How We Did It
Our project began with findings generated during a 5-year CIHR-funded national study of deinstitutionalization in Canada.
College and university instructors told us how they wanted this history used in diverse curricula to train mental health practitioners. Our research team sought advice from people who received mental health services. They shared ideas about better equipping practitioners to improve these services and, consequently, the health and wellbeing of those who receive them. Together, we identified key educational themes and then used our historical data to find engaging intersections between past and present.
An exciting idea came from this partnership! Community experts would create written and visual materials to tell the stories and the history of post-asylum mental health.
Additional funding allowed us to include French language content and two units on geriatric mental health, bring in more voices and art from Indigenous peoples and make these pages fully accessible.
Using this site
Created in consultation with instructors at Canadian colleges and universities, History in Practice/ Histoire en tête is designed to be functional, flexible, and easy to use. With “takeaway” module and unit learning objectives, extensive lesson planning tools, 80 learning activities and over 400 photographs, graphics, documents, videos and audio recordings, the site is a virtual plethora of possibilities.
History in Practice / Histoire en tête (HiP/HeT) includes short pieces and activities for instructors with just a little extra room in their curriculum, and extensive, in-depth resources for programs with space for an extended sojourn in mental health. Learners from subject-based disciplines like history, sociology and disability studies will find the HiP/HeT resources valuable and compelling, but this site was specifically created for future mental health practitioners. The HiP/HeT learning objectives, “takeaways”, and accompanying artefacts and learning activities are designed to foster critically responsive and effective mental health practice. Instructors can customize lesson plans by selecting the resources that fit teaching and learning needs and interests.