Photo Participatory Courses Delivered at the NHS Recovery College East

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Beyond Participation: the use of participatory photographic methodologies in peer-led therapeutic environments by those accessing mental health services.



  • Contact name

    Julia Colleen Johnson

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins

  • Identifier

    16/EE/0097, East of England-Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    4 years, 7 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    I will deliver two therapeutic participatory photography programmes to people aged eighteen years old and over who access CPFT mental health services through the Recovery College East. The programmes will be co-facilitated by a past service user of the Recovery College, with lived experience of mental health, who has been trained by the College to deliver sessions.

    The overall aims are:
    •To initiate an online network for participants to continue to access, whilst sharing their photographic work, as a sustainable support network.
    •To design a toolkit for participation made available to the NHS and practitioners working in the field of mental health.

    Each programme will involve a maximum of 15 participants. There will be 5 sessions situated at the Recovery College East venues, and one on-location photography session. There is the option for participants to engage in two interview sessions, a collaborative session with the facilitator and a photography exhibition. The exhibition space will also be used collaboratively for participants to discuss photography work whilst they engage with one another.

    During the second (Peterborough-based) programme, an online ‘’webinar’’ photography session will be held with the first group of (Cambridge-based participants). This will give participants an opportunity to discuss their photography work whilst remaining in their own respective recovery colleges.
    Finally, there will be the option to exhibit work as part of a summative exhibition that features both Cambridge and Peterborough participants’ work.

    Purpose of study:
    •To use the participants’ photographs, the private, closed online photography resources and the participants’ exhibitions to facilitate conversations amongst mental health service users about photography, representation, participation and learning.
    •To involve people who access mental health services in the evaluation of the two participatory photography programmes.
    •To develop a template for future participatory programmes that is informed by people who access mental health services.

  • REC name

    East of England - Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    11 Jul 2016

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion