Connection Through Story
Voices of Petersburg is a three-day digital storytelling workshop for clients of Petersburg Mental Health Services (PMHS) in Petersburg, Alaska.
Participants choose an experience they want to share and, with the guidance of mental health counselors, write a script for a digital story to give voice to their struggles and triumphs.
In the production process they work with several media specialists to sort through family photos and myriad digital images to help convey their story visually. They record their voice as narration and choose accompanying music to help express the emotional current of the piece.
The process of writing, choosing supportive media assets, and bringing the story to the screen provides a platform for healing unique to the mental health therapies. The production process allows a workable distance from the subject while still engaging in what is often painful territory.
The workshop culminates with a celebratory screening of the digital stories for family and friends. Participants express a sense of relief and catharsis after sharing their digital story. PMHS Counselors continue to utilize the stories during therapy, well beyond the close of the workshop.