Scorchio!!! Make Your Own $20 AC Unit

Toronto’s Public Health decided they can no longer be arsed to issue hot weather Alerts, so here’s one:


And, since Tronto Public Health also decided it cant be arsed to offer cooling centres for those most vulnerable, including the 120 people who die each year in Toronto from extreme heat and instead only offer what they call a “superior model” a website:

Stay cool with a spanky website that is basically a bunch of places open anyhoo and from which many folks will be turned away by City staff and Police and told: “go to the lake”.

So while Mayor John Tory is telling you to go there then when you do city staff tell you where to go..

Here’s another option…

Make your own AC unit.

Note: prices are from 2017 and likely in USD so …
Get together with your freinds and chip in…

Five [short] videos, five ways…




Posted in Adversity, bollocks, Crazy World, Scorchio!!, sh!t is f#cked, shit is f#cked

Hearing Voices Workshop #1 Accepting Voices – Thu 29th November 29th

This introductory and foundational workshop will open doors of understanding, in non-dignostic non-categorising ways, a  range of experiences that get called “psychosis” like difficult to hear voices.

Ihis workshop isdesigned especially for those who work in health and social services but open to all. Indeed it creates a richer experience when we can come together and learn with and from each other.

The world, societ, culture we have created for ourselves and each other is not fit for humans. Join us, be part of creating one that is.

Hearing Voices Workshop #1″
Accepting Voices

Thursday 29th Nov, 2019
9:30am to 4:30pm

@ Inner City FHT
69 Queen St E

Spaces are limited.
Register Online now at Eventbrite.

Full description below…

Limited Spaces Available.

Tilt your universe blow your mind and / or gain a whole new perspective on experiences that we’re taught to fear and to believe that we can’t possibly understand. THis workshop will show you tat you can understand, and in  simple, human terms.

We’ll be joined by some cool folks working at the intersections of trauma, psychosis, homelessness and in a system that many can see is overwhelmed and creaking at the seams.

No amount of more of the same will ever be enough so how do we do different?

You can start here.


“You gave me a whole new way of thinking about voices”

“I’m not quite sure what I learned nut I feel like my whol Universe has ben tilted”

“Eye opening, Stunned”

Who needs to atend this workshop?

“Everyone working in mental health.  Scatch that:  EVERYONE!!!”

This workshop offers a beginning, an introduction to a non-diagnostic, non-medical,  human experience perspective understanding of the kinds of experiences – like difficult-to-hear voices- that are often categorised as “psychosis”.

A key part is making connections between pain, trauma psychosis powerlessness and disconnectedness we can experience when we find ourselves feared and discarded by society.

Hearing Voices Workshop#1

Accepting Voice
Thursday  24th Oct  2019

9.30am to 430pm
4th Floor, 69 Queen St East
[Queen n Church]

Spaces are limited
and registration is required.

Worker          $150
Community  $125

Register Now

Online at Eventbrite:

Click on the BIG RED BUTTON  or the link below to go to register now.


Full description below. There’s also a [pdf] printer friendly version.
Poster Only:             HV Wrkshp#1-Accepting Voices-Poster-29NOV2019
Full Description :   [Coming soon]

Full Workshop Description

Do you…?

  • Work with people who hear voices and who struggle with their experience of that?
  • Have someone in your life who hears voices and struggles with difficult experiences that get called “psychosis
  • Feel limited in your ability to understand and support them?
  • Feel frustrated at how the story that voices must mean illness limits us – not only the lives of people who hear voices, but all of us?
  • Feel weary of the notion that we must fear ourselves and fear each other?
  • Want to understand connections between adverse events, trauma , injury woundedness, pain and diffcult-to-hear voices.
  • Want to minimise the trauma you deepen or generate in your work with those who face being rendered powerlessness and disconected from society?
  • Feel ready to learn more, ask yourself “what else can I do?”.
  • Want to know more about how you can be part of the future, join us in enacting a world that understands ?

Are Ready to “tilt your universe”?

If so, then this workshop might help you tilt your universe and emancipate yourself with very simple and very human ways to understand and begin to act to support a person who struggles with difficult experiences that get called names like “psychosis”.

Our aim is that you can feel more confident in your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space to people who hear voices and struggle.

