Family-to-Family course is transformative

Herschel Hardin, March 8, 2022 First in a series on education courses on serious mental illness for those without a mental illness themselves.  RVICS has stressed that an orientation course on serious mental illness is an integral part of its proposal for an intentional community on the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview Lands. The course will be for those without mental illness [...]

Remarkable innovation by family members

Herschel Hardin, December 9, 2021 Third and last in a series. In writing recently about innovation by family members of people diagnosed with mental illness, I suddenly got a fix on some continent-wide, history-changing cases for which family members were responsible. One such case was the creation of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in the U.S. [...]

Implementing innovations: a case study

Herschel Hardin, October 5, 2021 Second in a series on innovation. In my last contribution to RVICS Commentary, I explored what lay behind social innovation, in particular the role of hands-on experience and the direct perception of need. These were major factors leading to RVIC’s proposal for an intentional community for the seriously mentally ill, on the səmiq̓ʷəʔelə/Riverview Lands. [...]

What lies behind innovation?

Herschel Hardin - June 18, 2001 One of the guiding principles of B.C.'s five-year plan for mental health, A Pathway to Hope, is innovation and a commitment to change. At least that's what it says, page 31, over the signature of the minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy at the time.But what lies behind successful social innovation, [...]

Orientation Course

An essential part of coming to live in the proposed intentional community at Riverview, if you don’t have a serious mental illness yourself, will be taking an intensive orientation course on serious mental illness. The purpose: to provide you with an understanding of what many of your neighbours will have gone through in the past (in the acute stages [...]

The Right Mix

An integral part of RVICS’ proposal for an “intentional community for the benefit of those with serious mental illness” is a mix of population – those with a serious mental illness and those without any mental illness integrated together in the same community. Having only those with a serious mental illness congregated together would risk creating just another [...]

Community Facilitators (an “Engine Room”)

A key element of the proposed Riverview Village is inclusiveness, with those with a serious mental illness and those without a mental illness welcoming, and open to, each other, mixing freely, and participating in community activities together. It’s not enough, however, to just attempt inclusiveness by community planning or wish for it. Inclusiveness needs resources, skills, initiatives, and ongoing [...]


Intentionality – a clear and specific therapeutic purpose – is the core starting point of intentional communities with a therapeutic objective. With it, things are achievable that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Without it, the potential of community for those who are disabled is frittered away. This was underscored again for us when we did a survey of seven such [...]

Riverview Village aims to improve quality of life for mentally ill

Herschel Hardin, July 16, 2017. This article first appeared in the Vancouver Sun. We fret about the future of the Riverview Lands as if they were an idyllic place fixed in time, where any change to the way we use the Lands, or any imaginative idea for them, is hard to countenance. We should instead ask ourselves how [...]

Creating the common good in community

Michael Clague - February 25, 2017. The redevelopment of the Riverview lands is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a significant statement about community and the values inherent in healthy communities. The proposal for a Riverview Village by the Riverview Village Intentional Community Society is an important example of these values: inclusion, respect, recognition, and contribution in a welcoming, supportive [...]

A bold and valuable initiative that deserves all possible encouragement

Mike Jay, April 5, 2015. Therapeutic communities for those suffering from mental illness have a long and remarkable history. I have made a particular study of Geel, a town in Belgium which has taken the mentally unwell into the care of local families since medieval times. Its model was widely adopted across Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and remains a proud tradition today.

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