Icarus Project Celebrates Our 10th Anniversary with Visions of Paradigm Shifts in Mental Health Culture


It started with a crazy story that a bunch of people read in a San Francisco newspaper that generated a meeting of Sascha Altman Dubrul and Jacks Ashley McNamara, two strangers with big ideas, who envisioned Icarus. What followed is that a bunch of brilliant and intense folks found each other, and helped build a community amidst the darkness perpetrated by the mainstream psychiatric model of the early 21st century. We’ve managed not only to survive with our scar songs, mad wisdom, and crooked beauty, but by 2012 to grow into an international community of activists, artists, healers, scholars, lovers, fighters, and dreamers!

Over the last ten years we have birthed cherished publications, built a global website community, and inspired new language and community for many people struggling with mental health issues in the 21st Century. We are determined to help lay the foundations for the next ten years of radical mental health organizing.

Celebrate with us!

Right now there are multiple Icarus events being planned in San Francisco and New York City for later in the month. Meanwhile, you can buy a beautiful t-shirt, submit a video to our collaborative video project, join all kinds of exciting online conversations about creating an Icarus mentorship network, or be interviewed for our Icarus History Project. If you’re unfamiliar with our work please just check out some of the writing on our website — there’s 10 years worth of it!

I’m so glad the Mad in America community exists. We have an endless struggle ahead of us. In the meantime, lets take a moment to celebrate our victories!

Mad love, Sascha Altman DuBrul for the Icarus Project




Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Sascha, thanks for this invitation. I first read Whitaker’s Mad in America somewhere this concurring year, then found this site, and then read about you in a blog which told about Seth Farber’s book. It had an interview of you as well.

    Seth had ideas about schizophrenics being dormant mystics. Or that schizophrenics swim in the same ocean as mystics, it’s just that they have not learned to swim yet. And the thing about them being prophets … Well, let me say that I very well understood your point of view in it. In any case, that’s where I learned of you. I’ve yet to learn more throughly about what you guys and gals have in the Icarus web site and community.

    We don’t have any movements or organisations about this kind of issues here in Finland, so I just try to follow what’s happening in the web and other countries. However, I wish I can “spiritually” be a part of this movement. Perhaps ordering a cool t-shirt will help. 😉

    Happy ten years to you!

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  2. Happy 10th Anniversary from all of us at Mother Bear Community Action Network!

    We are humbled by all that you daring and creative Icaristas have accomplished over the last 10 years. Here’s to many, many more years of individual and cultural transformation and the celebration every unique human gift: mad, sad, glad—all of them!

    Big bear hugs, Jen

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