Artefact Evaluation: Self-Guided

Green kitchen weigh scaleArtefact Evaluation: MPA – Self-Guided Learning

Timing: 30 minutes, flexible
Mode: In-class; Online

Customize the station exercise outlined below into a 4-point response sheet that reflects your learning goals for the film and the time which you have available for this exercise.  Students watch the film, either in class or outside of class-time, and complete their worksheets. These worksheets then serve as the basis for a focused Whole Group Discussion or online discussion board.  Activity timing does not include watching the film.

Station 1: Structure and influence (what it did for people) of the MPA

  • How did someone become a member of MPA?
  • MPA can be understood as a therapeutic community where people could function and be accommodated as needed for their mental health experiences. Describe the strengths of the MPA in creating supportive communities and how they made a difference in the lives of those involved.
  • What were the different ways in which MPA enacted a democratic structure?
  • Discuss the many ways in which the paid work at MPA worked against the common experience of being excluded from the labour force. Why is this significant in the lives of psychiatric consumer/survivors?
  • Eventually MPA became a bureaucratic organization that organized under a top-down structure of power. What were the negative implications of this?

Station 2: Madness as a Social Movement

  • How do you understand the concept of liberation or liberatory struggles? How does that relate to MPA? Have you ever thought of the concepts of mental health and liberatory struggles together?
  • What is the difference between the MPA as a service and the MPA as an activist social movement/community.
  • What was In a Nutshell? Discuss the significance of this publication.
  • MPA experienced difficulties as a result of taking funding from the government? How can this inform mental health funding for consumer/survivor run programs of today?

Station 3: In the Context of Mental Health Professionals 

  • What does the historical context of deinstitutionalization have to do with the development of the MPA?
  • What is the difference between top-down and bottom-up practice in the context of mental health work?
  • What are some of the ways that the MPA counteract the possible negative implications of professionalism?
  • What inspires you as future MH professional from watching this film – what do you take from it, and how might it inform your approaches and practice?

Station 4: Contemporary Relevance

  • Poverty is a major issue for people diagnosed with mental illness. How was MPA able to address this issue?
  • Is there still a need for services that are open beyond standard business hours? Would they be beneficial to how we approach mental health services, why or why not?
  • Housing first is a contemporary approach to addressing the major social issues impacting people diagnosed with mental illness. How did the MPA set-up housing? What did the housing and living agreement look like? How could this practice be beneficial to housing first approaches to mental health?
  • What do you think a modern or updated MPA would look like – what would you need to make this happen?