“Let’s Talk about Mental Health” Conference 2013

About the Conference
To register for the conference please complete this registration form. DEADLINE: please register by March 6th, 2013, if you would like ASL interpretation please contact us by March 4th, 2013 Hosted by: The Mental Health Coalition, the SFUO Campaigns Department, the Centre for Students with Disabilities, and the Peer Help Centre When: Saturday March 9th from 9:30 to 5:00pm and Sunday March 10th, 2013 from 9:30 to 9:00pm, see full schedule below Where: University of Ottawa main campus, unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory Cost: free When you arrive at the conference please go to the Terminus, located on the second floor of the University Centre Building. Registration and check-in will take place there, you will receive a paper copy of the program, be directed to childcare services if needed, be given other information about the conference, and you can ask any questions you may have. For directions, please refer to this map of the University of Ottawa. http://www.protection.uottawa.ca/images/MAPCAMPUSPRINCIPAL_002.JPG Here is a map of the second floor of the University Centre Building, the Terminus is number 15: http://www.communitylife.uottawa.ca/PlanBooking/L2%20Map.pdf There is a Multi-faith Space open for use on campus located on the first floor of the University Centre Building, see number 5 on the map: http://www.communitylife.uottawa.ca/PlanBooking/L1%20Map.pdf

Contact Information
Questions about the conference: Centre for Students with Disabilities 211F University Centre 85 University Private 613-562-5800 X 2683 csd@sfuo.ca

Conference Schedule
Saturday, March 9th :

9:15-9:45 breakfast, provided (Location: UCU Terminus) 10:00-11:00 Resisting Mentalism: Becoming an Ally to Mad People and the Consumer/Survivor Community, part 1 by Alisa and Elizabeth (Location: UCU 205) 11:30-12:30 Option A: Resisting Mentalism: Becoming an Ally to Mad People and the Consumer/Survivor Community, part 2 by Alisa and Elizabeth (Location: UCU 205) Option B: Grief and Mental Health: Disenfranchised Grief by Simone and Deborah from Bereaved Families of Ottawa (Location LMX 390) 12:30-1:30 lunch, provided (Location UCU Terminus) 1:30-2:30 Option A: Active Listening and Peer Support by Amanda from Peer Help Centre (Location LMX 390) Option B: The Icarus Project: Radical Peer-based Mental Wellness Organizing by Melissa, Anna, Greg (Location: UCU 205) 3:00-5:00 Exploring Manifestations of Mental Health Oppression Panel, with break and refreshments (Location: UCU Terminus), details about panelists to come 5:30-7:30 Mad Student Society peer support meeting hosted by Alisa and Elizabeth (Location: TBD)

Sunday, March 10th : 9:15-9:45 breakfast, provided (Location UCU Terminus) 10:00-11:00 Mindfulness Matters: Proactive Self Care by Amanda and Alison (Location: UCU 205) 11:30-12:30 Strength and Resilience of Indigenous Women Impacted by Intergenerational Trauma by Colleen and Kristen from Families of Sisters in Spirit (Location: UCU205) 12:30-1:30 lunch, provided (Location UCU Terminus) 1:30-2:30

Option A: Intersectional Approaches to Radical Mental Health Justice: Criminalization, Racialization, Sexism and Ableism from an Anti-Oppression and Decolonization Framework, Part 1 by Abla (Location: UCU 205) Option B: HIV, AIDs, and Mental Health by Sarah North, Robert Pottie, and Preet Bhogal from Aids Committee of Ottawa (Location LMX 390) 3:00-4:00 Option A: Intersectional Approaches to Radical Mental Health Justice: Criminalization, Racialization, Sexism and Ableism from an Anti-Oppression and Decolonization Framework, part 2 by Abla (Location: UCU 205) Option B: The Art of Listening: Tapping into the transformational power of skilled listening by Lana (Location LMX 390) 4:30-5:30 Break, or Progressive Muscle Relaxation workshop by Lana (Location: UCU 205) 6:00-9:00 “Let’s Talk about Mental Health” Coffee House, refreshments provided (Location: UCU Terminus) Notes: *Some workshops have a part 1 and a part 2 to cover more content while still trying to be accessible through means of having a break. We would ask that if you would like to attend, you sign up for both parts of the workshop.

