This past fall quarter, “The Icarus Project-Radical Mental Health” was a finalist in the Global Prize for Transformative Social Justice Leadership hosted by the Kalamazoo College Arcus Center. This project hosted training workshops on February 13-15 and are attending classes and working with the counseling center to bring their work to campus. Wendy Rubio K’16 was a key player in bringing this project back to K’s campus, “[I] pushed for them to visit classes, particularly psych classes…Icarus [is] able to bring people with mental health issues together.”
According to their mission statement, “The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation. We transform ourselves through transforming the world around us.”
Those working with K to bring awareness of Mental Health from The Icarus Project were Agustina Vidal, Resource Development Coordinator; Elliot Fukui, Advisory Board Member; Maryse Mitchell-Brody, Development Coordinator and Ally Liaison.
Vidal explained their mission statement for The Icarus Project as finding “what [it means] to be crazy in a crazy world… we need to transform the world and once we do that, we can transform ourselves.”
Rubio commented on what the Icarus Project will be doing while on campus, “[it’s] important for them to go into the counseling center [so that we can] incorporate these issues [into] the counseling department so that [everyone] feels comfortable.”
Rosemarie Nocita K’18 attended the workshops hosted by The Icarus Project over the weekend, “[It’s] a really good resource…that talks through how to build a support system and is applicable to more than mental health. [We] can bring it into [things like] Student Organization training and roommate agreements.”
“[This program] works with things that you have labeled as ways of oppression and [they] work with what it means to be a queer person of color,” Rubio continued. “It has a focus on people of color and mental health…[we] need a space that Icarus [can provide] and [we] didn’t have it [before].”
Morgan Mahdavi, the Arcus Center Program Coordinator explained that, “The Icarus Project brought to campus a holistic, non-clinical discussion of mental health, self care, and mutual support. Through their tools called Mad Maps, they supported participants in delving deep into their own experiences as well as equipping them to better express their needs for support and help to others… [they] explored ways to build mutually supportive, open, and honest communities that recognize and support each other through crises and mental stress.”
To learn more about The Icarus Project visit their website at http://theicarusproject.net.