Online Program

Stories of health: Participatory media for public health promotion

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Amy Hill, MA, StoryCenter (formerly the Center for Digital Storytelling), Berkeley, CA
The Center for Digital Storytelling ( surfaces authentic voices around the world through group process and participatory media creation. Our programs support people in sharing and bearing witness to stories that lead to learning, action, and positive change.

The recognition that personal stories can play a key role in healthcare training, health service provision, and community-based public health efforts has grown dramatically over the past several years. Stories created in our customized Stories-of-Health workshops represent marginalized voices in complex, dignified, and dynamic ways. Storytellers explore their lived experience, craft and record narratives, and produce multimedia pieces.

Since 1993, we have worked in hundreds of communities in more than 50 countries around the world. Once created, our stories are integrated into health curricula, to transmit information, spark discussion, and deepen emotional understanding of curricular content. They are screened in community settings, to build relationships between storytellers and viewers and mobilize civic action for health equity. They are shared on websites and via social networking tools, to promote awareness and dialogue. And they are shown to policymakers, to increase their understanding of critical public health issues and promote advocacy.

In this session, we will share a selection of digital stories created in our Stories-of-Health workshops, focusing on healthcare access for vulnerable / marginalized communities; health equity; gender-based violence; and the prevention of HIV and AIDS. We will talk about what makes digital storytelling workshops unique as a production process, and about the range of ways our partners are sharing these powerful stories as tools for health promotion and advocacy. We will show stories from the following projects:

Banyan Tree (HIV/AIDS awareness)

Winning the Battle (colorectal cancer)

It's All in a Name (mental health)

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the value of participatory media production for public health promotion. Identify at least three characteristics that make digital stories a unique form of new media.

Keyword(s): Vulnerable Populations, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for the past ten years with the Center for Digital Storytelling, leading a wide array of public health oriented projects.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.