Event Details for Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Workshop: 10:00 to 11:00 am
Title: Part One: Resisting Mentalism: Becoming an Ally to Mad People and the Consumer/Survivor Community Facilitators: Alisa and Elizabeth Location: University Centre Building, room 205 Description: This workshop will examine unexposed sites and methods of discrimination against Mad people, psychiatric survivors, consumers, and those labelled with “mental illness” diagnoses or mental health disabilities. This particular form of discrimination, also known as mentalism or san(e)ism, will be explored using an interactive “assessment” tool. To counter stereotypical and medical model understandings of madness (eg. “mental illness” presented as a biological disorder requiring medical treatment like psychotropic medications as is commonly depicted in most mainstream “mental health awareness” campaigns) pervasive in society and on post-secondary campuses, the presenters will focus on Mad people as a people. Like other equity-seeking groups, Mad people have a history, language, community, and culture that would-be-allies need to acknowledge, celebrate, and support. We will introduce participants to the consumer/survivor community and social movement by talking about our history, discussing identity terms, exhibiting button slogans, and highlighting alternatives like consumer/survivor organizations and peer support groups. Through interactive group activity and discussion, participants will be encouraged to challenge their mentalist attitudes in order to ally with Mad people and the local and global Mad movement. This workshop is targeted at would-be-allies including students, instructors, teaching assistants, researchers, counsellors, disability advisors, legal advocates, administrators, support staff, and community members. Are you a crazy person too? Come explore some of the history of our movement with us. Participation Notes: Half of the workshop will involve participants working in small groups on interactive exercises and larger group discussion with small groups reporting back and sharing highlights. It is definitely not a lecture format although background information/content will be provided at the beginning in a back-and-forth presentation style between Elizabeth and Alisa. No video, writing, or role playing required. Facilitator biographies:

Alisa and Elizabeth met through participation in the Mad Student Society and are passionate about real social justice. They self-identify, language-flexibly, as psychiatric consumer/survivors and as crazy Mad people. They are activists, scholars, and workers in these communities.

Workshop: 11:30 to 12:30 am
Option A
Title: Part Two: Resisting Mentalism: Becoming an Ally to Mad People and the Consumer/Survivor Community Facilitator(s): Alisa and Elizabeth Location: University Centre Building, room 205 Description: This workshop will examine unexposed sites and methods of discrimination against Mad people, psychiatric survivors, consumers, and those labelled with “mental illness” diagnoses or mental health disabilities. This particular form of discrimination, also known as mentalism or san(e)ism, will be explored using an interactive “assessment” tool. To counter stereotypical and medical model understandings of madness (eg. “mental illness” presented as a biological disorder requiring medical treatment like psychotropic medications as is commonly depicted in most mainstream “mental health awareness” campaigns) pervasive in society and on post-secondary campuses, the presenters will focus on Mad people as a people. Like other equity-seeking groups, Mad people have a history, language, community, and culture that would-be-allies need to acknowledge, celebrate, and support. We will introduce participants to the consumer/survivor community and social movement by talking about our history, discussing identity terms, exhibiting button slogans, and highlighting alternatives like consumer/survivor organizations and peer support groups. Through interactive group activity and discussion, participants will be encouraged to challenge their mentalist attitudes in order to ally with Mad people and the local and global Mad movement. This workshop is targeted at would-be-allies including students, instructors, teaching assistants, researchers, counsellors, disability advisors, legal advocates, administrators, support staff, and community members. Are you a crazy person too? Come explore some of the history of our movement with us. Participation Notes: Half of the workshop will involve participants working in small groups on interactive exercises and larger group discussion with small groups reporting back and sharing highlights. It is definitely not a lecture

format although background information/content will be provided at the beginning in a back-and-forth presentation style between Elizabeth and Alisa. No video, writing, or role playing required. Facilitator biographies: Alisa and Elizabeth met through participation in the Mad Student Society and are passionate about real social justice. They self-identify, language-flexibly, as psychiatric consumer/survivors and as crazy Mad people. They are activists, scholars, and workers in these communities.

Option B
Title: Grief and Mental Health: Disenfranchised Grief Facilitators: Hilda Sabadash and Simone Deahl Location: LMX Building, room 390 Description: This presentation will discuss the general processes of grief, disenfranchised grief, and the role that supportive listening plays Participation Details: There will be a power point presentation followed by question and answer period. Discussion is welcome and encouraged. Facilitator biographies: Hilda Sabadash: Former program coordinator of Bereaved Families and currently volunteers as a facilitator during training and support groups for loss of spouse. Simone Deahl: Current U of O student in psychology. Volunteer facilitator at Bereaved Families and on the BFO outreach committee.

