Mad School Components

Mad School Components – The List

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Mad School has over 80 components, each curated in a unit, and located in a thematic module.  This annotated list of the main Mad School components, linked to the components themselves, allows instructors to quickly review the rich experiential learning objects that are the heart of Mad School’s educational experience.  Additional images, art, documents, and audio and video clips can be found at the unit level.

Stigma and Discrimination Module

1940s Mental Health Radio Plays Unit

Two reenacted vintage CBC radio plays from Canada’s first public mental health campaign that demonstrate how notions of normal shift across time and place, and are more often shaped by professional expertise than lived experience of difference.

From Stigma to Action Unit

Frontline stories of marginalization, discrimination, and nascent activism in Toronto’s deinstitutionalization era from writer and activist Pat Capponi’s, author of the 1992 autobiography “Upstairs in the Crazy House.”

What If? Unit

A short satirical essay contrasting attitudes toward cancer patients and mental health patients. Written by a Mad School community expert Lanny Beckman.

Us and Them Unit

A reflection on the distance between the patient and the practitioner. Written by a Mad School community expert Lanny Beckman.

Making Change Module

MPA: The Inmates Utopia Unit

A documentary about the Utopian MPA, a radical mental patients’ organization that formed in Vancouver in the early 1970s

Making Madness Political Unit

A virtual scrapbook by David Reville – a patient turned activist, politician and educator

The Toronto Scene Unit

A 15 minute video about Toronto’s mental health activists, highlighting issues and personal stories

Go Nuts! Unit

A song that celebrates madness and autonomy by a Irit Shimrat, a former patient who rejects mainstream treatment models

Medicine and Power Module

The Doreen Befus Story Unit

Documents, audio commentaries, and a powerful personal story illuminating the history of sterilization in Canada

Ya’Ya Heit and Indigenous Mental Health Unit

Art and poetry expressing an Indigenous perspective on mental health and a context text explaining the link between colonialism, the Indian Act, and the messages expressed in this work

Mo-Vay’s Way Unit

A 5-minute puppet show on the importance of healing systems that treat the whole person. Created by Lori, a community expert.

The Psychiatric Gaze Unit

An autobiographical sculpture with a provocative title, created by two community experts with a sincere wish for healing partnerships in mental health

Question Man Unit

A 6-minute video depicting “Question Man”, the ultra ego of a patient struggling for a sense of self. Created by community expert Irit Shimrat.

Alternatives Module

A Living Room to Thousands Unit

An array of images and text introducing students to the world of Toronto’s PARC, born in 1980 as a drop-in offering basic services to former psychiatric patients, but recognized today as a “living room to thousands” and an important civic institution.

Because of Edmond Unit

Powerful audio clips, images and documents setting out the story of Edmond Yu, a chronicle of inadequate social supports and bad  policing with a hopeful postscript – the creation of supportive housing for marginalized people.

Moyra Jones at Valleyview: Dementia Care Innovation Unit

Video footage – past and present – telling the surprising story of pioneering dementia care innovations at BC’s Valleyview Hospital in the late 1978s and 1980s.

Unity Housing Unit

A 10-minute documentary created by a Mad School community expert that explores the inner workings of Unity Housing, an innovative community housing run by and for service users.

Doing Well Through Art at Gallery Gachet Unit

A 10-minute video introducing Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet, an artist-run centre that works at the intersection between art, healing, and social justice.

Policy Module

Speaking to History: Mental Health Policy Unit

Historical documents and insider audio commentaries mapping out the development and ethos of community mental health in Canada

Designing Dementia Care Unit

Audio testimony, documents and researcher reflections on the difficult history of Greenacres, Ontario’s first purpose-built dementia care facility

Tools for Recovery Unit

One woman’s story of recovery from mental health difficulties, a contemporary account of community mental health by one of our expert colleagues

Past, Present and Future Unit

Three skits by project community experts that explore past, present, and desired future of our mental health system