Icarus Project Mission Statement
The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.
Icarus Project Vision Statement
The Icarus Project seeks to overcome the limitations of a world determined to label, categorize, and sort human behavior. We envision a new culture that allows the space and freedom for exploring different states of being, and recognizes that breakdown can be the entrance to breakthrough. We aim to create a language that is so vast and rich that it expresses the infinite diversity of human experiences. We demand more options in understanding and navigating emotional distress and we want everyone to have access to these options, regardless of status, ability, or identity.
The Icarus Project helps us overcome alienation and tap into the true potential that lies between brilliance and madness. We are members of a group that has been misunderstood and persecuted throughout history, but has also been responsible for some of the world’s most extraordinary creations. Sensitivities, visions, and inspirations are not necessarily symptoms of illness, they are gifts needing cultivation and care. When honored and nurtured, these gifts can lay the foundation for a wiser and more compassionate society. As a mutual aid community, we intertwine threads of madness and creativity to inspire hope and transformation in an oppressive and damaged world.
1. Self-Determination. We honor the language people use for understanding their experiences and we respect how people choose to navigate their distress. We embrace diversity, harm-reduction and self-determination. Everyone is welcome, whether they support the use of psychiatric drugs or not, and whether they identify with diagnostic categories or not.
2. Beyond the medical model. Icarus is a sanctuary for people creating their own definitions of health and wellness. We are exploring unknown territory and don't steer by the default maps outlined by health professionals and pharmaceutical companies. We're making new maps.
3. Educating ourselves about options. We question what we hear in the media and what we read in doctor's office brochures. We research medical treatments, learn all we can about their risks and benefits, and respect the role that personal beliefs and intuition play in decision-making. We explore a spectrum of approaches, and encourage each other to make informed choices.
4. Balancing wellness and action. We help each other stay balanced and grounded so we can use our gifts to make the world we live in better, more beautiful, and way more interesting. Together we strive to create full and independent lives for ourselves where the ultimate goal is not just to survive, but to thrive and transform.
5. Access. We demand more options in understanding and navigating emotional distress and we want everyone to have access to these options, regardless of status, ability, and identity. We seek to create spaces and resources that enable the inclusion of all people.
6. Social Justice. We recognize that we all live in a crazy world and that too many of us struggle due to ongoing legacies of abuse, colonization, racism, ableism, sexism, and other interlocking forms of oppression. We affirm that social justice is the foundation of healthy societies and foster supportive relationships free of violence and oppression.