Workshop: 1:30 to 2:30 pm
Option A

Title: Active Listening and Peer Support Facilitator: Amanda O’Brien Location: LMX Building, room 390 Description: This workshop will provide a basic active listening and empathetic assertiveness skills training, based off the model used by the Distress Centre of Ottawa. Active listening is a key skill to offering effective peer support and can also be applied in your everyday life. Assertive communication will also be discussed. There will be space given at the end for questions, comments, and discussion. Participation Details: The workshop will be a power point presentation space to ask questions, and may include an optional participation based activity. There will also be handouts given to participants to take home with them. Biography: Amanda O’Brien is currently completing the final year of her BSc Psychology degree in French Immersion at uOttawa and is also the service coordinator of the Peer Help Centre, an SFUO service on campus. Prior to working for the centre, she was an avid volunteer for two years, offering personal and academic support to students. Currently, Amanda is also a member of the SFUO’s mental health coalition and plans to study clinical neuropsychology in September. Amanda’s experience comes from her work and training within the Peer Help Centre, as well as through her education. When not working, she enjoys listening to music and relaxing with her friends, family, and dog.

Option B
Title: The Icarus Project: radical peer-based mental wellness organizing Facilitators: Melissa, Anna, Greg

Location: University Centre Building, room 205 Description: We will present the Icarus Project (www.theicarusproject.net) and give information about its mission, vision and community. We will show a short segment of a documentary entitled Crooked Beauty, which would be followed by a discussion and participator activity. We aim to give participants a feel of the Icarus Project community; we will therefore facilitate a discussion around the experience of madness and talk about alternative methods which lead to well being. Our goal is to plants the seeds for eventually forming an Icarus Project grassroots community in Ottawa. Participation Details: The workshop will include a presentation of the Icarus Project and we will be open to questions from the audience. We also want to have a discussion with the participants, and we will be showing a segment of the video Crooked Beauty. There will also be a portion of the workshop where participants move around the room to different 'stations' where they contribute their thoughts on different aspects of mental illness onto pieces of paper posted on the wall. Facilitator Biographies: Anna: I am currently living with madness or as the medical community likes to term it bipolar type II. I have worked as a volunteer with the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center and spoken at a psychiatry conference before. Icarus is an amazing community and I just want to share that sense of belonging and friendship with the world. Ultimately I want an Icarus chapter (group) to start in Ottawa. Melissa: I am a social work student who has an alternative (non-medical) vision of madness. Through my work at the Shepherds of Good Hope, the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center and Monfort Renaissance, I have gained experience doing individual intervention in the mental health field and facilitating group discussions. Greg: I first experienced (as a client/patient) the mainstream medical psychiatric system in 2005, and have experience with both mainstream and alternative treatments to mental health (Icarus forum member since 2008). Also, I was a researcher for an award-winning project on mental health and occupational therapy a couple years ago, a joint project of the ROMHC and the University of Ottawa.

Panel: 3:00 to 5:00 pm
This event does not require registration but if you would like to request access needs or accommodations, please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, their contact information is listed below. Title: Exploring Manifestation of Mental Health Oppression

Location: University Centre Building, Terminus (second Floor near the Tim Hortons and 1848 bar) Description: This panel will have an introduction from the event organizers and the panel moderator, each panelist will be given the opportunity to speak for roughly 15 minutes, which will conclude with a question and answer period open to the audience where all panelist will collectively respond. During the event there will be a scheduled 30 minute break. Refreshments and snack will also be available before the event begins and during the break. Details about panelists to come.

Mad Student Society Radical Peer Support Meeting: 5:30 to 7:30 pm
This event does not require registration but if you would like to request access needs or accommodations, please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, their contact information is listed below. Facilitators: Alisa and Elizabeth, two organizers from Mad Student Society Location: University Centre Building, room 215 Description: Join Alisa and Elizabeth for an informal conversation about navigating the mental health system to get what we want and need – and where we find support outside of mainstream recommendations. • Talk with people who’ve been there about our experiences with crisis lines, emerg services, hospital care, medication, case managers, counsellors, and psychiatrists. • Share info about CBT, the best self-help books, WRAP, recovery, group therapy, intake processes, waitlists, and good doctors. • Discuss with your peers how helpful (or not) music, pets, friends, sleep, sex, exercise, pizza, veggies, spirituality, meditation, television, sunlight, or activism is to your quality of life – and how you explain this to your mother when she wants you to see your GP. • What’s the most unusual “alternative” source of care and support in your life? Of course, we look forward to hearing whatever else is on your mind!

This meeting is open to students from any college, university, or adult education course/program (and people planning to return to school including secondary/high school students transitioning to other educational programs) with personal experiences of psychiatric systems, madness, mental illness, mental health disability, emotional or spiritual distress, etc.

