help expressing emotions. Often music (and song lyrics) can help with the expression of strong emotions in a therapeutic way, and help one express feelings that one may not have the words to convey.

Happiness - Having fun and being happy was an important part of the discussion in the context o mental health and wellness. Often the media and guests to the community sensationalize the negative health issues in the community, and neglect to highlight the positive attributes of our northern communities. These youth put added effort into demonstrating the positive contributions the fun, friendship, and
time outside can do for mental health and wellness.

Next Steps
A second pilot project will take place in Kugultuk in Fall 2010. One of the participants from the Iqaluit pilot project has continued to work on the photovoice project by exploring youth and community health through photography and video. She will be presenting her material to the National Inuit Youth Council Summit in Inuvik, NT in August 2010.

Youth Mental Health & Wellness Photovoice Research Project in Iqaluit, April 2010

Photo Gallery
  1. These girls were acting out a fight and punching this girl in the face

    These girls were acting out a fight and punching this girl in the face