Teaching About Mental Health
People with mental diversity are not just diagnoses. Like anyone else, they are workers, athletes, comedians, caregivers, artists, friends, siblings, and citizens – individuals with rich life histories who challenge, resist, and sometimes succumb to the medicalized dehumanization of many mental health interventions and practices.
Learning Ensemble provides rich opportunities for teaching and learning critically about mental health, offering alternate/diverse narratives of mental health experience and knowledge. Created under the guidance of people with mental health diagnoses, Learning Ensemble is intended to train intelligent, empathetic people to work in diverse mental health settings, and also to inform the everyday attitudes and actions of educators and students across programs and disciplines. This aim is more radical than it might appear, because teaching and learning about mental health has relentlessly prioritized views of ‘professionals/experts’ and pathologizing perspectives.
This site’s large collection of artefacts, curated in focused teaching units, provide an intimate, informed, and nuanced exploration of the lived realities of mentally diverse Canadians. Acting as a platform for systemically marginalized individuals in the mental health world to both educate and advocate for themselves and their community, Learning Ensemble offers refreshing perspectives that draw directly on the rich yet often subjugated knowledges that exist all around us.
This teaching material could be challenging or triggering for learners and educators. Instructors should be aware of counselling supports available in local settings for people who need them.