So Many Wings: Re-imagining the Icarus Project’s Blog

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The Icarus Project is in the process of redeveloping our front-page blog as a space for powerful, transgressive stories, articles, interviews, and resources that aren’t being widely published in other alternative mental health media outlets. We want to center the voices and badass organizing of people of color, queers, working-class folks, people with disabilities, and other marginalized voices, offering space not only for counter narratives to the biomedical model of psychiatry, but also for a lot more beauty and brilliance in who gets to speak.

We want to expand the dialogue regarding mental health, human rights, liberation and healing. We hope to encourage reflection about how factors such as race, gender, class, ability, sexuality, immigration status, inter-generational poverty, and community culture play a role in how people experience "mental health" and the mental health system. We want to talk about who has access to services, both mainstream and alternative, and who doesn’t. We want to interact with growing movements in healing justice, disability justice, and prison abolition.

Interview w/Sins Invalid on Disability Justice Theory & Praxis

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Sins Invalid is a performance project on disability and sexuality that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized from social discourse. Jacks McNamara interviewed Patty Berne, Leroy Moore, Lateef McLeod, and Kiyaan from the Sins Invalid crew at Patti’s home in Berkeley on June 26, 2013.

Bringing on new Icarus Project Collaborators, Staff, and Expanding our Community

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Hey, The Icarus Project is planning to hire an organization development/operations manager type person (in NYC)  for an initial 6 month commitment to help us get our shit together and rebuild our infrastructure. What do you all think?

As we move into the next ten years, we are looking to strengthen our collective vision by keeping in better touch with the folks who use our resources and figuring out how to get more people involved in ways that work for them.  We want to pull together an advisory board and work with people and organizations that are doing work around issues relating to social justice, racial justice, radical mental health,  healing, and disability rights. We want The Icarus Project to be an organization that has the capacity to unite a lot of different groups of people who haven’t previously worked together.

On Access Intimacy and Mental Health

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For many years I, and so many others I know, have resisted identifying as disabled for very good reasons. If you believe your distress is largely a result of family trauma and/or capitalism, racism, and other forms of structural violence, why would you identify as disabled? If you frame your distress as a form of spiritual or existential crisis, why would you use the word disabled? If you believe we all have the capacity for full recovery, or nothing was ever wrong in the first place, why would you identify as disabled?

 

For me, the reason is to be part of an amazing and supportive community with revolutionary politics that include an emphasis on creating communities of care. To be part of a group with a long history of organizing for liberation and human rights. Identifying as disabled also allows me to acknowledge the recurrent and sometimes severe nature of my struggles, and to seek structural changes that wouldn’t make it so hard to be in this world. Instead of trying to assimilate and “pass” as normal, it is so much more helpful for me to think about how to get support and get access needs met.

New Alternative DSM Zine out from Icarus member unraveled

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I am proud to announce the long awaited release of the zine “Depictions of Self-Identified Madness: A Visionary Alternative to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”. The zine is a collection of over thirteen self portraits created by individuals who self identify as having madness, mental health issues, or as being a psychiatric survivors. Accompanying their self portraits are their responses to questions about their experiences.

(A small group of) friends make the best medicine

For the past few months, myself and a few NYC Icaristas have been quietly conducting an experiment around alternatives for running peer-support groups according to the model suggested by Friends Make the Best Medicine. Four of us have been meeting regularly, as a part of a closed group of committed participants, according to a model that I am proposing to call "Icarus Cells".

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