Here are some of the best organizations, podcasts, videos and books I've encountered to do with madness / mental health and gender.


If you don't see something here, chances are I do know about it but I am choosing to not recommend it. In my journalistic opinion, a lot of the media we encounter about "mental health" is lacking in scientific basis and also overlooks the humanity of Mad people. 

For more about the media's errors when it comes to mental health, please read my long essay published on Mad in America on this topic. 



Especially if you know someone in crisis or are generally invested in these questions because of yourself or a loved one, here are a few good places to start: 

Mad in America – largest radical mental health media organization, founded by journalist Robert Whitaker 

Wildflower Alliance – most robust peer-led alternative mental health care system in US; their website has many excellent resources (formerly Western Massachusetts Recovery Learning Community/RLC)

Hearing Voices Network USA – non-judgmental, peer support groups for people who hear voices, see visions or have other "unusual or extreme" experiences; learn more and find a group in your area 

Intervoice – website to locate Hearing Voices groups for those outside the US

Alternatives to Suicide – non-judgmental peer support group series developed by the Wildflower Alliance 

MindFreedom – organization devoted to psych survivor liberation and justice

Peer Respites – alternative to psychiatric hospitalization

National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

The Law Project for Psychiatric Rights 

The International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis

International Society for Ethical Psychology and Psychiatry


How To Survive the End of the World

Disability Visibility Podcast

Madness Radio

Mad in America podcast

The Homecoming Podcast with Dr. Thema


RLC Film Productions

Documentaries by Daniel Mackler

People Say I’m Crazy

Psychiatric Survivors Speak Out

Eleanor Longden TED Talk


I’ve read a lot of books about madness/mental illness. Here is a piece I wrote for Electric Literature recommending some titles in particular. Here's a brief essay I wrote for Powell's blog about all the books "about schizophrenia" I haven't read. Again, figure if I'm not mentioning here, I'm likely not recommending it (probably because it's a work that repeats, without sufficiently interrogating, psychiatric ideology). If you feel I've overlooked something worthwhile, feel free to reach out; I'm always excited to learn about good (new) stuff. 


I Never Promised You a Rose Garden by Joanne Greenberg

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi


On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

The Loony-Bin Trip by Kate Millett

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang


& other Nonfiction, by topic 

Many of these books cover many topics but I've tried to categorize them for your convenience

Care Farming / Green Care

 (for more, listen to my 99% Invisible story, particularly the last part about Gould Farm) 

Farming for Health: Green-Care Farming Across Europe and the United States of America edited by Jan Hassink and Majken van Dijk (complication of academic papers from a variety of disciplines documenting and analyzing this model) 

Gould Farm: A Life of Sharing by William J. McKee 

Electroshock / ECT

The Electroshock Quotionary compiled by Leonard Roy Frank (download for free)

The History of Shock Treatment edited by Leonard Roy Frank 

Doctors of Deception: What They Don’t Want You To Know about Shock Treatment by Linda Andre

Electroshock: Its Brain-Disabling Effects by Dr. Peter Breggin (1979 but unfortunately not really outdated) 


Genetics & Mental Illness


The Gene: An Intimate History by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee

Gender(queerness) etc.

Femme in Public Alok Vaid-Menon (poetry) 

Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon (a great resource for kids)
Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution by Susan Stryker 

Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us by Kate Bornstein

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman by Leslie Feinberg 

Queer Sex by Juno Roche 

Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown 

My (New) Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein (might not be for everybody but for some, this workbook may be a big help; especially recommended to folks who feel super intimidated by examining their own gender for fear of what they might discover) 

Hearing Voices movement


Living with Voices: 50 Stories of Recovery by Dr. Marius Romme, Dr. Sandra Escher, Jacqui Dillon, Dr. Dirk Corstens, Prof. Mervyn Morris, eds.

Young People Hearing Voices by Dr. Sandra Escher and Dr. Marius Romme

The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles Fernyhough (science journalism that includes discussion of Hearing Voices movement)

Mad Pride / Radical Mental Health


We've Been Too PatientVoices from Radical Mental Health, L. D. Green, Kelechi Ubozoh, eds.
On Our Own: Patient-Controlled Alternatives to the Mental Health System by Judi Chamberlin

Talking Back to Psychiatry by Dr. Linda J. Morrison (sociological study of the movement)

Outside Mental Health: Voices and Visions of Madness by Will Hall

Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry by Dr. Peter Stastny and Peter Lehmann, eds.

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Dr. Seth Farber

Agnes’s Jacket: A Psychologist's Search for the Meanings of Madness by Dr. Gail Hornstein


Peer Respites

(alternative to psychiatric hospitalization) 

Peer Respite Handbook: A Guide to Understanding, Building and Supporting Peer Respites by Sera Davidow

Soteria: Through Madness to Deliverance by Deborah C. Fort, Dr. Loren Mosher, and Voyce Hendrix

Psychiatry & Psychiatric Drugs

Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off of Psychiatric Drugs (available for free online)

Mad in America: Bad Science, Bad Medicine, and the Enduring Mistreatment of the Mentally Ill by Robert Whitaker

Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform by Robert Whitaker and Dr. Lisa Cosgrove

The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

The Myth of the Chemical Cure: A Critique of Psychiatric Drug Treatment by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff

Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-Altering Medications by Dr. Peter Breggin

Psychiatry and the Business of Madness: An Ethical and Epistemological Accounting by Dr. Bonnie Burstow

Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy, and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock, and Biochemical Theories of the "New Psychiatry" by Dr. Peter Breggin

The Spiritual Gift of Madness: The Failure of Psychiatry and the Rise of the Mad Pride Movement by Dr. Seth Farber

To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World: The Life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann by Dr. Gail Hornstein

On the Construction, Organization and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane by Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride (1854) 


(also see Hearing Voices movement)

The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang

The Gene: An Intimate History by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia became a Black Disease by Dr. Jonathan M. Metzl



Mindful Occupation: Rising Up without Burning Out (available for free online)

Do What You Want: A Zine about Mental Wellbeing by Ruby Tandoh and Leah Pritchard

Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Suicide (alternatives to) 

Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws by Kate Bornstein

Things to Do Instead of Killing Yourself by Tara Booth and John-Michael Frank (comic) 



The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk