Wellbeing (e.g. Youth, Community, Mental)
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” This statement is the guiding principle of Photovoice, a creative and proven method of community based participatory research. A Photovoice project, called Sumter Through Your Lens (STYL), was implemented by the Florida Department of Health in Sumter County as a data collection method for a community health assessment in 2017-2018. The aim of the project was to receive input from the community on what makes Sumter County a healthy place to live, work, and play.
Community members used the camera lens to capture photos that reflect the ways in which their surroundings contribute to a healthy lifestyle or ways in which their environment creates barriers to health. Because of this project, data included in the community health assessment was richer and included first-hand community perspective. The project received over 200 photos, with distinct themes emerging from the collection of photos. Overarching themes included: (1) Access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities; (2) Natural beauty of Sumter County; (3) Public safety; and (4) Areas of improvement. These themes are being used to guide community health programming in Sumter County.
The STYL project was an opportunity to engage the community in taking ownership of their own health and recognizing the ways in which their surroundings play a role in their health. The project was well-received by those who participated in it, and those who enjoyed viewing the many unique photos. Due to its success, STYL has become an ongoing project of the health department.