The following are workshop outlines and may be customized for particular groups or combined and supplemented for a conference format. Other workshops, responding to inquiries, are also possible.
Intentional Communities, Part 1
An introductory workshop on intentional communities with a therapeutic or developmental objective. A survey of sample communities and their commonalities, followed by a close examination of the workings of two of the communities in the survey.
Intentional Communities, Part 2
An analysis of key issues in the development of an intentional residential community for those with serious mental illness, beginning with the importance of intentionality and going on to cover the role of community facilitators, population mixes, a pro-active approach to treatment, information sharing, and other related issues.
Serious mental illness – more than an introduction
An intensive, multi-session education program on serious mental illness, designed for provincial and municipal lay officials, consultants in other fields (such as community planners), housing officials, and others whose work may have a bearing on the seriously mentally ill. Includes, in addition to a look at the illnesses themselves (symptomatology, neurology, medication), an examination of the impact of a psychotic break on an individual and the challenges of the road to recovery, together with first-person presentations.
Serious mental illness – the negative symptoms of schizophrenia
This workshop could also be entitled, “It ain’t over just because one is discharged from hospital.” An examination of the long-term post-acute symptoms of schizophrenia – the “negative symptoms” – and other challenges such as metabolic syndrome and cognitive deficits. The resulting social isolation, and the crafting of a tailored, purpose-built community development to break that isolation. The rationale for the intentional community.
The politics of mental health
A reading program, with accompanying discussion, on critical issues involving treatment (or lack of it) of those with serious mental illness and on the allocation of funding under the umbrella of “mental health.” Among the issues covered are the B.C. Mental Health Act, involuntary admission, information sharing, the role of family members (and neighbours and friends), police intervention, system failures, “mission creep,” and anti-psychiatry claims. The specific relevance to the workings of an intentional community for the seriously mentally ill will be explored. This program is especially tailored for those assuming major responsibilities.