About This Project

This project is concerned with the experience of recovery from alcohol-related harm and how the environment influences this process. Alcohol-related harm is a major public health concern as it is a leading cause of ill-health, injury and death. It has been linked with contributing to behavioural, economic and social difficulties for individuals and their families. Many people recover from alcohol problems, however little is understood about how the environment and locale of alcohol outlets impacts and influence recovery and alcohol health outcomes. The high number of premises selling alcohol within the environment has been linked to higher levels of alcohol consumption, frequent alcohol consumption and increased alcohol-problems. The density and positioning of premises selling alcohol may impact and influence recovery and alcohol health outcome. Taking these factors into view, this project concerns itself with the experiences of key stakeholders and those on the recovery journey as individuals strive to rebuild and live meaningful and satisfying lives, despite a history of alcohol damage and dependency.

This project will use an innovative method ‘photovoice’, not typically used in research, to better understand recovery. Individuals in recovery are invited to use photographic cameras to capture factors within their environment and communities, which hinder and facilitate their recovery. These images along with the development of accompanying narrative will be used to describe aspects of recovery that may otherwise go unnoticed. The potential significance of Photovoice as a new technique to further illuminate and deepen understanding of the impact of the environment on recovery will be considered. Particularly, as this method may be particularly effective at encouraging engagement with marginalised groups.

Who is involved?

This project is led by Dr. Aisha Holloway and Dr. Sarah Rhynas from the Nursing Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh. In addition the project is supported by a research assistant, Angela Gullone, a Contemporary Art masters student, Laura Tully, as well as Niamh Shortt and Eva Silveirinha de Oliveira from ESALA (UoE). The project has been  supported by artist Samantha Rutherford and Meg Faragher from the Outreach department at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and the staff and members from the Serenity Café.

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