Note: If you’re looking for a workshop on how to diagnose and categorise your friends, family and colleagues and what dehumanizing names to call yourself and them, then know that this is not that workshop.

Our aim is that you can feel more confident in your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space to people who live with experiences that get called names like “psychosis” and that can be difficult to live with and more difficult to talk about.

Join us in enacting a world that understands voice hearing, supports the needs of people who hear voices and regards them as full citizens.


This Workshop is part of a structured and modular approach to learning, and is a  first step that is designed to offer a basic grounding but also foundation for further, deeper learning and practice in supporting people who struggle with experiences like difficult-to-hear voices that get called “psychosis”.
Participation in this workshop is prerequisite to other more advanced and learning opportunities, eg…

  • Working With Voices
  • Starting and Sustaining Hearing Voices Groups In Your Community
  • Carnival des Voix [running your own]
  • Working with Maastricht Interview
  • Facilitating Voice Dialogue

Note: If you prefer a print version of this description, try the pdf version:


Full Workshop Description

Workshop #1 Accepting Voices

This unique and innovative workshop offers you a non-diagnostic understanding of the kinds of experience like hearing voices that are that are sometimes called “psychosis”.

We offer you simple,  everyday language to show you how you can understand such experiences not as “disconnected from” but intimately connected with reality and in ways that can be overwhelming, painful, frustrating, sometimes terrifying response to the reality we share,

It also offers a framework you can use to connect and draw from your own experiences to help you truly empathize and understand how better to support people who might be undergoing such difficult experiences.

You’ll leave feeling more at ease with both yourself and your ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle.

Join us in enacting a society that understands voice hearing, supports individuals who hear voices and views them as full citizens…

What you can expect and connect yourself with a community of people doing just that.

This workshop will enable you better to …

  • Understand hearing voices [and other experiences] as a normal human experience, that can become problematic when a person is left to struggle without support.
  • Share simple data and stories about just how common it is to hear voices- how it is not in itself a problem and many people do – some cultures regard it as bringing great benefit.
  • Peer through and beyond diagnostic frameworks – resist the urge to catalogue and categorize everything you witness as “symptom”.and instead.
  • take an interest in the person struggling with their experience of voices and other experiences called “psychosis” as a human being having a hard time.
  • Begin to accept even the most difficult of human experiences as something that can be understood, explored and even valued.
  • Look within your own experience and relate with different experiences like hearing voices, visions, unshared beliefs.
  • Explore how you can be at ease in your role and be more real with people who have difficult experiences.
  • Offer yourself as a one-person safe-space to people who struggle with experiences like hearing voices.

Who this workshop is designed for…

We believe the hearing voices approach is emancipatory for all.

If, in your work, you work with you come into contact with people who hear voices and who struggle with that; and you have experienced how that can leave you feeling uncomfortable or worse, then we think you’ll find this one day workshop useful.

So, if you’re a doctor, nurse, social worker, community worker, housing worker, peer support worker, psychologist, therapist, police officer, etc. then it may be for you.

Families, carers, everyone. 
The workshop is also highly suitable for you if you love, live with, care for people in your life who hear voices and struggle with that – and you have come to realise the limitations of an approach that limits understanding to illness-brain chemicals and you are curious about how else you may understand, and what else you can do…

Workshop design…

This is an intensive workshop covering a lot of ground, together we will :

  • Gain insights from people who hear voices, and from others who work with people who hear voices.
  • Learn how we can think differently about voices and other experiences that are sometimes called “psychosis”.
  • Explore how, as workers, we can accept ourselves and each other, relax and enjoy our work: the better to offer support for people who hear voices.
  • Interact – with deep personal reflection,  shared sense-making and dialogue.
  • We will also share some simple, practical approaches that you can use in your practice on return to work.
  • Connect with resources and both local network and the global hearing voices community.

This workshop is designed to leave you feeling more competent and confident in your own ability to offer yourself as a one-person safe space for people who hear voices.

You will not become an expert in one day but you’ll have a good basis for starting and feeling more comfortable – and more human – as you do.


Please feel free to help us let people know about this workshop by printing, posting, distributing, however you can with your networks…

Or, hand to your worker, colleague, or boss, and ask…

“Q. When are you going to do this training?”

Printer-friendly poster [pdf]




About the Presenters, Facilitators, Designers

Kkevin-healey-action figureevin Healey hears more voices than you can shake a stick at, so many that even his voices hear voices, and has done so for longer than either he – or they -care to remember.

