Toronto Mad Pride



Here’s your Guide to a Mad Week…


What is Mad Pride?

Mad Pride Community is growing like a tree.


Picture of Mad Pride 2015 - Bed Push
Mad discussions and forums, Friendly Spike Theatre Band, Mad Hatter Street Festival, MADx, SOS, Bed Push (Mad Pride Parade), Picnic

Volunteer – Mad Pride Toronto

Hand reaching to help volunteer

 Participate and Perform

Christine Shaheen makes multi-textured mad art

Art, dance, comedy, sketch, writing, poetry. Music. & Peer supporters.



Contact and Share



Baby Crying. Captions People spot me as a difficult child

I’m going to become a Mom near the end of 2016. While the unwanted life, birth and parenting advice is starting to trickle in (“You and your partner should really be married first,” “Don’t think for one second you can give birth without an epidural,” “Make sure you put your child in daycare.”) I find myself fearful about what people will think and say about me as a “Mad Mother”.

I cannot be the only Mad Parent out there that feels the pressure to go above and beyond to “prove” that they are capable.

I have been working with children, ages 18 months-13 years old, for a little over 8 years and have a background in early childhood education. I am very confident in my ability to be a Mom. But when I see pictures like this,

Baby Crying. Captions People spot me as a difficult child
Hey Mad Moms … Ready for some Guilt – Unhelpful picture indicating that “I am a difficult child because my mom has Border Line Personality”

as a person with the Borderline Personality label, I can feel my emotions rise and desire to protect myself and my family from the mean people who may look at me and think that I will fail my child because of my label rising.

To add to the injury of this picture, I found it on Facebook, posted by a Facebook Group I “Like” that is supposed to be supportive of the BPD community. Sharing photos and “research” that blanket all women with a BPD label as being bad mothers is shameful and offensive. (more…)


What Madness has taught me - Kristen Bellows

I fought tooth and nail to not be the depressed person I was told I was. A youth psychiatrist, in 2005, told me that I would never recover and would need medication for the rest of my life. I didn’t know any other way, except what the psychiatrist told me, and I fighting_tooth_and_nail_5_x_7_invitation_card-rf9cb544c3f324bc1bc0dea7e373e8d7f_zk9c4_324hated that way. I used to think I was sick, I was told I was sick and people seemed to dislike me because I was sick. Even the quest to make me “not sick” made me feel worse and affected how people saw me, and not for the better. For me, a diagnosis of a mental illness was a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.

madNEWprideshirtSmThe day I learned about Madness was the day I stopped being sick. It was the day I began to heal from my past wounds caused by psychiatry, society and myself. It was the day I found myself. It was the day I found my value and strength. Madness opened me up to a rich history of people who have felt, thought and experienced things differently and were celebrated not labeled as sick. Madness taught me about neurodiversity, that all of our brains have different structuring and levels of functioning and are supposed to be that way. And Madness taught me about sanism and how what I was condemned to be, a sick, depressed person, was the result of discrimination and not a flaw on my part.



Learn and help organize Mad Pride 2016 with a swarm of beautiful and understanding Mad Organizers.

Join us at Progress Place:

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 5:30-7:30
Progress Place
576 Church Street
Toronto, Ontario

Contact for any questions. We need help with talking to organizations and different communities, fundraising, organizing events (finding locations, participants), and lots more.


Celebrate and Empower  TORONTO MAD PRIDE WEEK 2016 – July 11th – 17th


Mad Pride Week is an arts, culture, and community festival created to celebrate, empower and build community. We are working not only to end stigma and oppression, but to show our strength and enjoyment of life.

Toronto Mad Pride was started in 1993 by community activists in Parkdale as “Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day”, and is now part of a global movement from the UK to Australia.

The festival will have a great line-up of events: the Mad Market of arts, music and fun; a Public Forum presented by the Empowerment Council; a Theatrical Performance by Friendly Spike Theatre; a line-up of Academic Events, including discussions and activities co-sponsored by Ryerson University; and the annual flagship Bed-Push Parade (symbolizing the movement from hospital to community) that ends with a Picnic at Trinity-Bellwoods Park.

To create these events we need and value long-term relationships with community partners and we’re asking you to contribute to Mad Pride Toronto 2016. There are many ways to do so:

  • Contribute through monetary or in-kind donations
  • Volunteer with event planning and/or on-site at events
  • Spread the word about Toronto Mad Pride Week 2016

And, of course, come out to the events and join in the fun July 11th-17th!

Your contributions will help achieve our shared goals and build your organization’s profile in mental health and community building. Partners and contributors will be acknowledged through posters, event signage, website and social media channels.

Please support Mad Pride 2016, supported by, and a project of, Sound Times Support Services of Metropolitan Toronto, (charitable status #133639187RR0001).

Help us make Mad Pride Week 2016 an outstanding event and support our goal of ending the stigma against mental illness and celebrating our Mad Pride.

Thank you,

Mad Pride Planning Group

280 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A 3A4   @madpridetoronto