For over 15 years, the Athens Photographic Project (APP) has offered to community members living with mental illness in Appalachian Ohio photography classes and exhibition opportunities as a vital component of their mental health recovery support.
APP has been selected for a PCORI Pipeline to Proposal award in order to create a patient-centered research community (PCRC) that examines consumer choice and benefit when multiple clinical and alternative treatment options are available.
During Tier I, APP formed an Athens, Ohio, based PCRC called The Front Porch Project. This group will engage in a 12-month, Tier II project in which members identify viable comparative effectiveness research (CER) concepts and make a commitment to working together to advance a CER question relevant to Appalachian Ohio and the field of rural mental health.
The longer-term (Tier III and beyond) activities are expected to lead to consumer-driven research studies that may indicate the best treatment option(s) that result in increased quality of life and social inclusion for those living with mental illness in rural areas, and to better understanding how communities in rural high-poverty areas can work together at a local level to improve consumer options in recovery.