Founder and coordinator of, Toronto Hearing Voices group, Anglophone Canada’s longest running, and of the Hearing Voices Café.

Creates and delivers innovative, taboo-busting talks, trainings and workshops that enable people to find new language, and simpler ways to understand surprisingly common human experiences that we’ve made fearful and taboo, so making life even harder both for those who struggle and also for the rest of us to understand.

Shows how we can make simple sense of trauma, pain, psychosis, taboo, and butt-hurt voices, and how they interweave and interconnect our inner-struggle with living in an outer-world that is fast becoming unfit for humans who built it and in which we keep creating results that nobody wants. 

After you’ve heard him talk you may join those who say they don’t hear voices but now wish they could.

Also Coordinator for the Toronto branch of ISPS-US International Society for Social Psychological Approaches to Psychosis.

Picture1Dave Umbongo
For many years Dave would only say only one word, now he authors articles at and moderates online support groups for voices to talk directly with each other round the world, and he coaches and co-presents in workshops for approaches like voice dialogue.

Enjoys creating memes: out of things voices say, about living in a universe that mostly comprises what he refers to as The Weird, and his own wry observations on the human obsession with calling each other horrible names, categorizing and crushing each other into boxes that don’t fit.

Voices have stories too: His favourite pastime is pretending to be a jelly bean, second is remarking upon how “voices” and “humans” behave in ways that are often very much the-one-is–like-the-other. Dave doesn’t really have a bio – like other superheroes he has an “Origins Story”, and like “The Truth…”, at least some of it, “is Out there…”

Mark Roininen
Mark has many years experience as “worker” with a major social services agency, and has worked with many who struggle with the kind of experiences that get called “psychosis”.
He shares his personal perspective of how being confronted with his own dark side enabled him to relate more simply and authentically with difficult experiences of the people he works with, in-process, freeing himself from merely following “the script” and playing “invisible worker” so that he can be both more professional and more human.
His ability to share stories of his own experience of learning how to do this work offers others hope that they can too.

About Hearing Voices

  • Hearing voices is intentional, ordinary language descriptive of a range of human experiences that in Western cultures has been mystified and made taboo, and that we have been taught to fear – and yet which are also remarkably common, likely much more common than you think.
  • Hearing Voices as Approach also refers to broadly emancipatory ideas and ways of working that accepts such experiences as very real and meaningful- if sometimes difficult to live with, and that seeks to share ways we can learn to live with such difficult experiences and support and connect with each other.
    This approach also includes many other similar experiences that can be hard to live with and harder to talk about and make sense of.

When we learn to put aside our fear of both ourselves and each other we generate possibilities, to create new roles, to connect with each other, and to find richer experiences of being human and co-create a world that’s easier to live in for all of us.



Posted in Event, hearing voices, Trauma, workshop

Resistance is Resilience: Resilience is Resistance

Article I first drafted two years ago now, published today in Canadian Journal of Disabilities Studies,
Vol 8, Iss 4, Survivals, Ruptures, Resiliences.

This is my first artile published in a peer reviewed journal, so:

Big up from my voices and and big thanks from me to Katie Albrecht on the editorial team who offered me much patience supporing me in cutting through the crap and “gettin’ me ‘ead round” what I needed to do, and to J, Jeigh, Jay who prodded and poked me to do it in the first place, when could make neither ” ‘ead-nor-tail” of what the call for submissions actually said and dismissed it as just yet another load of ol’ academical masturbatory intellectual wankfest bollocky bollocks.


You can read it here:

Along with the contributions of many  others here:

Vol 8 No 4 (2018): Survivals, Ruptures, Resiliences

This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (CJDS) includes 18 original works that critically examine survival and resilience as socio-political phenomena. The volume of contributions in this issue suggest the complexities of survival and resilience are important current considerations for critical disability studies scholarship and praxis. Drawing on interdisciplinary disability and mad studies perspectives, and a wide range of methodologies, including autoethnography, poetry, photography, art, commentary, as well more traditional academic methods for sociological and social-geographical, genealogical, and geopolitical analysis, these works expose, resist and rupture unexamined relations to difference and adversity.

