Melbourne Mad Studies Network

Next reading group: Tuesday 21st March 2023

Dear Mad Reading Folk,

Looking forward to seeing you all in March, when Tamar will lead the topic ‘mad-created and co-created clinical training and services.’

Date: Tuesday, 21st March 2023

Time: 7pm – 8.30pm AEDT (Melbourne/Naarm time)

Zoom link:

Passcode: 852046

Reading materials:

  1. A half-hour video with Pat Deegan presenting Common Ground, an application designed to bring the concept of recovery and people’s recovery goals into standard psychiatric consultations. 
  2. A case study, Let’s learn together: co-creating mental health solutions with adolescents in Tanzania and Viet Nam 
  3. Learning from Experience: working in collaboration with people with lived experience to deliver psychiatric education (Royal College of Psychiatry)

Discussion questions:

  1. What do you wish was included in clinical training or services? Let’s make our own wish list!
  2. Are the goals of Mad-created and co-created resources different, and, if so, how?
  3. Are there ways to overcome professional reluctance to integrate Mad voices in training, as evident in the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists’ document? 
  4. How can Mad contributors or service users be effectively recruited, offered active participation, and fairly rewarded for their contribution, without perpetuating existing power imbalances? 
  5. Can Mad-created resources or solutions radically re-imagine services?

Here is a list of some mad- and co- created services/supports/training that might spark some inspiration:    

See you then! 🙂

Do you know anyone who might be interested in leading one of the monthly reading groups? Maybe that person is you? Maybe it’s someone whose work you admire? All that is required is to choose two-three readings on a topic – readings can include a podcast or video, or written texts – that are relatively accessible to a general, but interested audience (i.e. we don’t usually read dense legal theory or highly specialised philosophical texts, although often they will be challenging and we can support each other to understand them!) and contact us and we can lock in a date. The person would then need to come on the night prepared with a little bit of an intro and maybe some questions to prompt discussion (this is very flexible). The group is very friendly and the network facilitators will have your back. Let us know –

‘Madness is the only way I stay alive. I used to be a comedian, a long time ago! It’s true. There’s some good memories. … It’s too late to be sane, too late! You’ve got to go full-tilt bozo. Cos you’re only given a little spark of madness, and if you lose that, you’re nothing. Don’t. From me to you, don’t ever lose that, cos it keeps you alive. … That’s my only love, crazy.’

-Robin Williams (Little Spark of Madness, 1978)

‘Let me begin by saying that I came to theory because I was hurting-the pain within me was so intense that I could not go on living. I came to theory desperate, wanting to comprehend-to grasp what was happening around and within me. Most importantly, I wanted to make the hurt go away. I saw in theory then a location for healing.’

-bell hooks (Theory as Liberatory Practice, 1991)

‘Academia can be an imposing or off-putting environment for many, and Mad Studies grapples with its relationship to class, privilege, language, exclusion, practice, activism and accessibility… It is intended as a bridge between the academic space and people who are contributing to the world in other ways – activists, artists, peer workers, critical thinkers, agitators, survivors and the rest. …with Mad Love!’

-Flick Grey (Mad Studies Conversation Starters, 2019)