Phase 1

Imagining Inclusion: My Health, Wellbeing, and Community (2013-2015)

Imagining Inclusion was a two-year community-based research partnership between Open Door Group and Douglas College. It was funded by the Vancouver Foundation from 2013-2015. In this project we developed two models—Creating Upstream Change and Lived Experience of Health Work—by answering the following questions: 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?

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

Research Participants

Research participants were a group of diverse individuals with lived experience of mental illness. They were given cameras to record visually their responses to research questions.


Photo discussions were audio recorded and participants wrote reflections to develop a narratives for each of their photographs. Throughout the Photovoice process, the participants worked with students from Douglas College and peer researchers.


Peer task groups involved research participants and 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 (2015).

Project Findings

Our project findings were disseminated to a diverse group of community stakeholders via the photo exhibits, community newsletters, and a community stakeholder meeting. Project findings helped shape the application for phase 2 funding “Creating Upstream Change.”

This project is a collaboration between:


Funded by:

Project partner: