Home > More for the Mind (Grades 7-12)

What is historical empathy? It is looking to the past to gain fresh understandings of marginalized and vulnerable people, putting ourselves in the position of those excluded from the mainstream. The history of our mental health system – and personal stories of people deemed ‘mentally ill’ – can unsettle our national narrative. Yet, the insights provided by such historical analysis can also impart lessons concerning power, suffering, resilience, and the potential of collaborative initiatives.

More for the Mind offers learners an alternative history of Canada. Using an array of distinctive and engaging primary documents and multi-media resources, these hands-on lessons reinterpret World War I, the post-World War II era, and radical social movements of the 1970s from the perspective of those whose lives were shaped by mental health concerns.


  • Collaborators: Megan Davies (York University), Diane Purvey (Thompson Rivers University)
  • Curriculum Consultants: Pam Cairns (BC School District #73), Samantha Cutrara (York University)
  • Research Consultant: Lanny Beckman
  • Webpage construction: Nathan Schucher
  • Website design: Megan Davies, Nathan Schucher, William Willis
  • Original artwork: William Willis


Funding for these pages was provided by York University & THEN/HiER (The History Education Network/Histoire et Éducation en Réseau.)