This coming September will be the 10th anniversary of our Icarus Project journey. With your participation, we will be celebrating this milestone anniversary. We are asking each of you to reflect back on your own personal journey with The Icarus Project. We want to celebrate our victories and learn from our mistakes, as well as look forward to what we envision The Icarus Project to be over the next 10 years. Currently on the agenda: re-designing the website; revising and updating all of our publications; creating a 10th Anniversary story sharing archive; as well as some organizational restructuring, including getting an advisory board into place.
Alix LeClair wrote this beautiful paper for Brad Lewis' Mad Science/Mad Pride class at Gallatin last semester. She's interested in starting up a Campus Icarus group, in her words:"I really want to take the icarus project into reality in new york. I've been asking around at Gallatin and talking to people in my Mad Pride class about it, but you can write something on the website about how myself and some others are trying to get thecampus icarus at NYU started again.They can email me AFL255@nyu.edu Ihave a lot of ideas but I can't put it into practice on my own and I'm scared about being a "leader" of anything, and I'm sure others will be interested if they only knew the group was there."
So last month I traveled to Israel and the West Bank for the first time in my life and met so many inspiring people and got my mind blown and heart broken open. Right before I got on the plane to fly home I facilitated an Icarus Project style radical mental health discussion at the anarchist community center Rogatka in Tel Aviv. There were about 20 people there, with a number of folks from Anarchists Against the Wall, some of whom I'd met at a protest in Nabi Saleh a few days before amidst the tear gas and skunk water canons.(!?!) We talked about madness and language and collective trauma and watched Crooked Beauty and it felt like it could be the beginning of some important new discussions about mental health in the radical activist community in Israel.
There is an urgent need to talk publicly about the relationship between social injustice and our mental health. We need to start redefining what it actually means to be mentally healthy, not just on an individual level, but on collective, communal, and global levels.A group of us who have years of experience practicing peer-based community mental health support, including many Icarus folks, got together to compile a manual for organizers and participants in the #occupy movement.
Sascha went on a whirlwind tour of Europe this summer meeting with other radical mental health activists and talking about what is happening in their countries. Here are some of their reports as well as reports from Icarus allies in other parts of the world.