Mad Students Society (MSS), a peer support and advocacy group of and for students (or folks planning to return to school) from any college, university, or adult education course/program who have personal experiences with psychiatric systems, madness, mental illness, mental health disability, etc. MSS was created in 2005 and since then we have been meeting monthly (in Toronto and Hamilton) and moderating an active email discussion listserv that welcomes Mad Students living anywhere in the world. The listserv is a private place for members to talk about our lives, support each other, discuss ideas, share info/resources/events/news, and arrange local gatherings wherever we happen to be. Membership is free. People can join by emailing outreach@madstudentsociety.com. Can’t make the meeting? Looking for other support? Join our active email discussion listserv to continue this and other conversations. The listserv is a private place for members to talk about our lives, support each other, discuss ideas, share info/resources/events/news, and arrange local gatherings wherever we happen to be. Questions? Directions? Nervous? Need Something? For further info, location details, to join the listserv, or if you have accommodation needs, want someone to meet you at the bus stop, or would like to chat with a member before the meeting, please email Alisa and Elizabeth at outreach@madstudentsociety.com. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/425402874209784/

Queer Prom Featuring CAZWELL
Time: Doors at 8pm, show starts at 9pm Location: Club SAW, 67 Nicholas Street Cost: $5 in advance, $10 at door, Tickets can be bought at the SFUO Pride Centre (UCU 215C) Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm, as of Wednesday, February 27th. Description: Come to Club Saw for our “film noir” themed Queer Prom featuring a performance and DJing by CAZWELL, followed by DJ Meera! **All proceeds go to Around the Rainbow. Around the Rainbow, based out of Family Services Ottawa, provides LGBTTQ+ counselling support around relationships, dating, and families, as well as training and education workshops for health providers, educators, schools and social services. http://familyservicesottawa.org/children-youth-and-families/around-the-rainbow/

Event details for Sunday, March 10th, 2013
Workshop: 10:00 to 11:00 am
Title: Mindfulness Matters: Proactive Self Care Location: University Centre Building, room 205 Facilitators: Amanda and Alison Description: This student-oriented workshop will discuss preventative ways to manage stress, with a particular focus on the use of mindfulness-based strategies. Drawing from the presenter's own research, as well as the research of others, the workshop will provide an overview of the benefits that can be derived from managing stress mindfully in order to maintain overall mental health and physical well-being. Participants will take part in a short mindfulness based practice and be provided with online and local resources. Participation Notes: This workshop will be presentation based used power point slides, questions can be asked throughout. A short video on mindfulness practice will be played. Facilitator Biographies: Alison and Amanda are both third year Health Psychology students from Carleton University. At Carleton, Alison is the Communications Coordinator Executive for the Student Alliance for Mental Health which advocates for spreading mental health awareness. She is also a Peer Helper for Health and Counseling Services where she provides resources to students on a variety of health and wellness topics. Her research interests include exploring the relationship between procrastination and mindfulness as well as investigating how overall health and wellness is related to self-efficacy and stress management. Amanda's experience includes acting as a mentor to first year university students through her role as a facilitator in the Bounce Back Program at Carleton University. Additionally, she has actively participated as a support worker for the Carleton Sexual Assault Support Line. She is an active member of the Student Alliance for Mental Health and has volunteered frequently at APPLE (A post-psychiatric leisure experience) facilities. She also works as a research volunteer in a lab which studies relationship boredom, and her additional research interests also include exploring the relationship between stress and mindfulness.

Workshop: 11:30 to 12:30 am
Title: Strength and Resilience of Indigenous Women Impacted by Intergenerational Trauma Facilitators: Colleen Cardinal and Kristen Gilchrist Description: The purpose of this workshop is to identify how Indigenous women are affected by mental health issues and identifying the connection to intergenerational trauma experienced through colonialism as well as the multitude of ways Indigenous women survive and thrive under conditions meant to erase their families, communities and Nations. 1. Identifying Intergenerational Trauma – symptoms – what it looked like for our mother’s mother and for Indigenous women today living under colonialism a) Acknowledging intergenerational trauma comes from colonial violence and is the root of trauma for Indigenous people: colonization, racism, attempted genocide, residential schools have resulted in institutionalization, and sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual abuse, neglect, and destruction of Indigenous people’s identities and relationships. b) Connecting colonization – residential school/60’s scoop -intergenerational trauma- to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; colonial violence(s) place Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit, youth at “higher risk” for interpersonal sexual violence, forced disappearance and murder, and of being seen as disposable and not worthy of socio-political responses

2. Making note of the many different ways that Indigenous women live strength and resilience in their every-day existences since colonial contact; sustaining the longest running resistance movement in Canadian history a) Speaking from our experiences, we use Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) as an example of community power Indigenous and family-led, ally supported; broadly aimed at ending and healing from colonial violence(s) b) Strategies we have found useful for building community strength as well as friendships across our differences; enriching radical mental health and anti-oppression frameworks through decolonization and Indigenous ways of being, living, and knowing; some of the barriers we have encountered organizing with FSIS; how we are coping/moving forward in spite of many constraints Participation Notes: This workshop will be interactive with a sharing circle, and room for discussion and Q & A. Handouts will be given to participants and there will be power point slides.

