Old Colony YMCA to Host Teen-Led Photovoice Exhibition to Raise Awareness of Problem Gambling in the Community

PhotoVoice DPH

The Department of Public Health’s Office of Problem Gambling Services has once again funded Old Colony YMCA to support youth in bringing awareness to problem gambling in their community through an artistic lens. This will be the team’s first in-person event since the onset of the pandemic.

Brockton, MassachusettsThe Old Colony YMCA, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services, will host a Teen-Led Photovoice Exhibition and Gallery at the Gallery at Enso Flats on Saturday, May 6th from 4:30-8:00 pm.

The Photovoice project encouraged teens to participate in curriculum that engaged them in discussing healthy risk-taking and community justice issues while concurrently learning about making statements through art and photography. After completing the curriculum, teens took pictures in their community that could be used to help them better understand community leadership and strategies for societal change. Through this experience, they also learned about the threats posed to the community, the populations who are targeted, and how they can bring awareness. 

The event will feature a Welcome Address from the Old Colony Y’s Leadership Team and representatives from the MDPH Office of Problem Gambling Services. Teens who went through the Photovoice experience will emcee the event and lead participants through their artistic journey.  

The Exhibition will feature photos taken by youth who were recruited to look at the issues of problem gambling through a social justice lens. During the event, participants will listen to the youths’ stories of what their artwork means to them and have an opportunity to engage in interactive experiences around gambling.   

The event will also include lunch for all. Members of the community may attend the event free of charge. To RSVP, please email Stephanie Germain at sgermain@oldcolonyymca.org, or call 508-580-7786.

To learn more about the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Problem Gambling Services, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/office-of-problem-gambling-services.

About the Old Colony YMCA

At the Y, strengthening communities is our cause.  We offer affordable child care and camp to families, anti-gang programs for at-risk youth, health and fitness programs for families, workforce development, mental health and substance abuse services through our licensed clinic, and numerous other services and programs that promote healthy spirit, mind, and body.  Founded in 1887, the Old Colony YMCA is a non-profit charitable organization serving more than 140,000 people annually in communities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts through eleven branches located in Brockton, East Bridgewater, Easton, Middleboro, Plymouth, Stoughton, and Taunton. Learn more about Old Colony YMCA: www.oldcolonyymca.org


About the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Office of Problem Gambling Services

The Office of Problem Gambling Services was created as part of the Expanded Gaming Act of 2011 (Chapter 194). This law provides for the establishment of up to three destination resort casinos and one slot parlor in Massachusetts. It also allocates significant resources to mitigate the harms associated with gambling through a Public Health Trust Fund (PHTF), focusing on research, prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery support services to help mitigate the effects of problem gambling and related issues.

In April 2016 the PHTF Executive Committee adopted a Strategic Plan for Services to Mitigate the Harms Associated with Gambling in Massachusetts (DOC). The plan provides detailed strategies to address problem gambling and explores the relationships between problem gambling and other health concerns — laying the groundwork for the development of a strong public health response to those issues most affected by the expansion of gambling in Massachusetts.

The plan is implemented primarily by the Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. Implementation is overseen by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, assisted by members of other state agencies and community-based organizations.

About Photovoice

Photovoice methodology was developed in 1995 by Caroline Wang and her colleagues as a means for women living in rural villages in China to communicate important health messages to policy-makers. This methodology can be used to help participants better understand collective leadership and how it affects their communities and to identify strategies for community change. This activity puts cameras in the hands of creative youth and offer an opportunity to record and reflect upon their community’s strengths and concerns. (www.theinnovationcenter.org)