New and creative ways of living

I first learned about Transformative Mutual Aid Practices (T-MAPs) a couple of weeks ago.

Which means I’m in the early stages of trying to understand what T-MAPs are all about.
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Trying to write about mental health is uncomfortable because I know so little about it. But I am discovering how important it is to learn more about mental health. In part because of increasing awareness of multigenerational traumas of my Black, Indigenous and other people of color (BIPOC) friends. And coming to understand that the stresses of anyone working for justice, often very hard work, result in some level of trauma.

In these trying times everyone’s mental health is at risk. Perhaps most difficult is admitting to myself that my mental health needs work.

How I understand my journey with mental health is one of the sections of the T-MAPs workbook.

We have had many other influences in developing T-MAPs, including organizations like Intentional Peer Support and the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community, as well as specific tools like Mary Ellen Copeland’s Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). Some of the ideas around practice and transformation are inspired by the organization generative somatics. While T-MAPs was initially inspired by advanced directives and related recovery tools for planning mental health treatment options in times of crisis, we have turned it into a group practice of mutual aid, imagination, and prefigurative cultural change. We want it to be useful to as many people as possible to opening up space for new and creative ways of living.

The two main architects of T-MAPs have been Jacks McNamara and Sascha DuBrul, the founders of The Icarus Project. Jacks and Sascha wanted to create a practical tool that embodied the peer wisdom found in our greater community. We offer it as a labor of love to people who might find it useful. There are so many different people’s voices captured in the questions and the responses.

“[W]ithout changing the most molecular relationships in society — notably, those between men and women, adults and children, whites and other ethnic groups, heterosexuals and gays (the list, in fact, is considerable) — society will be riddled by domination even in a socialistic ‘classless’ and ‘non-exploitative’ form. It would be infused by hierarchy even as it celebrated the dubious virtues of ‘people’s
democracies,’ ’socialism’ and the ‘public ownership’ of ‘natural resources,’ And as long as hierarchy persists, as long as domination organizes humanity around a system of elites, the project of dominating nature will continue to exist and inevitably lead our planet to ecological extinction”

Murray Bookchin

The zine A Call for Prefigurative Mental Health Support and Communal Care within Radical Groups and Organizations includes a very long list of ways we are subjected to trauma. The list is too long to include in this blog post. You can see that list in the embedded zine below.

Des Moines Mutual Aid

Creative Commons License

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

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