Facilitator Biographies: My name is Colleen Cardinal. I am Plains Cree from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, Treaty 6 territory. I am a mother of four children, and grandmother. I enjoy writing and spending time with my friends and chosen family. I am working on a documentary film about Indigenous women’s experiences of living under colonialism and colonization. My family has been directly affected by colonial violence through residential school and the 60’s scoop. As a result of generations of colonization and colonialism, the women in my family have endured physical, sexual, emotional and cultural abuse that has lasted well into the present day .Constant states of chronic stress from being abused a child and then adult coupled with the traumatic death of my late sister has impacted me. During my adult years I struggled with post traumatic stress, symptoms of anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and depression. I speak publically about the 60’s Scoop, Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and hope to raise awareness, understanding and solidarity through sharing my story. Kristen Gilchrist self-identifies as a non-Indigenous woman with Scottish, Welsh, French-Canadian and Ojibway relations, living on un-surrendered Algonquin lands. She’s working on a doctorate in sociology at Carleton University, is a survivor of sexual violence(s), co-founder of Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS), and ally in Ottawa’s sex-workers’ rights movement, Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work, Educate & Resist (POWER). My involvements with FSIS, POWER, and the associated friendships that have been nourished have been personally transformative in many ways. They have allowed me to make connections to my own settler ancestral roots, helped make me feel safe to speak about my personal experiences sexual violence and mental health struggles, and taught me a considerable amount about the process of learning/relearning, humility, courage, and the power of women.

Workshop: 1:30 to 2:30pm
Option A
Title: Part One: Intersectional Approaches to Radical Mental Health Justice: Criminalization, Racialization, Sexism and Ableism from an Anti-Oppression and Decolonization Framework. Facilitator: Abla Abdelhadi Description: This workshop intends to centre the experience of racialized folks and colonized folks in our analysis of ableism. This workshop critiques mainstream approaches to mental health that neglect to address how colonialism and racism affect the violence we experience as mentally ill people. In Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide Andrea Smith makes the argument that mainstream anti-

violence movements in the USA must address the intersections of gender and race that Indigenous and women of colour live in, and that our strategies to combat violence within communities “must be informed by approaches that also combat violence directed against communities, including state violence - police brutality, prisons, militarism, racism, colonialism, and economic exploitation” (South End Press, 2005). In this workshop we will extend Smith's analysis to radical mental health justice movements, where we cannot address the criminaliztion of mentally ill folks without also understanding the ways racialization/colonization affect our experiences of ableist violence and supremacy. Abla Abdelhadi will draw on her own lived experience of being criminalized, detained, tortured, assaulted, forcibly hospitalized and legally charged for being a “mentally ill” Palestinian womyn from a Muslim background in the USA in 2011. In the context of colonialism, imperialism and the war on terror, do “mentally ill” people of colour like Abla become cast out as “psychological terrorists”, with every aspect of our existence being attacked and threatened by the state? Working from frameworks of anti-oppression, decolonization and solidarity, and based on Abla Abdelhadi's lived experience and drawing from shared ideas and the experiences of workshop participants, we will explore various ideas and strategize around ensuring that our approaches to radical mental health justice struggles have an intersectional understanding of oppression. Some of the topics we will address include struggling against and surviving police and state violence, psychiatric detention, forced hospitalization and the legal “justice” systems. Our discussions will highlight the economic oppression faced by folks who are criminalized and racialized and live with a “mental illness”. We will also discuss living with a “diagnosis” and navigating the psychiatric/medical industrial complexes. Finally we will have discussions on centering trauma in our struggles and movements, and shifting our focus to community support and interdependence from our ableist focus on “self-care”. Participation Details: This workshop will be discussion based, with lots of time and space for folks to share their experiences and to strategize together as a group. Facilitator biography: Abla Abdelhadi is an Indigenous Palestinian womyn, living on colonized and stolen unceded Algonquin Territory as a settler committed to her responsibilities to support and act in solidarity with Indigenous struggles for decolonization. Abla is a radical social justice activist, working within decolonization and anti-oppression frameworks. Abla is a survivor of childhood abuse and violence, also a survivor of police and state violence, Abla was recently (in 2011) criminalized, detained, tortured, assaulted, forcibly hospitalized and legally charged for having a "mental illness" and being a Palestinian womyn in the USA. Abla is the founder of Justice for Abla, a radical mental health justice group, that currently works on Abla's case in the US but are working to expand our work to support other racialized “mentally ill” survivors of criminalization, police and state violence. Justice for Abla has recently become an Action Group at OPIRG-GRIPO. Abla is also a member of the Ottawa University Mental Health Coalition. Abla is a trained Sexual Assault Support Worker, with two years of experience as a collective member of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC Ottawa). Abla has also organized with the Palestine

solidarity movement with Students Against Israeli Apartheid at Carleton University.

