Madness Canada believes that mad studies must be relevant to the public, pay close attention to mechanisms of power, and remain concerned with questions of social justice. We are interested in using history to inform the present and speak to the future.

Our work embraces a diversity of experiences, expertise, and viewpoints, recognizing the legacy of mad pride within Canadian communities. Website contributors include community members, academics, educators and policy makers.

We welcome new exhibits and particularly encourage participation from people with lived experience. If you are interested in putting up an exhibit on the site, please email us: madnesscanada@yorku.ca

Meet our Advisory Council

The Advisory Council is comprised of researchers, educators, and people with lived experience. The Advisory Council provides direction for Madness Canada and reviews the applications for the Continuing Exhibits section of the site.

John Court has been Corporate Archivist for the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH – Toronto) since 1998, helping legions of researchers track down important and often rare documents and photographs. As an historian, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Graduate Faculty Associate – Institute of Medical Science – University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.

Susan Heximer has been a college educator at George Brown College in Toronto for the past three decades. She has developed and delivered Canada’s first-ever mental health programs within the college system to promote access for people with lived experience. She currently supports new and seasoned teachers in the adoption of reflective practice and learner-centred approaches. She is delighted to direct her dual interests of mental health and curriculum development into the History in Practice modules, and considers it an honour to advise on the History of Madness website.

Kathleen Kendall is Associate Professor of Sociology as Applied to Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, UK. She was a founding member of the History of Madness in Canada website collective. The main focus of her research has been on criminalization, imprisonment and mental health. Her labour of love has been researching Rockwood, the first stand-alone ‘criminal lunatic’ asylum in Canada. However, Kathy has enjoyed detouring into other areas such as: a 1950s experiment in her home province of Saskatchewan to destigmatize mental health problems, decolonizing medical curricula and a collaborative auto-ethnography on one refugee university student’s experience.

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. He is co-author of the book, Dare to Imagine: From Lunatics to Citizens. His interest lies in innovation and resisting traditional narratives coming from our mental health system. In 2003, he was awarded the New Brunswick Human Rights Award for his contribution as a community activist in mental health related work.

Jayne Melville Whyte is currently a historian and archivist with the Canadian Mental Health Association (Saskatchewan). She has survived the mental health system since 1965 and has stayed active in CMHA since 1975, a pioneer in speaking openly as a person with lived experience of mental illness. Jayne is author of several reports on women, poverty, seniors and always – mental illness/health. Other writing projects include her book, Pivot Points: A Fragmented History of Mental Health in Saskatchewan (2012), a chapter in the anthology Much Madness, Divinest Sense: Women’s Stories of Mental Health and Health Care, and (currently) historical fragments of the consumer/survivor movement for the 100th anniversary of CMHA in 2018.