Co-Producing Narratives on Access to Care in Rural Communities: Using Digital Storytelling to Foster Social Inclusion of Young People Experiencing Psychosis

Katherine M Boydell, Chi Cheng, Brenda M. Gladstone, Shevaun Nadin, Elaine Stasiulis
Date Published: 
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Studies in Social Justice

Arts-based research is a powerful method through which to advance social inclusion and justice (Rice, Chandler, Harrison, Liddiard & Ferrari, 2015) by empowering and engaging vulnerable individuals in dialogue and shared storytelling directed to initiate social change (Boydell, Gladstone, Volpe, Allemang & Stasiulis, 2012). Within the health and more recently, the mental health field, digital story telling (DST) is emerging as an arts-based participatory research method to enhance understanding of “lived experience,” promote social connections and address power imbalances. In this paper, we draw on our study with young people living with psychosis in rural communities to describe how participating in a DST research project can attend to their sense of social inclusion, contributing to their agency and possibly also to a more socially just experience of the world. We highlight the potential of DST as an engaging social research process and describe participants’ experience of being involved in DST.