Option B
Title: HIV, Aids, and Mental Health Facilitators: Sarah North, Robert Pottie, Preet Bhogal Description: This workshop will focus on the impact of HIV related stigma (whether it be internal or external) on the mental health of people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs). Considering how much we understand about HIV/AIDS today, stigma is ever present, manifesting itself through social exclusion, blame, and criminalization. We will look at how these forms of stigma act as a barrier for PHAs in accessing essential information/services/support. Robert will be sharing his poetry and personal experiences with stigma and mental health as a person who is living with HIV. We will also discuss the power of creative coping mechanisms and peer to peer support. Participation Details: There will be a power point presentation, and this workshop will be open to questions and discussion Facilitator biographies: Robert Pottie is a local poet who is part of the Speakers Bureau at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa. During our workshop, Robert will be presenting from his experience as a person living with HIV (PHA). Preet and Sarah are both part of the Education and Prevention Team at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa. We have facilitated a number of workshops and presentations on HIV covering topics such as HIV basics, psychosocial aspects of HIV, stigma, criminalization, harm reduction and sex positivity.

Workshop 3:00 to 4:00 pm
Option A
Title: Intersectional Approaches to Radical Mental Health Justice: Criminalization, Racialization, Sexism and Ableism from an Anti-Oppression and Decolonization Framework.

Facilitator: Abla Abdelhadi Description: This workshop intends to centre the experience of racialized folks and colonized folks in our analysis of ableism. This workshop critiques mainstream approaches to mental health that neglect to address how colonialism and racism affect the violence we experience as mentally ill people. In Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide Andrea Smith makes the argument that mainstream antiviolence movements in the USA must address the intersections of gender and race that Indigenous and women of colour live in, and that our strategies to combat violence within communities “must be informed by approaches that also combat violence directed against communities, including state violence - police brutality, prisons, militarism, racism, colonialism, and economic exploitation” (South End Press, 2005). In this workshop we will extend Smith's analysis to radical mental health justice movements, where we cannot address the criminaliztion of mentally ill folks without also understanding the ways racialization/colonization affect our experiences of ableist violence and supremacy. Abla Abdelhadi will draw on her own lived experience of being criminalized, detained, tortured, assaulted, forcibly hospitalized and legally charged for being a “mentally ill” Palestinian womyn from a Muslim background in the USA in 2011. In the context of colonialism, imperialism and the war on terror, do “mentally ill” people of colour like Abla become cast out as “psychological terrorists”, with every aspect of our existence being attacked and threatened by the state? Working from frameworks of anti-oppression, decolonization and solidarity, and based on Abla Abdelhadi's lived experience and drawing from shared ideas and the experiences of workshop participants, we will explore various ideas and strategize around ensuring that our approaches to radical mental health justice struggles have an intersectional understanding of oppression. Some of the topics we will address include struggling against and surviving police and state violence, psychiatric detention, forced hospitalization and the legal “justice” systems. Our discussions will highlight the economic oppression faced by folks who are criminalized and racialized and live with a “mental illness”. We will also discuss living with a “diagnosis” and navigating the psychiatric/medical industrial complexes. Finally we will have discussions on centering trauma in our struggles and movements, and shifting our focus to community support and interdependence from our ableist focus on “self-care”. Participation Details: This workshop will be discussion based, with lots of time and space for folks to share their experiences and to strategize together as a group. Facilitator biography: Abla Abdelhadi is an Indigenous Palestinian womyn, living on colonized and stolen unceded Algonquin Territory as a settler committed to her responsibilities to support and act in solidarity with Indigenous struggles for decolonization. Abla is a radical social justice activist, working within decolonization and

anti-oppression frameworks. Abla is a survivor of childhood abuse and violence, also a survivor of police and state violence, Abla was recently (in 2011) criminalized, detained, tortured, assaulted, forcibly hospitalized and legally charged for having a "mental illness" and being a Palestinian womyn in the USA. Abla is the founder of Justice for Abla, a radical mental health justice group, that currently works on Abla's case in the US but are working to expand our work to support other racialized “mentally ill” survivors of criminalization, police and state violence. Justice for Abla has recently become an Action Group at OPIRG-GRIPO. Abla is also a member of the Ottawa University Mental Health Coalition. Abla is a trained Sexual Assault Support Worker, with two years of experience as a collective member of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC Ottawa). Abla has also organized with the Palestine solidarity movement with Students Against Israeli Apartheid at Carleton University.

