Question Man

Question Man Unit

Green Chinese takeaway boxTakeaways

  • Appreciate that patients may experience mental health services as oppressive and soul-destroying
  • Understand the importance of practitioners working with patients to help reclaim strengths and strategies that were part of their identity before they experienced mental health difficulties
  • Value voice, resiliency, resistance and experiential knowledge in supporting good mental health

Three green gears working togetherArtefact

This small but mighty artefact is a short video memoir of Irit Shimrats’ traumatic first hospitalization as a mental health patient. Listen to Irit tell the story of how creativity became her personal pathway to healing.

Green kitchen weigh scaleEvaluating the Artefacts

Green hand-held magnifying glassLearning Lens

In the late 1970s Irit Shimrat was an involuntary psychiatrist patient at the Branson Hospital in North York, Ontario, prescribed the anti-psychotic drug Haldol.  Medicated and stripped of the capacity to do many basic things which most of us do each day without thinking, Shimrat reclaimed her creative spirit and sense of self by creating Question Man, an alter-ego and a friend.  Based on Shimrat’s 1978 ward notebook, this 6-minute video tells the story of Question Man‘s creation, illuminating both the flattened world of the psychiatric patient and the power of personal resiliency.  Her story underscores the value of a whole-person approach and reminds us to nurture strengths and coping strategies.