The primary objective of this internship is to create a chapter of the Icarus collective on the NYU campus. We hope to provide students with both an alternative and a complement to the existing Wellness Center, in providing an open space where students can share life experiences with peers outside of the setting of mainstream psychiatry.
There needs to be a new way to deal with mental health issues. Pamphlets from the student health center that simply tell you to “practice deep breathing” or “try a pilates class!” cannot solve all of our problems, neither can the cold faced psychiatrists who want to prescribe you with different medicines and are more than willing to double your dose even if you are not sure about it. We need to create a community in which we can seek support from our peers. Especially within the activist community where the number one priority is ending the war, or the coca-cola contract, or organizing the best speaking event ever to have hit the campus, and not how one is personally doing. If we want to create a movement that is self sustaining and can be effective at making change we must have healthy minds and healthy spirits. Mental health needs to become a priority and something that isn’t just considered a diagnosis. If we are successful at creating a space in which there can be an open dialogue about mental health issues people will feel more inclined to share their stories, less alone, and more empowered.
We want to create a safe space for students to meet on a regular basis for education and discussion of mental health related issues. Emphasis will be placed on fostering and maintaining a diversity of educational perspectives while encouraging personal participation. The group will also work to raise awareness of mental health problems at the University of Minnesota and advocate for social change to address them. We will consistently put “mental health” in the context of broader political-economic and cultural forces.
NYU Icarus student organizer and Fountain House intern Montana Queler wrote this theory paper for Steve Duncombe's Cultural Resistance class at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study .