Option B
Title: The Art of Listening: Tapping into the Transformational Power of Skilled Listening Facilitator: Lana Kouchnir Description: What is good listening? What is bad listening? How can we heal ourselves, our relationships, and our communities through the art of effective listening? Listening as a key aspect of communication can contribute to connection, care, and respect, or to confusion, defensiveness and conflict. Through a presentation, facilitated discussions, and experiential exercises, participants will be provided with concrete tools and resources to strengthen listening skills applicable to every-day social interactions and situations in which friends and loves ones are in need of support. Participation Details: The workshop will be a combination of presentation style, participatory with activities, discussion based. Participants will be asked to work with a partner, write, and watch a video. Notes will be made available to participants Facilitator Biography:

Lana is a queer feminist, community organizer, and a trained peer listening support worker. Her personal, university and community-based studies have centered on mental health justice within a radical and intersectional political framework.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation Workshop 4:30 to 5:30 pm
This event does not require registration but if you would like to request access needs or accommodations, please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, their contact information is listed below. Location: University Centre Building, room 205 Facilitator: Lana Description: This workshop is welcome to anyone who would like to practice some different muscle relaxation techniques to reduce stress and help relax. Meditation can be done in a chair or lying on your back, depending on what position is most accessible and comfortable to you. Yoga mats will be available to borrow Facilitator Biography: Lana is a queer feminist, community organizer, and a trained peer listening support worker. Her personal, university and community-based studies have centered on mental health justice within a radical and intersectional political framework.

“Let’s Talk about Mental Health” Coffee House: 6:00 to 9:00 pm
This event does not require registration but if you would like to request access needs or accommodations, please contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities, their contact information is listed below. Location: University Centre Building, Terminus (second floor near the Tim Hortons and 1848 bar) Description:

There will be performances from a variety of people both students and nonstudents who will be performing using a variety of mediums such as storytelling, poetry, musical, dance, or other. There will be snacks and refreshments offered at this event.

Accessibility, Safe(r) Space Policy, and Conference Guidelines
This Conference is taking place on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. Acknowledging the land that we are on and the histories of that land are key steps to unlearning the ableism and saneism/mentalism that currently exist in our society. These forms of discrimination, as well as many others, are deeply rooted to the colonialist histories of Canada. In recognizing that we all have different history, some of which have been erased and displaced, this has caused us to experience different oppressions, participate in the marginalization of others, and have internalized oppression. This impacts the way we learn about the world around us and how we perceive our experiences. We do not and cannot understand everyone’s experiences but we can listen to each other and support each other in the ways that each individual wants to be supported, while recognizing our own individual boundaries and capacities. Taking the time to learn and discuss where our stereotypes and prejudices are formed will help us to recognize them in society and in ourselves, and help us to unlearn them. The “Let’s Talk about Mental Health” Conference would like to state that we respect and promote each individual’s ability to identify how they choose based on their individual experiences. In supporting the self-determination of all people, we respect everyone’s decisions in regards to what systems they choose or are forced to choose to participate in - whether they have been diagnosed, do not have a diagnosis, either by choice or the inability to receive or not to receive one, and self-diagnosis - the different treatment and support methods, both traditional and alternative. Furthermore, we recognize that words have a history of being used to marginalize people and have long histories of causing pain as a result. Therefore, we would also like state that we respect each individual’s choice to reclaim terms which have been used against them or their choice not to reclaim these words. That being said, we would like to recognize that reclaiming language to refer to oneself is different than using historically marginalizing terms in ordinary speech and ask that we are conscious of how we use language throughout the duration of this conference and in our daily lives and are accountable to that language use, the people it implicates, and the history of where it came from. Experiences and identities related to mental health and mental health oppression are not isolated. They are also influenced and intertwined with other experiences and identities such as race, ancestry, class, gender, sexual orientation, sexual preference, marital status, age, size, criminal record, religion, as well as many other factors. The conference strives to be a queer and trans* friendly, and two-spirit friendly environment The conference strives to be a sex-positive and sex worker positive environment The conference strives to be a drug user positive environment, and will be open to coping mechanisms each individual chooses as long as those coping mechanisms, along with any other behaviour at the conference, is not harmful to others

