MAD City: Mental Health Activism and Community-Based History

October 18, 2017

MAD City: Mental Health Activism and Community-Based History

GLS – Alumni/Student Seminar with Mary-Ellen Kelm
Friday, November 17th, 7:00 pm
SFU Harbour Centre,  Room 1425

Seminar details:

In the 1970s, Vancouver was home to a plethora of innovative responses to mental health needs. One of these, the Mental Patient’s Association (MPA), came together as a grassroots organization determined to meet the needs of mental patients leaving psychiatric institutions which were closing at the time. In 1971, they pooled available resources to open the MPA Drop-In Centre – a place where ex-mental patients came together to rebuild their lives and where radical new ideas about mental health care inverted the hierarchies of the psychiatric system. In January 2018, the Gallery Gachet will stage a recreation of the MPA Drop-In center as a living history exhibit. Liberal Studies students are contributing to this exhibit working alongside community partners - activists and historians - through a course in community-based history.  

Historian Mary-Ellen Kelm will sketch the history of mental health activism in Vancouver in the 1970s and share the community-based history approach to teaching the course and creating the Gallery Gachet exhibit. This talk will offer a preview of the exhibit and explore the roles that students can play in uncovering, curating and sharing Vancouver's history.  

Mary-Ellen Kelm is a Professor in the History Department, SFU.  She was the Canada Research Chair in Health, Medicine and Society from 2006-2015. She is currently studying the production of Indigenous health knowledge through an examination of the Sioux Lookout Project.

This event is free and open to the public, but please contact us to reserve your seat:

This event is part of SFU Harbour Centre's Open Learning Week - Nov. 15 - 21 2017. Find out more about SFU's Learning Week here!