Origins of T-MAPs

Recent news about T-MAPs

This past weekend at our Des Moines Mutual Aid food project, one of my friends asked how I was doing. Which turned into an opportunity to share about T-MAPs. She agreed that no one asks how those of us who are doing justice work, are doing. No one outside our Mutual Aid community, at least, because checking in with each other is an important part of our Mutual Aid work together. She was very interested in the T-MAPs concept. I hope to find ways to share this more widely in our Mutual Aid, and other justice communities

T-MAPs was originally dreamed up in the early years of The Icarus Project (TIP), a community of people working at the intersection of mental health and social justice. Over the years, TIP has created peer-based mental health support groups, alternative publications and educational resources, and new language outside the conventional “mental illness” paradigm. One tool developed by TIP, which has partly inspired T-MAPs, is called Mad Maps. Mad Maps began as creative and supportive conversations on the Icarus website about strategies for friends and strangers to communicate about how to take better care of each other. Mad Maps has evolved into a set of guides on navigating different topics like intergenerational trauma and madness and oppression.

I didn’t know the Icarus Project is now the Fireweed Collective.

Fireweed Collective offers mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice and Disability Justice lens. We support the emotional wellness of all people and center QTBIPOC folks in our internal leadership, programs, and resources.

Our work seeks to disrupt the harm of systems of abuse and oppression, often reproduced by the mental health system. Our model for understanding ‘severe mental illness’ is community and relationship-based and divests from the prison industrial complex and psych wards.

Fireweed Collective

Following is just the beginning of the Fireweed Collective Framework

Healing Justice (HJ) is a framework rooted in racial justice, disability justice, and economic justice. Healing Justice provides us with tools we can use to interrupt the systems of oppression that impact our mental health. Fireweed Collective uses HJ as a guide to help redefine what medicine is, and increase who has access to it.

We are honored to be a part of a larger community of organizations guided by the  principles of Healing Justice:

  • responding to and intervening in generational trauma and violence (Kindred)  
  • collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression (Kindred)
  • imagining a generative and co-created future (Healing By Choice!)
  • being in right relationship with ourselves, each other, and the land (Healing By Choice)
  • centering disability justice, people of color, and economic justice (Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s history of healing justice)
Fireweed Collective Framework

Transformative Mutual Aid Practices (T-MAPs) are a set of tools that provide space for building a personal “map” of wellness strategies, resilience practices, unique stories, and community resources. Creating a T-MAP will inspire you to connect your struggle to collective struggles. When we make and share our T-MAPs with others they become potent tools for healing and liberation.

Your T-MAP is a guide for navigating challenging times, figuring out what you care about, and communicating with the important people in your life
Creative Commons License

 T-MAPs is licensed by Jacks McNamara and Sascha DuBrul under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This is a link to what I’ve written about T-MAPs so far:

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