Promote a safe and welcoming environment, and promote nonviolence, including in the ways we speak and interact with each other Avoid making assumptions or generalizations about the group In creating a learning environment, anti-oppression principles is key to our work. However, antioppression concepts are often presented in a very inaccessible manner and the use of jargon can contribute to academic privilege. Take time to engage with and foster learning new concepts. Participants should be open to be challenged and are also encouraged to challenge oppressive behaviour and language throughout the conference. We want to keep an open, non-judgemental, and supportive environment throughout the weekend. Recognize that no one is perfect; we all have internalized oppressions and say, think, or do offensive or oppressive things at one time or another. We would ask that everyone keep this in mind and therefore acknowledge others’ behaviour or language in a respectful manner which promotes learning. That being said, it is important that each person recognizes how they feel and should be able to share if others’ comments or actions upset them if they are comfortable to do so. This tool can be used when challenging or being challenged: When someone challenges something you said or did: Calm, check how you are feeling Listen, honestly listen rather than try to defend yourself or prepare your response Acknowledge, what the other person has said, how you may have made them feel Inquire, ask more questions to learn and to be clear on what the other is saying to you Move towards resolution where each person can be accountable and productively move forward Be conscious of how much space you take up, share space and chances to speak Be conscious of your own power and privilege We would ask that no one have separate conversations during workshops to eliminate background noise and to be respectful of others. If you are not following something in the workshop, please ask for clarification if you are comfortable to do so. To recognize that not all people choose to identify on the gender binary that our society mostly functions in, we have selected several washrooms to be gender neutral washrooms for this weekend. These are indicated with signage. If you do not wish to use a gender neutral washroom, there are still

gender specific washrooms available. Please be respectful of the ones we have temporarily identified as gender neutral.

Consent and confidentiality
It is expected that consent must be achieved, promoted, and respected within all interactions. No cameras or recording of any kind may take place without prior consent from everyone who may be in the photo. All conference participants must respect the confidentiality of everyone, and at no time may you disclose information about someone else that you learned during the conference. We also ask that you do not approach people about their experiences or assume it is okay to talk about them unless that individual has explicitly said so. Everyone is encouraged to take breaks as they need to and do what they need to do to care for themselves Level of participation in any workshop or event is up to the participant. You are not obligated to participate in any discussion or activity you do not want to and can stop at any time. Support people to debrief with or seek crisis support will be available throughout the conference, see details below. In addition to support people, designated quiet areas will be available for people to take breaks. Specified trigger warnings will be given before all events. Sexual assault, abuse, harassment, and any other forms of violence will not be tolerated during the conference. Individuals may be asked to leave the conference they are behaving in manners which may be harmful to others. If you experience sexual assault, abuse, harassment, discrimination, or violence of any form during the conference, the organizers will be available to work with you and support you in a mutually agreed manner. You may come forward anonymously or openly and we are open to working with you alone or with others, including friends or the perpetrator if you wish.

Access needs and Accommodations
Efforts will be made to put any accessibility measures in place that are requested by presenters, volunteers, and participants. Please indicate these requests in your registration form or contact the event organizers by March 4th, 2013. Contact information can be found below. All event buildings will have elevator access, will be held in locations accessible to those using mobility devices, and have washrooms primary use washrooms nearby which are also accessible to those using mobility devices.

Accompaniment can be available upon request. ASL interpretation is tentatively booked. Please let us know if you would like this service by Monday, March 4th. Childcare can be made available, please note if you would like this service by March 4th, 2013. Vegetarian and vegan food options will be provided, please notify us of any other dietary restrictions by March 4th, 2013. Bus tickets can be provided to attend and leave the conference, please let us know if we can provide these for you. Please refrain from wearing any fragrance, bringing peanuts or peanut products, or latex products including balloons to the conference. The conference space will be a scent free, peanut free, and latex free space. Please notify us if you would like to request the conference be free of any other substance as an accessibility measure.

Support
There will be trained peer support volunteers to debrief experiences you have had during the conference if you would like to speak with someone or to offer peer support in immediate crisis situations. Saturday, March 9th 10:00-3:00, University Centre Building, room 301 Individual, private 1-on-1 support will be offered 3:00-5:00 flagged volunteers who will be at the panel will be available to speak with you during or after the event in the University Centre Building, room 207 Sunday, March 10th 10:00-4:30, University Centre Building, room 301 Individual, private 1-on-1 support will be offered 6:00-9:00 flagged volunteers who will be at the coffee house will be available to speak with you during or after the event in the University Centre Building, room 207 The following services are also available 24/7 for support:

Distress Centre Crisis Line: 613-238-3311 Mental Health Crisis Line: 613-722-6914 Youth Services Bureau Crisis Line: 613-260-2360 Sexual Assault Support Centre: 613-234-2266 Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre: 613-562-2333 You can also call 9-1-1 if you would like to go to a hospital or request someone else do this for you