Published: 2019-07-01

Thanks as always to Reviews Editor Tobin Haley, to our accessibility partner AbleDocs (, and to Gerard Salisi, Graham Faulkner and Jordan Hale at the University of Waterloo.

This issue, themed around Survival and Resilience, was co-edited by Dr. Katie Aubrecht and Dr. Nancy La Monica.

From the Foreword:

“This special issue includes 18 original works that critically examine survival and resilience as socio-political phenomena. The volume of contributions in this issue suggest the complexities of survival and resilience are important current considerations for critical disability studies scholarship and praxis. Drawing on interdisciplinary disability and mad studies perspectives, and a wide range of methodologies, including autoethnography, poetry, photography, art, commentary, as well more traditional academic methods for sociological and social-geographical, genealogical, and geopolitical analysis, these works expose, resist and rupture unexamined relations to difference and adversity.”


Complexities of Survival and Resilience
Katie Aubrecht, Nancy La Monica


Do You Know Why You’re Here?
nancy viva davis halifax

Caterpillar; Autumn Leaves; Daffodils; Last Day
Andrea Nicki


Storytelling Beyond the Psychiatric Gaze-Resisting resilience and recovery narratives
Jijian Voronka

Including Our Self In Struggle Challenging the neo-liberal psycho-system’s subversion of us, our ideas and action
Peter Beresford

Brain Injury Survivors: Impairment, Identity and Neoliberalism
Mark Sherry

Resistance is Resilience
Kevin Healey

Resilience Governance a good place for disabled people to shape and resist problematic resilience discourses?
Gregor Wolbring, Nicole Mfoafo-M’Carthy

Living with Herbert: Mediating Survival and Resilience
Samira Rajabi

Diaspora: Dislocation and its Resentment, or, the Impossible Dialogue of “Safe Space”
Essya M. Nabbali

“Like Bananas with Brown Spots” Epilepsy, Embodiment, Vulnerability and Resilience in South Asia
Aparna Nair     

Whose Disability (Studies)?
Defetishizing Disablement of the Iranian Survivors of the Iran-Iraq War by (Re)Telling their Resilient Narratives of Survival
Sona Kazemi Hill

Absence and Epidemic
Autism and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder in Indigenous populations in Canada
Caleigh Estelle Inman

On Survival and Education: An Academic’s Perspective on Disability
Shad Alshammari

The ‘Nothing But’
University Student Mental Health and the Hidden Curriculum of Academic Success
Katie Aubrecht

Designing Access Together: Surviving the Demand for Resilience
Esther Ignagni, Eliza Chandler, Kim Collins, Andy Darby, Kirsty Liddiard

Navigating the Terrain of Dis/Ability
An Autoethnographic Cartography
Susan Docherty-Skippen


Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors; Balancing the World; Underwater Wheeling; Dream of Life; Water of the World
Elaine Stewart


Reimagined Story
Kelly O’Neil


Review of Jameel Hampton (2016), “Disability and the Welfare State in Britain: Changes in Perception and Policy 1948-79”
Fallon Burns

Review of Bonnie Burstow (2017), “The Other Mrs. Smith”
Sona Kazemi Hill

Posted in Uncategorized

Hearing Voices Cafe – Toronto 2019

Hearing Voices Cafe

Coffee and That Jazz
72 Howard Park Ave

6pm to 8pm.
First Monday of each month
– except when its teh second monday.

For those willing to open themselves to lisetn, to be changed by what we might hear, and to learn from and with each other.

Please note:
If you re looking to be told what to
or for solutions or fixes…

We dont “advocate” anything:
except maybe, that is:
listening to many different perspectives
and making your own choices about your own life
– and having te hgrace to allow others space to do likewise.

If you come to preach or judge or prosteltise or victimise then
save your breath.

We espcially welcomethose struggling to support loved ones who from time to time finds themselves overwhelmed by life,
you’ll connect with others.

Posted in Abuse, Event, group, Ideas

and you called me…

I shared with you
some of how
I struggle

And you called me…                                 SCHIZO…

I said that I saw things
and that I didnt like
you calling me that.

And you called me…                                 RESISTANT

I said tahta I had ny own
and ideas.
and I didnt like
you calling me that.

And you called me…                                 DELUSIONAL

And I said I had the right
to see things
how I see them.
And I didnt like
you calling me that.

