The Origins of This Tool

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.

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.