Synergi Photovoice project wins award

The Synergi Photovoice project, which facilitated the narratives of ethnic minority people with lived experience of severe mental illness through photography, has won a Queen Mary University of London Community Engagement 2018 Award.

The public engagement project, entitled Visual Reflections of Mental Health: Realities of Severe Mental Illness for Ethnic Minority People, enagaged service users and carers in seven introductory and photo reflection
workshops and three exhibitions at local mental health charities in London and Manchester.

With the particitpants permission, two Synergi Photovoice exhibitions were hosted, the first in London at Bush Theatre and the second at the Z-Arts Centre in Manchester.

In total 21 people, including 19 service users and two carers, from a range of ethnic minority backgrounds were involved. Participating organisations were LMCP, African and Caribbean Mental Health Services, the Psychosis Therapy Project at Islington Mind and Mind in Haringey.

Dr Kristoffer Halvorsrud, Research Fellow at Synergi, said: “The Synergi team is delighted to have all its hard work as well as the importance of the photovoice project recognised through an award. However, the photovoice project would not have been possible without the participants themselves who partook and shared their everyday lived experience of mental illness. We would also like to thank the mental health community centres which facilitated the project”.

The photographs and narratives are currently on display at QMUL at the Queens Building foyer, and will be on semi-permanent display in Manchester in the foyer of the African and Caribbean Mental Health Services building.