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  • Writer's pictureLGBTQ SupportME

Photovoice Success Story

Updated: May 19, 2020

The Problem

Reported tobacco and other substance use rates are higher among young people who are LGBT in Maine. These young people face challenges with stigma, minority stress, and other circumstances that may lead them to substance use.

The Intervention

Healthy Androscoggin worked with Outright LA to provide young people at their drop-in hours a safe space for Photovoice. The LGBT young people were encouraged to explore their world critically through a lens.

We discussed risk and protective factors and asked them to record places/things that empower them (protective factors) and those places/things that bring them down and may put them at risk. We also asked them to think about opportunities for change and let them run with it from there.


Three youth completed the project and ten participated at some point. About 75 people came to the exhibit at the Lewiston Art Walk and many were impressed or impacted by their work. The youth told us they liked the project and would like to see it done again.

Opportunities for Improvement

We felt this project allowed us to build positive connections and relationships with the youth who participated, which made it worth the effort.

A few suggestions for replication:

  1. Work with a formed youth group that has regular meetings. The youth we worked with did not consistently show up to drop-in (given its nature) which was challenging.

  2. Use digital cameras to simplify the process.

  3. Have a way to get in touch with the youth that doesn’t involve a go-between. We adjusted midway to text the youth using google voice because it made communication easier.

Looking for more information?

Contact Mary Caron at for more details or to ask questions.

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