Madness Canada/ folie Canada believes that Mad Studies should pay particular attention to the mechanisms of power and social justice issues. We aim to use history to understand the present and illuminate the future.

Our work draws on diverse experiences, skills and perspectives in recognizing the legacy of Mad Pride within Canadian communities. Contributors to the website include community members, academics, educators and policy makers.

We are always interested in new CONTRIBUTOR EXHIBITS and in additions to our RESOURCE section, and we particularly encourage the participation of people with lived experience. If you would like to apply to mount an exhibition on the site, please contact us at madness@yorku.ca

Meet our Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is made up of researchers, educators and people with lived experience. The Advisory Board helps to set Madness Canada’s strategic direction.

Lucy Costa is deputy executive director of the Empowerment Council, an independent service user rights-based organization in Toronto, Canada. She works as an advocate promoting the rights of mental health service users/survivors, as well as encouraging critical analysis about service user inclusion in the mental health sector.  She has written a number of articles and blogs and is co-editor in Madness Violence and Power: A Critical Collection as well as to a special edition of the Journal of Ethics and Mental Health.

Rachel da Silveira Gorman is an associate professor in York University’s Critical Disability Studies Program, where she is program development lead for a new undergraduate program in Racialized Health and Disability Justice with a certificate in Mad Studies and Critical Mental Health. She is an artist and activist with expertise in fine arts, cultural studies, transnational social movements, aesthetics of disability, and critiques of ideology. Da Silveira Gorman has created and choreographed 14 dance-theatre and site-specific productions, ten of which have been remounted or screened at festivals.

Peter Hoong (he/him) has a background in public health and has had the opportunity to work with diverse stakeholders on issues relating to HIV, mental health, and/or substance use. He is especially passionate about LGBTQ/2S health and capacity building and is a queer health advocate. Equity is the guiding principle behind his work, and he hopes to aid, facilitate, and empower communities in driving change.

Mohamed Ibrahim, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of British Columbia, is a globally trained mental health clinician and scholar with expertise in critical and colonial psychiatry, mental health human rights and global mental health. He is a co-investigator SSHRC-funded grant on human rights and equity in community mental health in Kenya, Australia and Canada and PI on a Hampton grant investigating the role of service user organizations in decolonizing mental health services in Kenya.

Eugène LeBlanc is the Director of a peer-based mental health activity center. Since 1987, he has lead Groupe de support émotionnel inc. in Moncton, New Brunswick. He is also Publisher of the internationally circulated OUR VOICE / NOTRE VOIX. In 2003, he was awarded the New Brunswick Human Rights Award for his contribution as a community activist in mental health related work. He co-authored Dare to Imagine: From Lunatics to Citizens in 2008. Eugène’s interest lies in resisting traditional narratives coming from our mental health system, and providing fresh and innovative perspectives.

James Moran is Chair and Professor in the history department at the University of Prince Edward Island.  He researches and writes about the history of disease, medicine and mental health.  Recent publications include, Madness on Trial: A History of English Civil Law and Lunacy in trans-Atlantic Context (Manchester University Press, 2019), and ‘A Tale of Two Bureaucracies: Asylum and Lunacy Law Paperwork’, Rethinking History, 22: 3 (2018).  

Nimesh Patel is an instructor in the Bachelor of Health Sciences Public Health program at the University of Lethbridge. His areas of research are mental health, reproductive and child health, and environmental and occupational health. Nimesh received medical degree from Gujarat University, India before coming to Canada to complete Master of Public Health (MPH) from Simon Fraser University. As a public health professional, he is committed to reducing stigma relating to mental illness. He worked in Strength-in-Unity mental health project aimed at reducing mental illness stigma among Asian men in Vancouver, Canada.

Diane Purvey is an educator, an administrator and a historian. As dean of arts at BC’s Kwantlen Polytechnic University since 2012, she has been recognized for her support of equitable education using emerging web-based technologies. As a scholar and public historian, she has published on memorializing grief, social welfare, and Vancouver noir culture. Purvey was instrumental in creating Madness Canada’s post-secondary teaching resources.

David Reville has been a patient, a politician, an advocate, and an educator. He spent two years in and out of mental hospitals in the 1960s, bringing insights from that experience to Toronto civic politics and the provincial legislature in the 1980s and 1990s. Between 2004 and 2014 he pioneered Mad Studies as an activist field of academic teaching and scholarship. Reville received an honorary LLD (a doctor of laws) from Queen’s University in 2015.

Dr. Marie-Claude Thifault, a historian specializing in the history of psychiatric institutions and mental health care in Quebec and Canada, is a full professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences. She has also been named University of Ottawa Research Chair in health and the Canadian francophonie. As the director of the Nursing History Research Unit, Professor Thifault makes quite a significant contribution to the history of nursing and the history of psychiatric nursing.

Meet our Steering Committee

Our Steering Committee is made up of researchers, educators and people with lived experience. The Steering Committee directs  Madness Canada’s operations, funding and projects.

Simon Adam is critical mental health theorist, researcher, educator, and podcaster. His work centrally interrogates psychiatric hegemony and the medicalization of the human condition. He is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University. 

Megan J. Davies teaches in York University’s Health & Society program. A historian of health with a regional focus on British Columbia and research interests in old age, madness and everyday health, she has participated in several academic-community collaborative projects, most notably the 2013 documentary, The Inmates Are Running the Asylum, and Madness Canada’s post-secondary teaching resources. In autumn 2021, as Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University, Megan will embark on a new project: COVID in the House of Old, a public memory exhibit.

Cindy Jiang is PhD student in York University’s Critical Disability Studies program. Her research passion is working with people to create community, whether in the field of health, human rights or disability rights. She has worked with organizations such as the Centre for Excellence for Women’s Health, the Fraser Health Authority, the Provincial Health Services Authority, and Craftworks Society. While at Craftworks, she was awarded two large grants to co-develop and implement Threadworks, a social enterprise and skills training program for people with disabilities in Vancouver.

Marina Morrow is a Professor at the School of Health Policy and Management in the Faculty of Health at York University. In her work, Marina uses critical mental health and intersectional approaches to better understanding the social, political and institutional processes through which health and mental health policies and practices are developed and how social and health inequities are sustained or attenuated for different populations. Marina strongly supports public scholarship and the work and activism of the Mad movement and Mad scholars. Marina is the lead editor (with Dr. Halinka Malcoe) of Critical Inquiries for Social Justice in Mental Health (U of T Press, 2017).