And you called me…                                 PARANOID

And I said I didnt feel like
you were listening
and epresed frustration at not being heard.
And I didnt like
you calling me that.
And you called me…                                DANGER

And you called the cops…
And had me formed…



Posted in bollocks, Ideas, poetry, resilience, sh!t is f#cked, shit is f#cked

A Midsummer’s MADx

Get yer MADx on.

MADx is coming!
First time on a Saturday eve!

Saturday 8th June 2019 
9pm to 11pm [ish]
Imperial Pub

Downstairs Bar



MADx is about live Performance.

Song | Stand Up | Short Stories | Poetry | Stuff not beginning wi’ S or P

MADx is about life, finding our way, freeing ourselves of other’s ideas of who they want us to be.

MADx is about coming together to be more human, creating space to find and use our voice and support others as they find and use theirs. 

MADx: It’s a bit mad and it has an x in it.

Posted in Event | Tagged , ,

Choose your language…

This is not offered as a piece about “right language” and “wrong language”. It is clearly about language but it is really about choice- and the many choices we make whenever we use language to describe another person.

Especially, for instance, a person some might choose to call:

“Schizo”,  “the schizo”, “a schizo”.

It is so very easy to download and repeat the terms we see and hear being used around us without thinking much, following-along, using the same language we find ourselves immersed in, subtly imposed upon us.

How can we unknowingly participate in systems of oppression?- because that is how it works, by relying on us being unaware, doing our part, not noticing and not thinking.

Like many others, this term dehumanizes any person we attach it to: any person upon whom we put this mark. Doing so removes consideration that they are a human being: they become non-human, nonbeing even.

We might not realize that it also dehumanizes us too. When we use terms like this, we make the mark that we put on others our mark. Our mark we put upon them. If we talk of wanting an end to “stigma” it’s worth asking where the mark – the “stigma” -comes from.  “Stigma” begins when we choose to put our mark upon others.

Some people might be aware of the pain this can cause not just to an individual but to whole groups of people we might similarly mark, and instead try to offer a little more respect, use a few more words.

And you will hear some remark something along the lines of…

“but that’s so many words!”

but really, is it..?

And is it enough?

Each of these here is a real examples of language I heard people using both in a one-day workshop, and again a few days later in a gathering at a HV café.

It’s not my role to tell you which language is “right” or “wrong”, and I won’t do that. Because I don’t know.

I will offer this observation:  it seems to me that  each subsequent example here offers the person being described a little more dignity, a little more space in  which to be human, a little more generosity on the part of the person choosing their language, a little more willingness to hold open connection with another human being. Maybe because each subsequent example creates a little more space between the person and the term we use to describe them and the difficulty they are experiencing in the world.

Each also invites us to approach the person being described in a different way, reminds us we can understand a little more, can be more curious about what it is the other person is experiencing, reminds us that we can be more supportive, reminds us we can be more human.

I believe we each have the same right to name our world, to name ourselves in whatever terms we choose. I’m learning how, when it comes to naming others, it pays to be as respectful, to offer as much respect as we can.

The language we choose to describe another says way more about us than it can ever say about them.


Also available as free printable and shareable resource:

choose your language…13May2019


Posted in Ideas | Tagged , , , ,

Pharmacists sent into care homes amid fears pensioners are being put at risk by drugs cocktail

“Healthcare” has become all about drugs.
Time to make it about care and about people and about living a life worth living.

Here’s a small and welcome change happening in UK.

Where 400, 000 people living in “care homes” take on average seven different types of medications each.
Now, pharmacists are being sent it to check.

“Health chiefs are concerned that vulnerable people are being left for years on a cocktail of such drugs, leaving them heavily sedated or exposed to dangerous side-effects. They fear over-medication is risking lives and fuelling hospital admissions among frail pensioners.”

A pilot scheme resulted in a 44% drop in meds use.
That’ a pretty big drop.
And, therefore,  a pretty big overprescription.

Drugs can have a useful role but don’t and can’t ever replace care.

Pharmacists sent into care homes amid fears pensioners are being put at risk by drugs cocktail

Posted in Uncategorized

Blackbird – Emma Stephens

Emma Stephen sings the Beatles song Blackbird in her native language, Mi’kmaq.


Posted in Uncategorized

FUCKHEAD – Wormland





Posted in Uncategorized