Last Fall, Erica Fletcher, a researcher from the Institute of Medical Humanities, which is a part of the University of Texas Medical Branch, contacted The Icarus Project with an inquiry about whether or not it may be possible to do dissertation work on radical mental health, community-based spaces for support and narrative exploration, and the ways that support networks are formed in community spaces, both online and in-person.
As an organization that supports conscientious and ethical research relating to mental health, activism, and community healing, The Icarus Project was interested in learning more about how Erica might approach working with the dispersed community to explore mutual aid organizing and the use of technology in radical mental health support networks.
After several months of emails and consultations, introductions and discussions, Erica came to visit Asheville and meet with some of the current active members of the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective (ARMHC) to explore how the proposed research might be supported by working with an active local group as an ethnographer to create documentation of how radical mental health mutual aid has evolved within a specific community research site, as well as other localities, and how technology supports community building, and what makes these spaces effective, vital, and/or problematic.
People involved with the Asheville Radical Mental Health Collective have been supportive and enthusiastic about working with Erica to create documentation of how radical mental health mutual aid has evolved in the Asheville community and other localities, and what makes these spaces effective, vital, and/or problematic.
Erica will be in Asheville from July until February, working with members of the ARMHC and other community allies to explore how community-supported mutual aid works, how technology supports community building, and what some of the challenges and subjective benefits of creating spaces for radical mental health within communities might be.
She is also interested in talking with other mutual aid organizers, who are currently organizing within Icarus local groups, or who have been Icarus group organizers in the past.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact email@example.com for more information.