volunteer smBW1In 2011, the South Carolina School Behavioral Health Community hosted the 16th Annual Advancing School Mental Health Conference in Charleston, SC. Youth M.O.V.E. SC was able to hold a gallery and silent auction of photos from their Youth Photovoice projects conducted over a few years preceding the conference.

Photovoice is a research-based tool that engages people within a community to record and reflect on their lives. It provides people within a community a means to document and create change around the challenges that affect them (e.g. mental health/substance issues, food security, working conditions, etc.).

Based on the reception of the Photovoice gallery at the national conference, the idea evolved over a couple of years to expand the opportunity for young people to share their experiences and ideas about mental health and wellness using the power of photography.