When dealing with mental illness, especially in children, it sometimes takes a creative mind to help find ways to combat it. In this project, the creative minds are in the children.
Vanier Children’s Services created a project called Photo Voice, which is a program where children that attend Vanier are given cameras and can go out into nature and photograph what they see.
“Some kids don’t get into it as much as others,” says Tara Lawrence, who is a Residential Child & Youth Worker at Vanier. “But some will actually take the time to get the right angle and the right lighting, and it’s really nice to see the kids putting that much effort in.”
This project also has benefits for the workers involved as well. It is a rewarding experience for the workers, and really helps take the stress off of trying to find different ways to help these kids. It also opens up their eyes to how a child sees the world around them.
“We see things so differently than they do,” says Jenny Bautista, a Vanier Child & Youth Counselor. “The end result was so cool, I would see these pictures of things that I totally missed.”
Photo Voice ended up being published into a book, and Vanier hopes to continue on with the project.